Hockey: Chichester ladies close in on top spot

Chi ladies in recent action against East Grinstead / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Chi ladies in recent action against East Grinstead / Picture by Kate Shemilt

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Chichester’s ladies’ first team are on a fine run of form - but their male counterparts had a setback when they took on south-coast rivals Fareham.

Below are the latest reports - get involved in our hockey coverage when local league resume after the festive break by sending your reports and team pictures to steve.bone@chiobserver.co.uk

Chichester 5 South Saxons 1

South Saxons are new to the Sussex Premier Division, so this was a new ball game for the Chi girls – but one they got to grips with quickly.

They went into the game with confidence and the first half was end-to-end, nail-biting stuff. A crowd of around 30 Chichester supporters saw the hosts enjoy around 80 per cent of the possession, but solid defence from Saxons meant at half-time it was 0-0.

In the second half Patti Hyla shone on the left wing with support from Demelza Peake and Amy Chaplin – and Hyla finished off a reverse shot through the keeper’s legs to make it 1-0.

A straight strike from Hyla brought the fourth and the last play of the game saw Goring push the ball past the tired defence for number five.

After a turned-over short corner, Saxons made a break and a well-worked corner made it 1-1.

Chichester’s fitness got the better of Saxons and Lottie Greenlees played the ball back to Meg Goring, who spotted Verena Sambel on the top of the D. Peake received the ball around the baseline and dribbled past three defenders and past the keeper for a 2-1 lead.

Natty Halliday, Livie Knight, Mirrian Sparshott and Meg Hattemore passed nicely around the back and Steph Kalber continued to shine in goal. Jess Gleeson worked hard to wear her defender out and Hyla made it 3-1.

A straight strike from Hyla brought the fourth and the last play of the game saw Goring push the ball past the tired defence for number five.

Chichester are now only three points behind leaders Brighton, who they visit this weekend.

Chichester: Goring, Sambel, Hyla, Chaplin, Halliday, Knight, Hattemore, Healey, Sparshott, Kalber, Greenlees, Peake, Gleeson.

Chichester 0 Fareham 3

Conference West

Chichester had a chance to put behind them a poor performance from the previous week. A performance and points against Fareham would ensure a solid position in the league at the Christmas break.

But this is league hockey and things don’t always go to plan. Chichester started brightly and controlled the first 20 minutes.

This allowed them to get the ball in and around the circle and eventually they beat the Fareham keeper but it was adjudged to have hit a Chichester foot and was disallowed.

Fareham got an opportunity waltz into the D and James Seager unleashed a shot which gave the Chichester keeper very little chance.

The second half could have gone either way but ill discipline meant not enough pressure was put on Fareham and they were able to create numerous chances.

Fareham found them 3-0 up with 20 minutes to go as Scott Rawlings and Seager again were on target.

Chichester’s hunger grew and although they came back into it they were unable to break through. Chichester left the pitch deflated with hard work needed over the Christmas break.

The Chi players thanked loyal supporters who stand on the sidelines every week.

Bognor Town Ladies 0 Chichester Ladies 2nds 3

Chichester got back to winning ways at a crucial time. They needed the points and a boost in morale - and got both.

Chi had a strong side and should have dominated the home side from the start but confidence was still not high and they took a while to settle. Little mistakes were occurring all over the pitch and Chi couldn’t seem to string many passes together.

But they kept applying the pressure and were soon rewarded with a penalty corner. From this they scored – as the ball was struck in by Sarah Jessop, Rachel Trent popped up at the far post and guided it in.

After this Chi had their tails up and had the majority of the play. Soon Maddy Wright broke through, dribbled into the Bognor circle and struck the ball sweetly in past the goalie.

In the second half Chi sdidn’t take advantage of their pressure but still dominated the play. Claire Young in goal was rarely troubled. Chichester should have scored more but the Bognor defence held firm until a quickly-taken free hit was taken, catching the home side on the hop, and Trent got her second, slipping the ball under the diving keeper.

Chichester: Claire Young, Tracy Austin, Vicky Oliver-Catt, Jenna Greenway, Charlotte Stemp , Harriet Gray, Sarah Jessop, Rachel Trent, Alex Hurd, Charlotte Binning, Maddy Wright, Nat Spencer.

Chichester Ladies 3rds 2 Hailsham Ladies 2nds 0

Hailsham were able to field only nine players and Chichester used this to their advantage.

A lot of the possession was held by Chichester in Hailsham’s half. Countless shots rained in but were saved by the goalie.

After a short corner was given, Katie Rose secured Chichester’s first. The second half was similar with lots of shots on goal taken by Kath Mundy and Kayleigh Carter.

Eventually Rose converted her second to make it 2-0.

Chichester: B Stemp, C O’Callaghan, E Cruttenden, K Carter, M Maddison, E Tyler, L Sodden-Bridger, K Rose, E Bennison, M Burley, K Mundy, K Hanaway, C Eddis.

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