LX ‘A’ v Ipswich

on Sunday 23rd April 

LX ‘A’ travelled to Ipswich looking to build on recent encouraging performances in the build-up to the European Cup in Bra. John Gordon’s usual exemplary planning ensured that we received a warm welcome and were royally entertained for the rest of the day.

The game itself was an excellent workout between two fairly evenly matched sides. LX certainly had the edge in the first half and operated as an effective unit from back to front. This resulted in some flowing hockey with several good chances being created but spurned. Perhaps as a result of this pressure, the Ipswich goalkeeper, who had an otherwise excellent game, miskicked a long through ball into the path of Mike Surridge who drew the keeper and passed to Peter Sharpe who fired home. The first half finished with LX in control.

In the second half Ipswich were given a boost by a guest appearance of a youthful looking Geralde (according to the programme) Wilkinson, and as the game progressed more pressure was put onto the LX defence. Nevertheless LX continued to attack down both flanks but again failed to take advantage of the opportunities created. Alan Dures had a sound game in goal and made two or three first-class saves when Ipswich were in the ascendancy. With time running out and Ade Robertson looking for ‘the first offence’, LX were perhaps rather harshly penalised by the award of a short corner. The Ipswich centre forward took full advantage by producing a powerful shot just inside the post to level the scores. There was still time for LX to respond and though they pressed hard the nearest they got to securing a win was when John Land ghosted in from the left to steer a cross narrowly past the post.

The post match warm down – ‘I bet you look forward to that!’,  shouted one spectator – was noteworthy for a comment by captain Ken Wilcock, ‘Ask yourselves whether you are fit enough to play six matches at that level in the space of a tournament’. In summary then, LX ‘A’ are making good progress but there is still much to do.

A most worthwhile game and a most enjoyable day. Thank you Ipswich and thank you John Gordon.

Team: Alan Dures; Richard Clarke, Adrian Robertson, Peter Crayford, Norman Ballard; Brian Perryman, Ken Wilcock, Mike Surridge; Peter Sharpe, John Land, Peter Ross.

Peter Sharpe