A thriller at Oxford University which saw Chichester’s first XI stage a great comeback heads this week’s round-up from the local hockey scene.
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Oxford University 3 Chichester 3
South open premier division one
BOTH teams were eager to keep the pressure on leaders Brighton - and it resulted in a great tussle.
Chichester looked threatening on the attack but over-zealous play left them vulnerable to the counter-attack and Oxford took full advantage on ten minutes through a neat deflection into the goal.
Oxford made it 2-0 five minutes later when again Chichester were caught on the break. A long ball was
fired into the Chichester D and an Oxford forward was the first to react.
Chichester nearly pulled a goal back when Jack Lerwill fed Martin Gough, whose deflection went agonisingly wide.
After the break, Chichester lived up to their reputation of not knowing when they are beaten.
Within five minutes they won a penalty corner and Martin Gough picked up the rebound and lashed the ball home.
They kept the pressure on and were rewarded when neat passing between Alex Thakore and Andrew Sparshott
found Gough to fire home his second.
Oxford created little in the second half but one great chance did arise and a world-class save from Dan Godsmark kept Chichester level.
Oxford started to lose their discipline and went down to nine men for five minutes which enabled Chichester to complete the comeback when a rebound from a short corner fell to captain Richard Blakesley who slapped the ball into the goal.
Chichester pushed for a forth to make the game safe but three great chances came and went.
The inevitable happened: Oxford won a penalty corner with two minutes left and a well-worked routine ended with them levelling the score.
Brighton won elsewhere to move four points clear.
Chichester host West Hampstead at Kingsham this Saturday (1.30pm).
Chichester II 4 Epsom 3
Chichester tried to start with positive intent, especially after their disappointing loss to bottom side Southampton a week earlier.
After a stern pre-match talk from the captain, everyone was raring to go and the match began at a high tempo with both sides having early chances.
But it was the away side who took the lead against the run of play after a series of lucky deflections fooled Gotham in the Chichester goal. This determined Chichester’s resolve and after letting a couple of good chances go begging, particularly one effort from Lane-Smith,
James Lunn provided a cool finish to a good piece of work through Chichester’s right side.
The half finished with the scores level and a further rousing speech from captain Dougal got the home side pumped up for the second half.
Epsom were keen to score next to boost their play-off hopes. Chichester’s defence stood firm with brave blocks from Hayward and Beales.
This allowed Gammon to push into midfield from right-back, making several lung-bursting forays forward which provided more attacking impetus. The Chichester midfield pushed further up the pitch with several attacks from Holten, Baxter and Pendle.
The pressure told as Holten provided a finish. Chichester increased the lead with Baxter slotting home after good link-up play with Strudwick and Ellis.
Sloppy play resulted in Epsom clawing back two goals in quick succession which set up a nail-biting finish.
With five minutes to go Wallis popped up in the D to produce a smart finish to send Chichester 4-3 up. Further chances followed for both sides but the home side held on for an exhilarating win moving them up to fifth in the table.
CHICHESTER: Gotham, Gammon, Beales, Dougal, Hayward, Veltom, Wallis, Ellis, Holten, Pendle, Baxter, Lane-Smith, Strudwick, Lunn.
Chichester Friars 10 Guildford Veterans 1
This was another must win game for the Friars if they were to keep ahead of the teams chasing them in the league.
From the start, the Friars penned Guildford into their own half with relentless pressure.
By half-time the Friars had a commanding 5-1 lead.
The second half followed the same pattern with Friars running in another five goals without reply.
Bryan Lock scored another five with three from Tracey Boyce and goals from Andrew Savory and Chris Pacey.
The big win was possible only through the hard work of all the players.
Danny Jaeger and Dave Walters combined well on the left, while Andy Osborne, Trevor Andrews, Colin Smith and Dave Alexander formed a solid platform at the back.
Savory and Neil Pacey are working well together in the midfield, and Chris Pacey on the right of midfield has been putting in fantastic performances.
Up front Boyce and Lock have formed a strong partnership which has resulted in a big tally of goals for both.
Ivan Boswell has been in and out of the side but contributes a great deal with his energy and enthusiasm.
To cap a another great win, Friars’ main rivals Havant were beaten at home - setting up the game against Havant which should decide who will win the league.
Army Masters 2 Chichester Friars 5
With no league game at the weekend, this evening game in Portsmouth was a good opportunity to keep the momentum going.
From the start the Army played at a fast pace and they broke through the Friars defence to score the opener.
Poor finishing and good defensive work prevented more Army goals. The Friars eventually settled and great link-up play between the midfield and attackers led to the equaliser from Bryan Lock.
Sustained pressure from the Friars led to yet another great run into the circle by Tracey Boyce, who resisted strong challenges to slot
the ball in for the Friars to end the first half with a slender 2-1 lead.
The Army put pressure on the Friars goal early in the second half but the visitors broke to go 3-1 up. Colin Ball in goal was kept very busy, with Andy Osborne and Trevor Andrews defending well.
The Army pulled one back with a very well-taken drag flick short corner and for a while, the pressure was relentless.
In the last five minutes the Friars scored twice from breakaway moves to make the final score 5-2. The scoreline flattered the Friars but showed the team could compete against a younger and very fit team.
Chichester IV 2 Trojans IV 2
Hampshire area division four
Chichester, off the back of three consecutive wins, threatened from the start playing a wide expansive game which resulted in two quick goals from man of the match Roger Anthony.
His first followed good passing and interplay, resulting in a well-taken opportunist strike to put Chichester 1-0 ahead. His second was a simple tap-in to put Chichester 2-0 up at half-time.
The second half saw Trojans lift their game. The experience of the older Trojan players told.
Trojans were able to apply pressure and failure to clear their lines resulted in an a goal for Trojans. Chichester tried to push forward but their passing game let them down.
Trojans eventually scored their second with a simple tap-in. A draw was probably about fair.
The result drops Chichester down to seventh in the table.
Man of the match was Roger Anthony.
Chichester Under-16s 0 Lewes 6
Chichester’s newly-formed under-16s team played only their second fixture against Lewes, a well-established team.
From the start, Lewes gained possession, hassling the Chichester defence for a shot at the goal manned by Lauren Soden-Bridger.
Kirsty Grove and Megan Cliff created and applied pressure effectively, making Lewes falter and finding captain Ellie Buckley.
Fifteen minutes in, Lewes started to connect, working together while attacking, managing to slip past Chichester to net two goals.
Undeterred, Chichester continued play in the midfield, just holding Lewes at bay.
Changes in the Lewes team brought fresh legs and strength to the attack. It resulted in mistakes from Chichester, Lewes using the short corners and scoring a further two goals just before the half-time whistle.
Lewes continued to rule the possession, securing the gaps and adding a further goal.
Jess Gleeson and Emma Tyler combined to pass the ball effectively down the field, only for Lewes to score a final goal to make it 6-0 as the full-time whistle blew.
Chichester left the pitch exhausted and bruised yet not downhearted and all 18 members of the team are looking forward to their next fixture.
CHICHESTER: Megan Cliff, Kirsty Grove, Emma Tyler, Jess Gleeson, Debbie Buckley, Ellie Buckley Charlotte Binning, Lauren Soden-Bridger, Charlotte Stemp, Maizie Blight, Amy, Emily Rose, Millie Burley, Hollie Chamberlain, Jenny Horton, Rachael Trent, Olivia Watkins, Elise Bennison, Emma Bennison.
Chichester Chipmunks 0 Lewes IV 3
Sussex division three
Chichester came out second best at home to an experienced Lewes.
From the push-back, Lewes pressed and harried the home side pushing forward with intent. Skilful interchanges around the D rocked Chichester back, with last-ditch interventions from Richard Creswick and Rupert Woodruff saving them. Creswick picked up an injury to his hand for his troubles.
Lewes broke the deadlock with a drive across the back-line with the ball transferred across the goal and deftly slotted home. They extended their lead from a penalty corner.
Further chances followed for Lewes, who hit the post and then saw keeper Ben Hetherington make a fine athletic save as the ball was heading into the top corner.
Chichester started the second half more brightly with Toby Hindmarch and Jo Dannatt linking well before Lewes struck again. That was to be the final goal as Chichester’s defence held out well and the forwards were unlucky not to get a goal back following strong running by Aru Kathegesu.
Chichester continued to work hard until the final whistle and have a local derby to come this weekend against the Cardinals.
CHICHESTER: Hetherington, Creswick R, Gleeson, Stemp, Woodruff, Kathegesu, Hindmarch T, Hindmarch C, Dannatt, Troy, Creswick A, Lowther, Palmer.