On Saturday the M1s travelled to Bedford for a 10 goal thriller, eventually leaving with a hard-earned point after a 5-5 draw.
The long journey and tough car-parking conditions may have contributed to a slower than usual start, with Bedford taking an early lead through a well-worked manoeuvre down the right-hand side.
This lead didn’t last for long however, as the boys quickly adapted to the extra bounce and unreasonably straight side-lines of Bedford HC’s pitch. A nice move in and out of the middle, found Chris Edwards and then Josh Cutting down the right-hand side. Cutts found the clinical Sam Stowe in the D who tidily finished off to tie the game at 1-1.
Bedford had clearly been up late reading up on the FIH Rules of Hockey and shortly after won a short corner courtesy of the 5 metre rule. This was converted low to Gladding’s right to return the lead to the home side.
Will Chrystal was the next scorer- a trademark long ball fizzed up from Southgate finding the Ipswich striker high up the pitch. With work still to be done, Chrystal dazzled the defenders with his cow-print socks and scored with a fantastic hit into the backboard. Within the next minute Cutts joined in on the action; a backhand shot from a tight angle giving Ipswich a 3-2 lead and silencing the Bedford crowd.
Bedford evened things up from another short corner shortly before the half time break to take things all square going into Coach Wiid’s half time team talk and the team’s Haribo sugar fix.
The second half kicked off again at a fierce tempo, with Robin Johnson, Max Macaulay and Tom Bolton all competing over which midfielder could clock up the most steps on their FitBit.
Ipswich took a 4-3 lead after Josh Fry took a moment out from chatting to all his Bedford friends to find Chrystal again with a long ball. The Ipswich striker again found a way through the Bedford defence to finish well on reverse.
As the game went on tempers began to fray, spurred on by the rowdy socially-distant crowd. A series of cards put Ipswich on the backfoot, and despite great defensive efforts from Conway, Wright and Youngman, Bedford put away two quick goals to take advantage of their extra man.
Going into the last ten the Ipswich forwards Ollie Cook and Owen Llloyd were causing serious trouble for the Bedford defence, who struggled to keep up with their hands and pace. Pete Wright was on-hand to score a classy deflection in the 62nd min, following a crash ball delivered by Southgate.
Despite a frantic last 5 and chances for Ipswich, a last minute winner eluded the team, who will be happy to come away with a point but disappointed not to have snatched a win from a good Bedford side.
MOM – Will Chrystal
DOD – Cam Lyle