CHICHESTER can look forward to a national Hockey Cup quarter-final against local rivals Havant after winning a thrilling last-16 tie against Hampstead and Westminster 4-3 at Kingsham.
The London side are fifth in the premier league and had drawn with top-of-the-league Holcombe the day before having led until the last minute.
For Chichester this was a big chance to see how they matched up against premier-league opposition.
Despite both teams’ fatigue from competitive games the previous day, the game started at a fast pace and it was clear both teams were out to play and win.
Chichester started the strongest and were rewarded early on when Luke Emmett picked an opposition aerial ball, drove at pace then passed to Martin Gough. His shot was saved but Emmett’s determination earned him the rebound and the first goal of the game.
Hampstead levelled through some well-worked attacking play and a clinical penalty corner routine.
The game continued with many chances at either end and some free-flowing attacking hockey, but it was Chichester who took the lead again with club stalwart Andrew Sparshott exposing a defensive weakness and being clattered to earn a penalty stroke.
Gough sent the keeper the wrong way to restore Chichester’s lead.
Again, Hampstead responded well with good attacking threat and levelled it at 2-2 through a well-worked set-piece.
The game continued to open up with both sides getting chances to go ahead, but Chichester took the lead for the third time through a punishing drag flick from Ben Palmer.
Chichester were on the brink of beating a premier-league team to go through to the quarter-finals with little more than ten minutes left.
Then disaster struck as a strong strike inside the D saw Hampstead get a bit of fortune with a defensive mis-trap deflecting past the Chichester goalkeeper to level the scoreline once again.
With six goals in the game already, and approaching completing two games in a weekend, this was now a battle of determination and desire.
Both teams had chances but it was Chichester’s Tom McCarthy who got the winning goal, a reverse stick strike from the baseline that left everyone stunned and elated in equal measure.
Chichester will host Havant on Sunday, February 7. Save the date, as it’s sure to be a great game.
CHICHESTER: Pacanowski, Brook, Thakore, Sewell, Palmer, Henn (C), Lerwill, Cox, Emmett, Epple, Roth, Sparshott, Gough, Baxter, Broadhurst, McCarthy.
Chichester 2 Exeter University 3
National League Conference West
POSSESSION and chances counted for nothing for Chichester as they ended on the losing side to their west-country visitors.
From the first whistle the game was fast-paced and attacking, with both teams looking to establish an early lead. Great defending by both teams and some wonderful saves by Maciej Pacanowski kept it goalless.
Chichester opened the scoring with a brilliant aerial pass from Kieran Henn to Matt Cox, who picked it perfectly and delivered a great pass to Ollie Baxter, who had made space to calmly flick it past the Exeter keeper.
Exeter responded by attacking well and won a number of short corners, most of which the Chichester defensive-corner team of Dan Brook, Matt Sewell, Alex Thakore, Cox and Pacanowski kept out.
Unfortunately one was converted and another led to a penalty stroke which was also converted leading to Exeter taking the lead going in to half-time.
The second half started with Chichester exerting dominance, leading to Martin Gough repeating last week’s finishing by expertly deflecting the ball in to the top corner following a penetrating pass from Cox.
The rest of the second half was very one-sided with Chichester maintaining possession in the Exeter half but unable to get the winner.
Exeter captilised on Chichester’s naivety and counter-attacked to get the winning goal in the last minute.
This was a frustrating result for Chichester, given their possession and chances. All teams have now played each other in the league and Chichester play two more league fixtures before the Christmas break, hoping for results to match the team’s effort and performances.
CHICHESTER: Pacanowski, Brook, Thakore, Sewell, Palmer, Henn, Lerwill, Cox, Emmett, L Gibbons, C Gibbons, Sparshott, Gough, Baxter, Broadhurst, McCarthy.
Southwick 6 Chichester PP Ladies 6
On a very wet and windy Saturday morning, Chichester travelled to Portslade for a real thriller.
Chi started poorly and with a slightly different line-up and Southwick took the lead inside two minutes, though there appeared to be a Southwick foot to help the ball into the Chi goal.
Chichester tried to rally but soon the home side were two up. Things didn’t improve and Southwick got their third, again helped by a decision that should have gone Chichester’s way.
Then Chi pushed forward through Gray and constructive play between Emily Nixon and Sarah Jessop gave Jessop her first goal. A similar pattern of play gave Jessop her second.
Chichester were determined to make their own lives difficult and handed them their fourth just before half-time.
Merryn Young at the back made crucial tackles and interceptions.
Chichester came out in the second half with more purpose and were soon rewarded with a great strike from Nixon.
Chi looked to build their play from the back through Jenny Horton on the right and Georgia Welch and Emma Bennison on the left, which pushed everyone forward, and Rachael Trent had great runs down the left, cutting in and giving Chi opportunities to improve their score.
Jenna Greenaway and Jessop were able to put the home side under pressure. From a penalty corner Greenaway struck from the top of the circle.
Southwick were pilling on the pressure and had a fast break which left Claire Young in goal vulnerable and eventually they scored. Soon after with excellent work from player of the match Juliannae Doherty down the right led to Nixon setting up Jessop for her hat-trick.
Southwick had several penalty corners, one of which was saved brilliantly by Horton, but they did score from a penalty corner that went through Tracy Austin’s legs at the near post.
Nixon scored the equaliser and Chichester hung on for a well deserved point.
CHICHESTER: Claire Young, Tracy Austin, Georgia Welch, Rachael Trent, Jenny Horton, Merryn Young, Harriet Gray, Sarah Jessop, Jenna Greenaway, Juliannae Doherty, Emily Nixon, Emma Bennison.
Chichester Ladies 4th 2 Eastbourne Ladies 3rds 7
Chichester had a good mix of experience and youth against the league leaders as thegame started in a break between downpours.
Chichester marked well and taking advantage of a break, with a precise one-two, took a deserved lead, with an excellent goal from Whittington.
Eastbourne hit back hard with an equaliser but before half-time, Smith scored a second goal for Chichester with a cross from right-winger Dale, which Smith kept under control at the left-hand post for an excellent goal.
With quick breaks form Eastbourne, by half-time the score was 4-2 to Eastbourne.
Chichester showed some good passes, neat attacks and solid defending. But Eastbourne were the stronger side and scored three more times.
Chichester Canons 3 Crowborough 1
Chichester Canons got the better of Crowborough on a wet and windy day.
Crowborough started on the front foot but Chichester defended strongly, with numerous shots testing Young to the limit.
Chichester fought hard and Rose’s top-of-the-D strike put Chichester in front. Chichester increased their lead through Keys.
After half time Crowborough pulled one back, but Chichester sealed the win when Turner hit their third goal.
Lewes 6 Chichester Canons 1
In dreadful weather at Portslade, the Canons lost 6-1 – but the scoreline did not reflect the pressure Chichester applied.
They conceded four before the interval but dug in well in the second half.
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