Ipswich forced into new look

HOCKEY: Ipswich will be forced to re-shuffle their defence for Sunday's game with basement side Bromley in Division Two of the English Hockey League.Maths teacher John Slay, who has joined the club as coach, will be missing from the back four due to a school commitment with Orwell Park and it's likely that Chris Palmer will drop from midfield to take his place.

By Martin White

IPSWICH will be forced to re-shuffle their defence for Sunday's game with basement side Bromley in Division Two of the English Hockey League.

Maths teacher John Slay, who has joined the club as coach, will be missing from the back four due to a school commitment with Orwell Park and it's likely that Chris Palmer will drop from midfield to take his place.

Paul Calver, who played on the left side of the back four against Hounslow and Ealing, will move to midfield while Andy Swindin, who did little wrong in the opening day loss at Blueharts, will take his place, with the promising James Hughes staying on the right.

Midfielder Jeremy Watt, who has been absent with a groin injury, may be fit to play but there is concern over a knee problem and it could be decided not to risk him immediately.

Both sides will be desperate for a win to kick-start their respective seasons, but Ipswich skipper Asif Rais is confident his team can return with the three points.

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"We have been desperately unlucky in our first two games losing to a goal in the last few seconds and we must make sure that lightning doesn't strike a third time.

"It's essential to get a win under our belts as soon as possible as we have got some tough games coming up and we don't want to be struggling at the wrong end of the table this early in the season," he said.

Last season, a poor display in Kent saw Ipswich lose 2-1, but they amply gained revenge later on with a 4-1 triumph at Henley Road.

Although few chances were carved out against Hounslow, Rais feels his side must be more clinical in front of goal and put away the opportunities that come their way.

He added: "We probably also need to be a little more aggressive in our approach to games as we tend to be too relaxed on some occasions."

Ipswich seconds and thirds both rattled in five goals last weekend, with Andy Cook scoring a hat-trick for the seconds as Cambridge University were beaten 5-1.

He will be looking for more of the same tomorrow at Redbridge and Ilford, as will John Reed at Maldon after his trio helped see off Harlow 5-2.

Ipswich fourths, who went down 3-0 at Witham seconds, take on Crostyx thirds while the fifths, who travel to Havering, went down by the same score to Wapping seconds.

The sixth team were thrashed 10-1 by Wapping thirds and will be hoping for better fortune against Maldon seconds, while the Veterans secured victory over Waveney.

Things are looking up for Orwell Ladies in Division Two North of the Printwize East League. Having secured their first point of the season a fortnight ago, they then beat St Ives 2-0 and will be looking for a continuation of their improvement at home to lowly Long Sutton.

The second team, who lost 2-1 to Carlton Park in the Premier Division of the Suffolk League are at Haverhill, while the thirds, who narrowly lost to Castaways despite only having eight players, take on Christchurch firsts.

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