Sudbury draw after failing to hang on to two-goal lead

Hockey action from Sudbury Men II v Ipswich Cranes.                   FL; ANL-140911-161915009
Hockey action from Sudbury Men II v Ipswich Cranes. FL; ANL-140911-161915009
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EAST MEN’S LEAGUE DIVISION TWO NORTH: Sudbury 4 Ipswich II 4

Sudbury got off to a good start, with Will Chrystal giving them a well-deserved early lead, but Ipswich were quick to respond.

They equalised in a goalmouth scramble, taking advantage of a lack of marking. Ipswich then took the lead from a drag flicked short corner to the keeper’s left.

Keeper Chris Smith kept Sudbury’s hopes of winning alive, with a fantastic performance throughout the match, preventing Ipswich extending their lead.

The second half saw Sudbury equalise within the first few minutes, with a goal from Brendan Mayers, creatively assisted by Chrystal, who later scored Sudbury’s third.

Sudbury extended their lead to 4-2, through a well-worked short corner routine, with the finishing touch coming from Mayers at the back post, assisted by Chrystal.

The solid defence partnership of Sam Humphreys and Will Dudley kept the Ipswich forwards quiet for the majority of the second half, until Ipswich scraped a goal back from a string of short corners.

An unfortunate yellow card for Mayers saw Sudbury finish the last five minutes of the match with 10 men, with the visitors taking full advantage, and with the last hit of the game scored the final equaliser.

* In Division Three North East Sudbury II beat Ipswich Cranes 3-2. Cranes took the lead, but this was just the spur Sudbury needed, and they responded with goals from Will Edwards and Dan McGuiness to take a 2-1 interval lead.

Sam Palmer scored a third for Sudbury but Cranes hit back twice before McGuiness scored his second to claim victory for Sudbury.

* In Division Six North East, Sudbury IV lost 4-0 to Ipswich IV.

The visitors, who arrived three players short, were able to draft in players from their second team, who had played Sudbury’s first team earlier.

The midfield was well contested with Phil Bonner, Sam Beven, Will Beven and Ben Appleby all playing well, and Angus Marshall showed good skill in attack, but the difference was the finishing.

Sudbury have not scored since the opening match of the season and again they went close, but were unable to hit the target.

They were not helped by the fact that the Ipswich keeper, who was in fine form throughout, was one of the drafted-in second team players.

* On Sunday, Sudbury Under-12 Boys played at Culford School at the Suffolk Youth League tournament.

The whole squad played exceptionally well, with wins against Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds and a defeat to IES.