Oliver's late strike earns vital point
PUBLISHED: 13:24 06 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 March 2010
MEN'S HOCKEY: Formby 3 Ipswich 3. Two goals in the last five minutes earned Ipswich a vital point in their fight to remain in Division Two of the English Hockey League.
Formby 3 Ipswich 3
TWO goals in the last five minutes earned Ipswich a vital point in their fight to remain in Division Two of the English Hockey League.
However, with both Bromley and Oxford Hawks winning, they are now three points adrift of the Kent side, but feel confident enough to gain sufficient points out of their remaining five games to stay up.
Following on from their tremendous display against champions-elect Belper the previous week, Ipswich laid siege to Formby's goal but were unable to break through a solid defence.
After 18 minutes and against the run of play, Ipswich fell behind when a crossfield pass by Nick Fry was picked up by Andrew Kent who beat Stuart Hendy with ease.
Formby dented Ipswich's attacking policy by putting as many men behind the ball as possible and relying on quick breakaways to unsettle the visitors' defence.
On a far from satisfactory pitch, Ipswich deservedly hit back after dominating the first 15 minutes of the second half when Andy Cook picked up a loose ball and thumped it past the Formby keeper.
Their joy was short-lived as Formby regained the lead two minutes later again through Kent when his half-hit shot trickled across the line despite the valiant efforts of skipper Asif Rais to keep it out.
Worse was to follow when a cross from the left saw a Formby player swing at a cross and miss completely, but with the Ipswich defenders' backs turned, Simon Preston popped in their third.
The umpire rejected Ipswich appeals for a free hit claiming the missed attempt to connect was not dangerous play and it looked as though the visitors' luck was out.
However, with five minutes left, the reliable Cook thumped home a short corner and with a minute to go, Oliver Didham drag flicked a similar effort into the roof of the net.