Relegation spectre looms for IES
HOCKEY: Ipswich East Suffolk 2 Bedford 3. Ipswich East Suffolk lost the battle of the relegation strugglers and now face a massive turnaround in fortunes to escape relegation from Premier Division A of the Printwize East League.
Ipswich East Suffolk 2 Bedford 3
IPSWICH East Suffolk lost the battle of the relegation strugglers and now face a massive turnaround in fortunes to escape relegation from Premier Division A of the Printwize East League.
Despite five goals being scored, both sides looked well suited to their respective lowly positions although the home side started brightly.
Gavin Cole seemed to win every tackle that he went in for and set up two excellent early openings for Will Fulker and David Taylor, but from the resultant short corners the ball was moved slickly only to escape the final touch.
After ten minutes of relentless pressure IES made the breakthrough. Following a good move down the right wing the ball fell to Matt Walker who was illegally tackled while preparing to shoot and a penalty flick was awarded despite Bedford's vociferous arguments.
Kevyn Brown stepped up and sent a sizzling flick high into the right hand corner, but instead of taking the game to Bedford the Rushmere-based side eased off slightly. The visitors came more into the game to win several short corners and equalised from one such routine when the home defence failed to clear.
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IES were playing within themselves and were too often caught in two minds when receiving the ball leading to lost possession. At half time player/manager David Taylor urged his side to wake up and take control of a game that was there for the taking.
Unfortunately his words were not heeded and it was Bedford who enjoyed the next ten minutes. With the defence at sixes and sevens, the visitors took the lead with a soft goal and they went further ahead when John Reader was unlucky to have a penalty flick awarded against him.
At 3-1 down and playing badly there seemed no way back for IES but they continued to work hard and got some reward when Fulker produced a moment of great skill in a packed Bedford circle to fire home and give them some hope.
Most of the pressure was now on the visitors nervous defence but while the home side were trying hard to get on terms their play lacked the final edge that would bring them a share of the points.
Too often their build-up play was ruined because of their poor basic skills and it was Bedford who chalked up their first win of the season while IES were left to reflect on their seventh straight league defeat, which is their worst run to date.
There is no doubting the ability of the players in the squad but they appear to lack the passion, togetherness and battling instincts of the teams that took them to their lofty league status.
Those qualities, along with a commitment to train hard and play harder, must be rediscovered if they are to halt their awful run of results and it's time for them to get back to basics.