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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

New boys Belper teach Ipswich a lesson

PUBLISHED: 11:48 07 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

This was not the restart that Ipswich wanted after two weeks without a fixture in Division Two of the English Hockey League. Belper, newly promoted this season, have made the start that Ipswich enjoyed last season.

This was not the restart that Ipswich wanted after two weeks without a fixture in Division Two of the English Hockey League. Belper, newly promoted this season, have made the start that Ipswich enjoyed last season.

This confidence in their game was evident from the start as they showed their intent by pressing Ipswich on to the defensive. Much of their game was played through their influential player/coach Craig Keegan and it was he who gave Stuart Hendy, who was excellent throughout, some early action

saving his deflected free hit.

Despite this early pressure, it was the visitors who really should have opened their account, when a quick counter between John Cuff and Richard Fox left Ivan Smith with what seemed like the simplest of finishes at the back post.

Had he put this opportunity away things may have been different, but the home side took the lead in the 15th minute when Ipswich were unable to clear a short corner and Tom Sherratt was on hand to finish.

Ipswich's game never really got going, their passing was poor throughout and they were uncharacteristically slow in closing the opposition down, allowing them time and space to build their game.

This slowness led to the second goal when possession was given away on the 25, allowing the home team a simple route to goal for their second after 22 minutes through Nick Morris.

Ipswich still had opportunities but failed to make anything of them, Smith had a one on one with the keeper but failed to capitalise and Paul Calver should have got a touch to Miller's cross.

The second half was a similar story as Tom Sherratt grabbed his second to put Belper three up in the 42nd minute.

Ipswich tried to push to get themselves back into the game but found only frustration. Smith's appeals for a penalty stroke were felt unjustified by the umpires and Oliver Didham had to watch his reverse-stick shot go narrowly over the bar.

As Ipswich tried to press, Belper took advantage of the space and if it was not for the impressive Hendy, saving from – among several – a Craig Keegan penalty flick, Belper may have added more than Mike Huckle's effort after 61 minutes and their fifth through James Steadman right on time.

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