At the start of a tough sequence of games, Chichester will have hoped for a better result than the 3-2 reverse at home against Cambridge.
The game started well for the boys in white and they missed at least three good chances in the first ten minutes. Especially Ollie Baxter will have felt that he might have done better from his one against one with the Cambridge goalkeeper, who at this stage of the game will have been pleased with saves that kept his team in the game.
The quarter ended in a downer for Chichester, though, and the team can only hope the umpires will reflect on their decision to award Cambridge a goal when there was a clear foul when the ball crossed the line.
Being 1-0 down at the quarter point was a real dis-service to Chichester and a bitter pill to swallow. It also turned the game, and the next quarter was a much tighter affair than the first.
That said, Chichester acquitted themselves well during this phase of the game. While they gave away some territory, they limited the chances they afforded the opposition.
The third quarter was a different story again. Cambridge had found their feet, and were putting some very fast flowing moves together.
They were aided in their efforts by some poor decision making from their opposition, who – too often – conceded possession in poor positions and afforded too much space to the Cambridge men. This contributed to both the second and third goals that effectively put the game beyond Chichester’s reach.
The fourth quarter turned into the most interesting phase of the game. Chichester changed their approach and started to put the Cambridge defence under increasing pressure.
With 11 minutes to go, the team gained a foothold when Ollie Baxter put his effort past the Cambridge goalkeeper.
When Joe Budgen got his first of the campaign with six minutes to go, the team will have felt there was hope – especially when they started to win penalty corners, but with time running out.
Chichester won their final corner at the end of the game, but the Cambridge goalkeeper saved his men one last time.
Lewes III 1 Chichester Ladies II 1
Sussex Ladies’ division one
Chichester travelled to Lewes for a mid-table battle and took their biggest squad of the season. And they needed every one of them as Lewes had a younger, skilful side.
Chi had to be on top form but did struggle initially and it took until midway through the first half for them to settle. The Lewes players kept Chi on their toes but marking and communication between the defence was excellent.
Lewes got the first goal before Chichester prevented further setbacks before the interval.
In the second half Chichester had more chances but couldn’t convert. Parrott, Mundy, Hurd and Jessop worked hard in midfield backed up by Woods, Oliver-Catt and Baxter at the back.
Chi were putting more pressure on Lewes and quick ball enabled Balkyte, who found herself unmarked, to deflect the ball past the helpless Lewes keeper.
The game was end to end with both sides fighting for every ball – a great contest and a fair result.
Yateley IIIs 1 Chi Ladies IV 3
This match started evenly and at full pace from both sides but Chi started to monopolise the play and create chances.
Some lovely balls from Mandy Clark and Heidi Johnson released Rhianna Batchelor up the right wing.
Rachel Austin and Caroline Homer used the left to utilise Kelly Lilywhite.
Direction from Char O’Callaghan at the back gave Gillian Ashton and Elaine Cruttenden time to place balls up to Kim Howarth and Teresa Willway and in turn to Clark to run with the ball.
A well-timed strike from Clark and a perfectly positioned Lilywhite on the post gave Chi the lelf.
Yateley scored from a break shortly after the restart. This seemed to fire up Chi.
Homer cleared a deflected strike and O’Callaghan saved and cleared any shots on target.
At the other end, Batchelor troubled Yateley and Chi took the lead from a set play finding Lilywhite who converted.
With only a few moments left, a hit from the sidelines found Clark and Batchelor free in the Yateley half. Clark shaped to pass, but slotted it past the keeper to secure Chi’s deserved win.
Player of the match was Caroline Homer.
Chi ladies IV: O’Callaghan; Ashton; Cruttenden; Howarth; Willway; Johnson; Homer; Austin; Lilywhite; Batchelor; Clark.
Chichester’s under-12 girls’ hockey team are enjoying a successful start to their season.
With four victories out of four in their Hampshire League matches they travelled to Hurstpierpoint College on Sunday to play in the Ron Easton (West Sussex) seven-a-side festival.
Two wins and two draws in their pool games ensured qualification to play the winners of the pool.
A 2-0 victory over a strong Brighton team put them through to the final to face Horsham.
Horsham went ahead but an equaliser from a deflected Tegan Lyne shot set up an exciting finish. With two minutes left, a mazy run and brilliant cross from Lyne set up Cara Cartmell at the far post to slap the ball home.
With every girl involved in every game it was a fantastic team effort.
The girls will face the winners of the east festival to battle out for the overall trophy.
Squad - Cara Cartmell, Caitlin Wilmott, Charlotte Field, Georgina Baynes, Tegan Woods, Florence Madden, Rosie Stace, Jade Collins, Tegan Lyne and Grace Howarth.