Lister won't take Olton for granted
HOCKEY: Ipswich Ladies, with just one point from their first two games, will be looking to kick-start their season when they entertain joint league leaders Olton tomorrow.
IPSWICH Ladies, with just one point from their first two games, will be looking to kick-start their season when they entertain joint league leaders Olton tomorrow.
The Tuddenham Road side are currently in mid-table of the English Hockey League's Premier Division, having drawn their opening match with Leicester before losing to Slough in their last game, while Olton defend a 100 per cent record following two excellent victories.
However, Ipswich coach Sandie Lister, who has had time to reflect on the team's performances, is excited about the prospect of playing Olton.
"Despite losing 3-1, we matched and bettered Slough for 55 minutes and we want to build on that against Olton who are a top quality team," she said.
Olton have several players returning from international duty against Germany, but they will be hard pressed to repeat last weekend's goal tally of seven against Sutton Coldfield.
Ipswich have improved the strength and depth of their squad with the welcome return of Lorraine Catchpole and the promotion of goalkeeper Hannah Robinson from the second team where she has played superbly.
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Catchpole, and the rest of the Ipswich defence, will need to keep a close eye on Olton's Helen Grant who has already five goals to her name, including a hat-trick in last week's success.
Their second team, who are unbeaten with four wins and a draw to their credit, have a tricky test away to draw specialists Dereham in the Premier Division of the Printwize East League.
They too make several changes to last week's team with goalkeeper Mary Ost promoted from the thirds to cover for Hannah Robinson, while Jo Jo Andersson has returned from East duty and will play the sweeper role.
There will be late fitness tests for Sarah juggins (ankle) and Emma Millar (hamstring).
Despite the changes, Ipswich will be confident that unlike the last two seasons draws, this time the trip to Norfolk will result in all three points.
Much will depend however on the commitment and work rate of the Ipswich team, not to mention the patience needed to break down a stubborn Dereham defence.
However, with striker Lucy Philp in fantastic form and with the team creating and taking chances, Ipswich will be disappointed to leave with anything less than a win.