CHICHESTER beat Eastbourne 7-1 for the second time this season in South Open Premier division one to set up their first-versus-second clash at Spencer this Saturday.
On a fresh winter’s day Chichester felt they’d be up against a side who had improved since their early-season meeting.
Chichester started with purpose and passed the ball around with intent - and were soon 1-0 up. Great work down the left by Kieran Henn, Tom Phillips and Matt Cox opened up the space for Andrew Sparshott to pass the ball around the goalkeeper for Ollie Baxter to slot the ball home.
It was soon 2-0 when Sparshott broke down the left, beating a defender before rounding the keeper to fire the ball into the goal.
Chichester continued to dictate the play and Cox made it three from the penalty spot when Ollie Robinson was bought down by the last defender.
The hosts pressed for a fourth before half-time and Cox doubled his tally with a well-taken penalty corner.
Chichester came out for the second half eager to press on but with Eastbourne chasing and pressing for every ball, Chichester started to make basic errors.
Despite this, Chichester scored a fifth through Baxter. Good work through midfield enabled Cox and Ben Woodruff to link up well before finding Baxter in space and he slotted home his 14th of the season.
Eastbourne pulled a goal back from the penalty spot when Chichester gave away easy possession, leaving Chichester goalkeeper Dan Godsmark stranded. Despite taking the ball he was harshly penalised for bringing down the Eastbourne forward and the penalty made it 5-1.
Chichester netted a sixth when Cox completed his hat-trick by reverse-striking the ball into the bottom corner after a mazy run.
A seventh came from the penalty spot when Baxter was bought down while shooting, and Cox got his fourth of the game.
Chichester were pleased with the scoreline and the three points but know they must improve their ball retention.
With leaders Spencer losing, the gap at the top is down to two points - and Chichester travel to Spencer on Saturday.
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Crowborough Ladies 5 Chichester Centurions 5
Sussex Ladies’ League division one
This was a fast-paced game from the start but after ten minutes, Crowborough converted a short corner to go ahead. Shortly afterwards another goal struck from the edge of the D increased their lead.
Centurions regrouped and a combination of precise passing resulted in Anna Bevan slotting the ball past the keeper. Bevan equalised when she pounced on the ball to convert a short corner.
Crowborough were quick to react but Louise Harris and Dawn Brooker intercepted many attacking runs successfully, while Centurions defenders stopped several Crowborough shots on goal.
Louise Thew supplied Bevan with a lovely pass which Bevan lifted over the keeper to complete a hat-trick. Thew supplied Centurions’ fourth when she converted a penalty stroke shortly before the end of the first half.
Within minutes of the second half, Claire Mealing gave Thew the ball and her scorching strike put Centurions 5-2 ahead.
Crowborough upped their possession levels and scored two well-struck goals.
The Centurions defence were pounded for the majority of the final 15 minutes. Despite successfully defending numerous shots and four short corners, Centurions were unable to block a Crowborough equaliser shortly before the final whistle.
CENTURIONS: Lucy Sarson, Vicki Wake, Louise Thew, Claire Mealing, Nicki Edge, Nicki Williams, Debbie Brown, Dawn Brooker, Louise Hurford, Louise Harris, Pat Simmonds, Anna Bevan.
Chichester PP Ladies 0 Brighton & Hove III 2
With a very different side this week, Chichester were always going to find B&H tricky opposition.
Chichester started promisingly and had the upper hand in the first ten minutes.
B&H were quick to break and gave the Chi defence problems. The pressure told and the opposition went 1-0 up.
After the restart Brighton caught Chi on the hop and scored an early goal, which meant Chi were always on the back foot.
Some mistakes were made but this did not lead to any more goals.
There was also some great tackling and passing moves and give it a few more weeks for the team to gel there is great optimism for the coming seasons
CHI PP: Ruth Duckers, Mel Reeves, Mel Howarth, Lottie Greenlees, Alice Shoebridge, Hollie Gyles, Holly Govey, Tracy Austin, Emma Hunt, Tina Keartland, Emma Bain, Emma T.
Sussex Open League division two
University of Chichester 2 Eastbourne IV 3
The University were looking for a good start to the 2014 season, but because of late starting term dates, they had only nine players.
UoC kept the pressure up for the majority of the first half, with solid passing and movement.
Alex Bolton, who won the man-of-the-match award, combined a fantastic run with great stick skill to score in the first half.
Eastbourne stepped up their attack and came together for a few moments of superb passing and skill which resulted in an equaliser.
However, UoC were determined to push on and a strong pass led to Dan Elliot claiming their second.
Injury slowed down Nathan Morgan after a breakaway attack from Eastbourne, but Morgan rallied and kept up a solid defensive game with numerous well-timed tackles.
UoC’s handicap of being two men down started to show towards the end of the game with Eastbourne netting twice to bring the score to 3-2 to Eastbourne.
UoC look forward to having a full team this week against South Saxon II.
UoC: Harry Finn, Ross Williams, Dan Elliot, Alex Bolton, Andrew Kibblewhite, Sean MacEnri, Jamie Cashman, Freddie Ashton-Colbert, Nathan Morgan.