Chrystal’s strike not enough to seal victory

KEEP BALL: A Sudbury player looks to retain possession under pressure
KEEP BALL: A Sudbury player looks to retain possession under pressure
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EAST MEN’S LEAGUE

DIVISION TWO NORTH

Sudbury 1 Ipswich II 1

Sudbury slightly improved on their disappointing form before the winter break, but had to settle for a draw against their arch rivals.

Both teams started strongly, producing some quality end to end play. After testing the Ipswich keeper a few times Sudbury eventually managed to break through, with Chrystal weaving his way through the Ipswich defence and passing the ball into the goal.

Sudbury then took their foot off the pedal and Ipswich started to enjoy more of the possession. Despite an intense last few minutes Sudbury went in at half-time still ahead.

Sudbury started the second half playing their familiar fast-paced game, and a shot from Birch bounced off the mask of the Ipswich keeper, with the ball then being acrobatically struck in by Chrystal, only for the score to be disallowed.

Ipswich then produced a spell of pressure, forcing a number of short corners, with one producing the equaliser 15 minutes from time.

With the game nicely poised both teams started throwing men forward, chasing a winner. Ipswich managed to get the ball in the net, only for it to be disallowed due to their forward kicking the ball.

With minutes to go a short corner was awarded to the home side, but the drag flick was inches too high.

Sudbury’s performance was better, but still not up to scratch. Honourable mentions go to Sudbury’s stand-out players Tim Blackburn and Daniel McGuiness as they set the standard that all players will be looking to replicate in the next game.

n Sudbury Ladies travelled to Colchester in East Women’s League Division Two C, winning 2-0 in wintery conditions.

Both teams looked a little rusty, but Sudbury settled quicker, and Tracey Caddock got the ball in the net, only for the goal to be disallowed. But shortly after Abbi Taylor crossed the ball into the D where Becky Spencer slipped it past the keeper to open the scoring.

Just before the interval Sudbury extended their lead, Mandy Coleman running with the ball from defence, dribbling past players before exchanging passes with Freya Dawson and slotting home.

In the second half Colchester created a few chances, but Lizzie Anderson’s high quality goalkeeping skills, combined with a resilient defence, saw Sudbury gradually regain control of the game.

Sudbury ended the match on attack, but were unable to add to their lead in a very positive start to the second half of the season.

n Sudbury men’s II hosted Norwich Dragons II in East Men’s League Division Three North East, looking for revenge for a 9-1 defeat earlier in the season. But Dragons completed the double, winning 4-1.

The Dragons took an early lead, but Sudbury levelled through Callum Rolfe.

The second half saw Sudbury pressing again, but injuries to two players saw them reduced to 10 men. The momentum changed, and the Dragons took advantage to score three more goals.

n Sudbury Ladies II put in a strong performance against Suffolk Premier Division leaders Ipswich, but were beaten 2-0.

Goalkeeper Ele Brebner’s tireless work made her the player of the match.

n Sudbury men’s IV won 2-0 at Watton II in East Men’s League Division Seven North East.

Sudbury were always on top, with the defence snuffing out the occasional Watton threat, and they took the lead through Alastair Ward.

Sudbury made sure of the victory as Angus Marlow added a second after the break.