A lot of reports. A lot. But that's a good thing, matches here, there and everywhere, Saturday and Sunday. Pub stops, skirmishes, cards, cakes, you name it, it was a packed weekend. The Men's 1s went down 1-3 in their big clash, they played well and fought hard but were lacking goals, the women's 1s took a pleasing 1-1 draw but were lacking goals! The women's and men's 2s both drew, and despite some usual suspects scoring, they could have done with 1 or 2 more. I could go on, but just read Felix's report and the Women's 5s and Men's 5s. Whilst this was all happening, Oli's 3rd XI won 14-0, yes 14-0, they now are approaching a goal difference of +100 with 8 games to go! Oli perhaps should be running a masterclass across the club. Please do take a look at the stats tables to see quite how dominant they are!
Yet despite some tough results, the spirit is pretty awesome out there at the moment and no-where more so than with our youngsters. Dave Cooper has us playing in the top top tiers (Teddington on the weekend) and we even put in an U14 2nd XI and both U12 and U11 teams this weekend. The numbers are pretty marvellous.
For now though, time for a glass of claret, sit back, enjoy your reports and bring on spring!
U16 Boys National League vs Teddington
The U16 game pushed back at 12:45 in front of good support with the boys setting out their shape well from the beginning. The ball was being transitioned well across the backline from Rhys Whiting on the right to Jakob von Borries and George Prentice, and to Austin Edwards (captain for the day) on the left. The boys displayed the benefits of hard accurate passing and width to work Teddington around and move their midfield, to then enable the passes into Freddie Beales and Ben Bastow in the middle, or the line balls to Charlie Cooper and Sam Barstow working hard to create space.
Breaking this up with some aerial attacks, although unfortunately Jakob demonstrated the occasional pitfall of this approach by putting his first aerial over his coach's head into the copse; with some wondering whether passing traffic might have been on his radar.
Teddington were struggling for cohesiveness, but occasional flashes of individual brilliance kept Ipswich on their toes. The first goal came Teddington way, after 8 minutes, with a direct drive from the Teddington captain (more to come on him later) from midfield, navigating a couple of top D tackles with some ‘accidental’ skills before scuffing a shot that left keeper Callum Warnes and nearby defenders no chance as it hopped over the line. Teddington had their tails up and got more into the game as they forced Ipswich to work hard out of defence. A turn over after 21 minutes enabled a better side entry by Teddington and, with the ball running nicely into the D, their striker scored with a solid hit to the bottom corner and, despite Ipswich bossing the game, they were 0-2 down.
Ipswich boys kept to their game plan and kept making Teddington do the hard work. 5 minutes later with Jakob exerting his influence higher up the pitch and combining well with Aidan Douse at left midfield, Ipswich won their 3rd PC of the game. It was time to work the B side entry. George controlled the ball, pulling the defence out to the 23 before feeding back to injector Rhys to cross for Jakob to slam home.
The boys kept pressing with a few great 1 on 1 chances to bring things level but half time came to Teddington’s rescue. 2 D entries and 2 goals had Teddington ahead 1-2 at half time.
The second half saw Ipswich come out in aggressive manner. Unfortunately being turned over as they drove down the left-hand side enabled the Teddington right wing to drive to our by line and cross for an unfortunate Ipswich stick to deflect the ball home, 1-3 to Teddington. Ipswich stuck to their guns and started to dominate Teddington across the pitch, the ball being played brilliantly around to create space and Dan Ingram, Harry Mercer and Benji Brooks working hard to apply pressure across the pitch. Both flanks were bringing rewards for the home team, Dylan Jarvis getting rewards for his in-to-out runs down the right, but it was a drive down the left from Austin and a sharp reverse stick cross that opened up the defence for Harry, at second attempt, to drive into the top left corner from the P spot. 2-3 and Ipswich were back in the game, still dominating and working well. The pressure was telling on the Teddington team with Charlie Buchanan getting into his stride and driving at the visitors, the penalty corners were mounting. While not always getting the rub of the green (aka the whistle) Ipswich kept their heads while the Teddington captain couldn’t. Back chat at a short corned brought out the green card for their captain (#6). More pressure a few minutes later and again the Teddington #6 was at the umpire, this time receiving a yellow card before some unsavoury accusations that left him lucky to be returning to the pitch 5 minutes later.
Teddington continued to use individual skill to cause trouble and won another penalty corner with just over 5 minutes remaining. A well saved effort and a couple of retakes later, a shot was fired in, to be saved again but this time it fell to the Teddington striker with time and space to slot it home. Undeterred, Ipswich pressed on and in the final minute won another penalty corner. This time the left slip created space for Jakob to find Freddie at the left post and a sharp deflection made it 3-4 at the final whistle.
In the end a dominant display from Ipswich but 2 or 3 defensive slips undid the good work. With a number of boys remaining U16 next year the future looks bright as they are already showing how they can more than compete with the best U16s in the country.
Next week it’s a trip to Buckingham with the chance to get back to winning ways.
U14 Boys 2nd XI vs Dragons U14 1st XI
Dragons proved to be a physical side, and on a couple of occasions would have been down players if we'd been at home. Duncan had plenty to do in our goal and was only beaten by the ball being passed around him (having played for our Men's 3s yesterday without having to make a save).Torin was busy in defence and stopped many Dragon attacks with strong tackles and wise passing, with James alongside him intercepting well. As the game progressed and Ipswich began to gel more Annabel and Elias made a good team in the middle; chasing back, tackling and distributing well. In the last quarter with Maisie and Hugo on the midfield flanks we were testing the Dragon defence with Summer and Amelia linking well up front.This brought our goal as a well worked move down the right was saved but Maisie collected the rebound and got the ball to Elias who found room to shoot from the top finding Amelia on the right post to deflect it past the keeper into the goal. A fantastic well deserved reward for all the hard work done before.
After the final whistle a 7 each shuffle competition was played. Summer stepped up first and surprised the dragon keeper with a beautifully timed straight strike from an inch inside the D perfectly aimed just inside the right post. As it turned out the keepers kept the rest of the shuffles out including Duncan saving a flick! A similar penalty flick competition saw a couple more goals and many saves although both keepers scored past each other!Thank you to all for travelling and working hard, I hope you all enjoyed it. Special thanks go to Annabel, Amelia, Maisie and Summer for helping out and fitting in so well.
The U12s travelled to Pelicans for their latest festival. They started sluggishly against Pelicans to fins themselves 1-0 down at half time. After the half they found their rhythm and started passing the ball better. Sam's neat deflection from Alex's pass drew Ipswich level and they then pressed for a winner. After a flowing move down the left Finley's square ball found Otto who's first time strike hit the corner to secure a 2-1 win.
The 2nd game against Blueharts was completely dominated by Ipswich. Henry mopped up any attacks and William linked well with Alex through the midfield to supply the forwards. Otto and Ollie finished off good moves at the posts before Alex rifled in another.
Unfortunatly Finley got a stick to the head leaving us without him and leader JC part way through the 2nd half. The game finishing 4-0 to Ipswich.
The last game against Cambridge started very well with Ipswich on top and having quite a few circle entries. Just before half time Cambridge broke away earning a corner, where the straight strike was unfortunately deflected off our number 1 runner into the top corner leaving Archie helpless in goal. Another corner after half time put Cambridge 2-0 up. We drew 1 back after good interplay and Alex broke through the defence and crossed to Oli who tapped in at the far post - 2-1. Another short from Cambridge made the final score 3-1.
After every game the boys had a set of shuffles for practice. Drawing 2 and beating Cambridge in these was a great achievement and Archie excelled in goal making countless saves.
A very very junior team headed to OBH for a tournament on Saturday under the leadership of Aidan Douse; the boys were up against giants but acquitted themselves well and had a very good day out. They will have learned so much and they'll be back for more!
Women’s 1st XI D1-1
Ipswich Ladies 1s kickstarted their second half of the season with how it started. Horsham travelled to TR with vengeance after Ipswich took 3 points against them at their first meeting.
Ipswich got to off a bit of slow start with Horsham taking the upper ground and putting the pressure on the home side. Not long and Horsham win their first and only corner of the game. Chance of a goal was denied by GK Ali Barham and her PCD team. After the first quarter whistle went, Ipswich glad to hear it to and hit the restart button.
Second quarter, Ipswich stepped it up and started to execute the game plan well. Working the ball up the pitch with excellent play through the lines. Kat Blake and Emma Logan kept their composure as they distributed well. A mention also going to the welcomed back with open arms, India Goodman and her now-called hockey twin, Maddie Wagland, working very well together along the midfield line. With the applied pressure, Ipswich win a penalty corner. With such a close own goal, a re-award give them another. The ball crossed the line but no goal given as too high.
A goalless half and Ipswich, being in this situation before, needed to pick the right path. Third quarter starts, Ipswich maintain good position and gave the forwards plenty of chances but the ball being inches out of reach, close but no cigar. A few scrappy minutes and positional error, Horsham go a goal ahead.
A big final quarter for Ipswich to pull off a victory here. Ipswich still keeping the higher percentage of possession throughout the game. 5th gear was then found and PTOM, Poppy Dring-Richardson made a brilliant carry, eliminating multiple players and scoring a cracker of a reverse hit. Ipswich equalise. 1-1.
Less than 5 minutes of play left and speedy forward, Georgia Harrold, wins Ipswich their final chance of a goal scoring opportunity. The shot fired from Captain Lucy Dunnett’s stick was great but this time the save was better.
The game finished 1-1 and so 1 point for each team. Although disappointing to not claim the 3 points, the girls performance was highly commendable. The stat of the week is back... 100% of PCD saved.
Next weekend, Ipswich travel to their closest away game, Old Loughts. Some unfinished business to be resolved after their last meeting ended a 2-2 draw. Can Ipswich upgrade 1 point to 3 points?
Women’s 2nd XI D1-1 – no report
Women’s 3rd XI L0-4 – no report
Women’s 4th XI L2-6
I’m still not quite sure how we managed to lose this game quite so heavily; like Man City we dominated possession and shots on target but somehow allowed Harleston Magpies to score 6 goals from their 5 attacks while at the same time wondering which of Harry Potter’s spells was used by the young Magpie keeper who had a blinder.
Within 30 seconds of the push back Emily had managed to run past the defender and isolated the keeper but alas neither Polly, Summer or Allie could force the ball over the line. In what was a portent of events to come Magpies broke free and the fleet-footed forward slipped the ball past Isla in goal. So from a certain goal we found ourselves 1-0 down. We attacked again, they scored again. Once more we got into a fantastic scoring position, only to find 30 seconds later we were 3-0 down! This caused the coach to tear out what was left of his hair with only Vicky’s ‘positive thoughts’ advice stopping a full scale tantrum. I’m not sure anyone was at fault – it was just one of those games where we did everything but score and they did nothing but score. Eventually Allie turned and swivelled to score a much deserved goal; no sooner did I think we were back into the game then Magpies scored another making it 4-1 at half time.
Searching my lexicon for good advice on goal scoring (I was a forward at Prep School in 1984) we agreed to press higher, to raise the intensity and to stop allowing them time on the ball in the second half. Yes you guessed it – we attacked, attacked and attacked some more and then they scored. Allie pulled one back with what can only described as a ‘scrappy’ finish (imagine a floundering fish having an epileptic fit holding a hockey stick, then shovelling the ball into the goal) before they scored again from their second attack of the half. Chele went up front and did her best impression of Allie’s second goal but somehow the ball stayed out of the net, then Polly, Lou, Emily, Phoebe and Harry all had goal bound shots saved. Young Summer DR (on a very assured debut) led the attack on the charmed Magpies goal but to no avail – with even the defender wondering how she hadn’t scored.
There was one highlight though. Phoebe’s father (who has provided wonderful support and help all season) almost got himself sent off, then almost got his daughter sent off with a few choice pieces of advice to the umpire. I hope the ‘Where’s Wally’ outfit fits nice and snugly Mike!
Back to the drawing board. Any advice Wardy?
Women’s 5th XI D1-1
We played Felixstowe 3s on a gorgeous and sunny afternoon. It was with great disappointment that we watched as their 1s’ GK stayed in the pitch for our match - and she was incredible. What should have been a 10-1 to us victory was kept to 1-1 draw through many an epic save. All the team played brilliantly - so lovely to have some fresh young legs from IzzyG and Millie. Sadly there was a bitter taste to the match as a supporter decided to verbally bully one of our young players - terrible, terrible behaviour that has, of course, been reported. So as not to end my report on a a bad note we did unusually declare Clare B player of the match..she ran her socks off and defended beautifully! Equally brilliant was Millie’s stunning goal in the first half!
Men’s 1st XI L1-3
In a highly anticipated encounter, Ipswich and Brom Becks clashed in a thrilling match that showcased intense competition and skill on both sides. The contest began with both teams displaying high intensity and determination from the starting whistle. The first half saw both teams creating numerous chances, with end-to-end action keeping the spectators on the edge of their seats. However, it was Brom Becks who managed to break the deadlock, capitalizing on one of their few circle entries. A well-executed short corner saw them take the lead, putting Ipswich on the back foot.Undeterred by the setback, Ipswich continued to push forward and had their fair share of opportunities inside the opposition's circle.
The Ipswich attackers showcased their skills, testing the Brom Becks defence with “lazerballs” passes from the Ipswich backline Southgate, Wiid and Fry, reaching the Ipswich forward line’s dynamic movement. Despite their efforts, the equalizer remained elusive, despite Ipswich attaining multiple short corners. Brom Becks defended resolutely, with Ipswich ‘s short corner attempts being charged down, saved off the line and a couple of outstanding saves by the keeper. As the second half unfolded, Ipswich intensified their efforts to level the score. The midfield battle became a focal point, with both teams fighting for control and possession. There was a period of play in the third quarter when the game got a bit scrappy, with Cutting and Ricoux enjoying a couple of minutes break on the side of the pitch courtesy of bad tackles and subsequent green cards, which put the pressure on the Ipswich defence.
Ipswich created several goal-scoring opportunities, with their attackers showing creativity and determination. However, the Brom Becks defence held firm, denying Ipswich the breakthrough they sought. Both teams eventually managed to get one up on the other, for Ipswich Wiid, converted a Penalty Flick, but this levelling of the scores was short lived as Bromley won and converted another short corner. In the closing stages of the match, Ipswich threw everything into attack, desperate to salvage a point from the encounter. This did not go to plan and Bromley once again fired another short corner in to the Ipswich goal. Ultimately, it was Brom Becks who emerged victorious, securing the three points. Ipswich, while showcasing commendable attacking prowess, will reflect on the missed opportunities in the opposition's circle (a common theme for this year). Ipswich can’t fault the teams passion and determination to give it everything they have right until the end, and they will look to apply themselves in training and look forward to their next match . It's a matter of fine-tuning the details and converting the chances created on the field.
Men’s 2nd XI D2-2
In their latest away fixture, Ipswich's 2nd Team faced off against Cambridge South, looking to amend a previous 3-0 home loss. From the opening whistle, Ipswich demonstrated determination, immediately applying pressure and earning early short corners. As predictable as the sunrise, Wardy capitalized from a short corner with a precise strike from the top of the D, giving Ipswich the early lead at 1-0.The match unfolded as a relentless back-and-forth affair, with Ipswich's 2nd Team maintaining a significant possession advantage and executing seamless transfers around the back. Dispelling the notion that old dogs can't learn new tricks, Windy pulled out an aerial pass across the opposition's D to Aiden.Despite Ipswich's dominance, Cambridge South managed to level the score with two scrappy short-corner goals, flanking a brace from Wardy, via a deflection through the keeper's legs from Josh TG's powerful hit.A momentary lapse occurred as midfielder Elliot's swing and miss were softened only by a wide flick from RB Aiden during an opportunity from the penalty spot. It seemed fire wood was needed to stoke Elliot’s fire after he chopped down on an opponents stick like a true lumberjack leading to a card 5 minutes later. In the final minutes, Paddy earned a yellow card following a Superman-Esque dive at an opponent's legs. Despite being a player down, Ipswich continued pressing, and although the match ended in a 2-2 draw, they maintained control until the last moments, just lacking a final chance to seal the victory. The Ipswich 2nd Team's resilient performance leaves them poised for future success against yet another Cambridge team at home this time.
A big shoutout has to go to 15 year old Callum who was amazing in goal and really stepped up. Although admittedly nervous he did himself proud getting MOM.
Men’s 3rd XI W14-0
A brief report this week to highlight a match that Norwich kept in sportingly good spirits while being put to the sword. Lots of good runs and passes with most goals coming from well worked moves to beat the keeper. The Norwich keeper was very good indeed and saved most straight forward shots forcing us to work the ball around him.Motm Greg grabbed four goals with Adam E and Sam getting a brace each, Adam F an overhead smash, Charlie, Martin, Tom, Storm and Sam shared the rest with one each.Dod was a quiet affair this week with only minor nominations, Dave clinched it (although tee'd up by Oli) for tieing himself in knots dealing with a spinning pass across the pitch.Our thanks also go to Duncan, stepping up from the U14s to play his first senior match, although he only got to make any saves in the warm up (it's not normally like this!).
Men’s 4th XI Match postponed
Men’s 5th XI L0-4
Ipswich 5’s Entertained A very strong Harleston Magpies team at Tuddenham Road on Saturday. The 5’s welcomed back Fred Packham and Torin Maynard who had been sidelined with long term injuries. Toby Tacon was also making his full senior Debut.
The score was 0-0 at half time with chances either end and a sustained period of Harleston pressure at the end of the half with Ipswich holding their own. The second half provided 4 goals in quick succession for Harlston. Not really justified and more from Ipswich giving the ball away to the opposition. By no means a 4-0 match.
The game however had some positives with a cracking display from Jon Noble at Centre Midfield (my MOTM) and Toby T, Fred and Torin having a full match under their belts in readiness for next week’s match…. away to top of the table Felixstowe 3’s. Better get that Bus ordered!!
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