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Rais looks for New Year resolve

PUBLISHED: 12:38 07 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:59 03 March 2010

CUT out the defensive errors and start scoring more goals.

That's the stark message today from Ipswich captain Asif Rais as his side prepares for their last game of the year in Division Two of the English Hockey League.

CUT out the defensive errors and start scoring more goals.

That's the stark message today from Ipswich captain Asif Rais as his side prepares for their last game of the year in Division Two of the English Hockey League.

The Henley Road side are second from bottom on goal difference only but can leapfrog Sunday's opponents, Oxford Hawks, if they can pull off their third win of this campaign.

Rais admits that mistakes made by himself and his fellow defenders have cost the side dearly and he is hell-bent on seeing out the old year on a high note.

"When we looked at the last few games before the Christmas break, Oxford Hawks were the side we were targeting to beat. However, we should have won at East Grinstead, having been two up but again mistakes let them back in and we had to settle for a draw," he said.

Rais added: "It may sound arrogant but I believe we are too good a side to either go down automatically or get involved in the relegation play-offs, but we have to start putting some results together.

"The league table doesn't lie and at present we are not in a very healthy position. We've given away too many soft goals while we have spurned several good chances at the other end.

"This situation has got to change and I hope it will start against Oxford. Although there's a break of several weeks after Sunday, if we can come away with three points from that game, we might be able to get our rhythm back."

A month ago, Oxford were thrashed 10-0 by leaders Belper, but they have won their last two games and lifted themselves away from the foot of the table.

Ipswich won't find it easy, but with Andy Beresford, John Cuff and Ian Driver all back in the squad, the strength in depth could prove invaluable.

After their hard fought draw with Bourne, Ipswich seconds travel to play Old de Ferrians in Division One with victory certain to keep them top.

The thirds, who lost 5-4 to a late goal against Old Southendians seconds tomorrow play East London, while the fourths gained a good 1-1 draw Saffron Walden and will want to beat Rochford Casuals.

Tough

The fifth team's winning streak was ended by a solitary goal at Billericay and they face another tough game with Saffron Walden seconds.

Crane seconds beat Ipswich sixths 5-0 and tomorrow the Henley Road side travel to take on Chelmsford fifths.

Orwell Ladies, who were at the wrong end of a 9-0 thrashing by leaders Harleston have no game tomorrow while their second team lost 6-2 to Christchurch in Division One of the Suffolk League.

Tomorrow they take on Bury St Edmunds thirds and while Orwell thirds face Crane in Division Two.


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