Ipswich manage a point

HockeyIpswich 3 Peterborough Town 3IPSWICH again showed their fighting qualities to salvage a point when all seemed lost at a windswept Henley Road.

By Martin White

Ipswich 3 Peterborough Town 3

IPSWICH again showed their fighting qualities to salvage a point when all seemed lost at a windswept Henley Road.

Two down inside the first 12 minutes, they hauled themselves back only to go behind again three minutes from time before Richard Fox grabbed an equaliser with just seconds left.

Luck does not turn out for Ipswich and they went behind to a bizarre goal after four minutes.

Andy Cook was wrongly penalised on the halfway line when the umpire decided his foot had stopped the ball rather than his stick, but a shot from the subsequent free hit was kicked away by keeper Stuart Hendy.

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However, it ballooned in the wind, fell to Adrian James and his pass left Gareth Andrew on his own to shepherd the ball over the line.

Hendy then denied Gary Hales but from their first short corner the speedy front runner smacked the ball past him to increase the lead.

Ipswich showed their rediscovered resolve and after 17 minutes Paul Calver burst down the left, saw his shot blocked but the rebound fell to Oliver Didham who made no mistake.

The home side, for whom Simon Miller, Didham, Calver and Ivan Smith were all looking lively, had to reshuffle their defence when Nick Fry came off with a groin strain and his place was taken by the reliable Ian Driver.

Cook and Miller both had shots saved early in the second half but they got back on terms with 14 minutes left when the former made it five in five games from close range.

Ipswich at that point were all over the visitors like a rash, but their momentum was spoilt during a lengthy delay while the goal at the Top Field end was weighted down having been blown over by the strong wind.

Several promising moves broke down when Didham tried to take on the defence single handed rather than release the ball earlier and it looked as if their efforts would be in vain three minutes from time.

A mistake by Calver let in Mark Brittan and his pass left Hales with an easy chance for his second, but then Fox popped up with a late saver. Only time will tell just how vital that was.

Havant 5 Ipswich 3

TIM Davenport, an 18-year-old student, gave Ipswich a lesson in finishing as they slumped to another defeat and remained bottom of Division Two of the English Hockey League.

The teenager had given Havant a third-minute lead, but the visitors fought back with Richard Fox putting them level soon afterwards and Andy Cook giving them the lead when he thumped home a penalty corner.

All three goals had come in the first seven minutes but both defences then settled down and play swung from end to end without further scoring before the interval.

However, Davenport destroyed Ipswich in a four-minute burst soon after the interval. Two short corner strikes helped him complete his hat-trick before he added his fourth from open play.

By now, Ipswich were reeling and when he struck again from a corner with 13 minutes left, there was little chance of the visitors gaining so much as a vital point.

Cook gave them a glimmer of hope with his second ten minutes from time but Ipswich now face a real battle to stay at this level and the odds against are lengthening with every game.

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