It's back to the B-string for IES
MEN'S HOCKEY: Ipswich East Suffolk 3 Clacton 5. It's over. The curtain has finally come down on Ipswich East Suffolk's three-year affair with Premier Division A of the Printwize East League. Since they were promoted to this level, they have flirted with relegation in each season and now their luck has finally run out.
By Martin White
IT'S over. The curtain has finally come down on Ipswich East Suffolk's three-year affair with Premier Division A of the Printwize East League.
Since they were promoted to this level, they have flirted with relegation in each season and now their luck has finally run out.
IES had to win the re-arranged game with Clacton to give themselves an outside chance of staying up, but despite twice coming from behind to equalise, they eventually ended a well-beaten side.
Now the decision has been made for the Rushmere-based club, they can concentrate on regrouping, regaining confidence and getting back the winning habit in Premier B.
Strangely, for a game with so much riding on it, IES looked tentative and lacking in conviction and passion for such a vital fixture.
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After Damon Hill had deflected Clacton ahead in the eighth minute only to see Guy Marshlain cancel that out 60 seconds later, IES then wasted two clear-cut chances.
Gavin Cole failed to sweep a right wing cross past Mike Key and then Sam Gibson tried to place his shot rather than blast it beyond the visiting keeper.
At the back, IES looked comfortable with Stuart Gooderham, Ian Swallow, Matt Gardner and James Bouttell making timely interceptions and tackles, but when they failed to clear the ball seven minutes after the interval, Mike Hodge swept the loose ball home.
Almost immediately, Australian Joel Dry's run and clinical shot brought the home side level, but minutes later, Gooderham lost the ball at the top of his own circle and Hill bundled the ball home under pressure.
When the experienced Steve Ashton flicked home Clacton's fourth, the writing seemed to be on the wall, but IES again came back when Marshlain claimed his second after a cross from Matt Walker.
With eight minutes left, it was asking a lot for IES to score another two and when Hill scored his hat-trick from his side's ninth short corner, there was never going to be a way back.
Disappointed skipper Charlie Farrow said: "We have let ourselves down in the last two games and didn't perform as we should have done.
"All we can do now is regroup in Premier B and try to get back to the top level at the first opportunity."