Ipswich to miss buzz of Beresford

HOCKEY: Ipswich have a big task on their hands as the second half of their season kicks in on Sunday. With just two teams below them in Division Two of the English Hockey League, they will want to distance themselves from the relegation zone.

IPSWICH have a big task on their hands as the second half of their season kicks in on Sunday.

With just two teams below them in Division Two of the English Hockey League, they will want to distance themselves from the relegation zone.

Their first step on the ladder to safety comes at Henley Road against Blueharts, a side who are only three points ahead of Ipswich and who shaded the previous encounter 3-2.

Neither of the two Ipswich scorers that day will feature on Sunday, as Andy Beresford has work commitments abroad which will keep him out for the rest of the season while Jon Slay returned to Hounslow and Ealing after the briefest of stays.


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The work rate of the effervescent Beresford will be sorely missed, while another midfielder, Jeremy Watt, is still out of action following a long-term injury.

Ipswich go into the game on the back of a couple of decent results, having drawn 2-2 with Chelmsford and beaten Nottingham 5-2 in recent friendlies and skipper Asif Rais is hopeful his side can continue their good form.

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"We played well in those matches and were beginning to get a little more consistency before the Christmas break. If we can recapture that and make the most of our chances, then I believe we can start the new year in style," he said.

Goals from Andy Cook (3), Ivan Smith (3), John Reed (2), Richard Stainthorpe (2), Robin Swindin and Toby Lever helped Ipswich seconds to a 12-0 drubbing of Redbridge & Ilford and tomorrow they take on Cambridge Nomads.

The thirds, who lost 4-0 to Maldon, face a tough test against Dunmow, while the fourths, who drew 2-2 with Crostyx thirds thanks to goals from David Leach and James Ashby, face IES thirds.

Ian Taylor scored the consolation as the fifths lost 3-1 to Havering seconds and they will be looking for a better result against Southend, while the sixths, who lost 5-1 to Maldon, face Old De Ferrians. The Veterans beat Cambridge City 9-2 and play Waveney.

Orwell Ladies are without a league game, but their seconds and thirds take on Hadleigh and Lowestoft respectively in the Suffolk League.

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