IHC men's first team had a mix of youth and experience coming into the first game of the league vs Cambridge City 2s. The team featured five 1st team debutantes, 3 of which were under 18 years old, which is great news and is proving that Ipswich HC's youth development policy has started to have an impact on the first team.
After last week’s unbeaten performance in the Plum Tournament, Ipswich were hoping to win their first home game of the season. The first half was promising, after a sleepy first 5 minutes, Ipswich were showing presence in attack, with several shots on target but not reaching the back of the net. With a few new names in the team, Ipswich started nervously, but as the half progressed they gradually grew into the game. Cambridge City 2's created the first chance of the game after winning a short corner from a fast break, but this was easily dealt with by Ipswich's keeper Ben Gladding. Ipswich showed flashes of promise through some dangerous attacks and as they grew more comfortable with each other, the team started to click creating more chances and eventually took the lead after 20 minutes when Cam Lyle picked up the rebound from Tom Dunnett's Penalty Corner drag flick and placed the ball in the net. This helped settle Ipswich. With the lead established, Ipswich looked more comfortable in the second half and, despite an immense stick save from Ben Gladding, were in the main untested.
Debutante Ben Gowing showed his class and won a Plenty Flick, which is converted by Tom Dunnett with his strong and accurate flick in the top right corner make score board 2-0.
And with 1 minute of the half left Jack Devitt got his 1st Goal of the season and Ipswich’s third when he combined with Tom Dunnett to finish a superb counter attack.
Ipswich's coach Adnan Zakir said ‘ I am pleased with this 1st home game clean sheet performance, after losing 4 players before the start of the season it was very difficult for us to fit in new junior players in the Ipswich army, but I am happy they put in their 100% effort to fit in our system. I noted down the weak areas and we are going to do work this week and hoping to get 3 points from our 1st Away game against Bedford next weekend.’
Robin Johnson and Ben Gladding were named joint 'man of the match' for their efforts.