Pressure's on Belper but it'll be tough
PUBLISHED: 12:48 22 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:24 03 March 2010
HOCKEY: Goal kings Belper will keep the Ipswich defence on its toes when they visit Henley Road on Sunday. The awesome Derbyshire outfit, who are in their first season in Division Two of the English Hockey League, have so far hit the target on 81 occasions - 40 more than their nearest rivals.
GOAL kings Belper will keep the Ipswich defence on its toes when they visit Henley Road on Sunday.
The awesome Derbyshire outfit, who are in their first season in Division Two of the English Hockey League, have so far hit the target on 81 occasions – 40 more than their nearest rivals.
Leading the way is Craig Keegan with 28, while Mike Huckle and Tom Sherratt both have 13.
Nick Morris has weighed in with 11 and that's six more than Ipswich's joint top scorers, Richard Fox and Oliver Didham have
Keegan is also a short corner specialist with 11 of his goals
coming from such routines, but worryingly for Ipswich he was not on target in the recent 5-1
demolition of Havant.
After losing their first game of the season at home to East Grinstead, Belper have since embarked on a 14-match unbeaten run and are eight points clear at the top of Hounslow and Ealing.
Ipswich, one from bottom but showing clear signs of a revival, have the task of stopping the free-scoring side, with central defenders Asif Rais and Nick Fry and goalkeeper Stuart Hendy likely to be in for a busy time.
So, too, will the full back pairing of Andy Swindin and Paul Calver, but Rais said: "When we played them at their place and lost, we didn't play well at all.
"However, they use a water-base pitch which obviously gives them an advantage, but they don't seem to mind sand-based ones either.
"They have been killing sides all season and if we are to get anything out this game we will have to be at our best throughout.
"There is no pressure on us as they will be expecting to win and that could work in our favour if they become a bit complacent."
Toby Lever returns to the squad and Robin Swindin, who scored for the seconds last week as they won promotion, will also be included.
Ipswich seconds, with just four games left, are looking to go up as champions of Division One and will want three more points from their visit to Harleston tomorrow.
A late equaliser by David Leach gave the thirds a 3-3 draw with
fellow strugglers Wapping after Steve Foster had earlier scored twice, and they face Havering
The fourths, who lost 6-1 to table-topping Waltham Forest are at home to Sudbury seconds while the fifths received a walkover from Harlow Town seconds and face Marconi.
Ipswich sixth team, who didn't have a game, get back into action against Southend thirds.
Orwell also return to action at home to Pelicans in Division Two North of the Printwize East League, while the seconds take on Ipswich East Suffolk seconds in the Suffolk League's Premier Division and the thirds face Stour Valley.