This week we turn the focus on the ladies as Chichester’s first and second teams go head to head at Kingsham.
Chichester PP Ladies II 1 Chichester PP Ladies 3
It’s rare for two teams from the same club to play each other in a competitive league match - but that’s what happened at Kingsham on Saturday.
There was a sense of anticipation and nervousness from both sides.
The first team are top of the league and should get promotion this season, while the seconds began the day in third place. But for the majority of the game, there was little between them.
The first XI put pressure on the twos from the start, passing the ball around the back and trying to break into the ‘home’ side’s half. The second team worked hard to keep them out and marked them well.
Fifteen minutes in, the firsts scored an excellent shot into the top corner.
This spurred on the twos and they played out of their skins. The seconds got into the attacking D and were awarded a penalty corner. Sarah Jessop struck the first and second shot and Sarah Pack followed up the rebound and shot home for the equaliser.
In the second half, the seconds were forced into some zone defending and, when needed, man-to-man marking. The pressure told when the firsts were given a penalty corner from which they scored.
The seconds’ passing and effort increased and the first team were rattled and found it hard to break down the twos’ defences. This was by far the seconds best game of the season and had they had played like this in other games, they would have won more matches.
As players tired, the firsts scored a third, again from a penalty corner, a shot into the corner.
Ruth Duckers in goal was fantastic and but for her, it could have been more. Even though this was a defeat for the second team, they could hold their heads high.
CHI II: Ruth Duckers, Mel Howarth, Mel Reeves, Mandy Armstrong, Tracy Austin, Tina Keartland, Sarah Jessop, Sarah Pack, Kim Howarth, Nadine Leifting, Jas Resnik.
Chichester 9 Staines 0
South Open Premier division one
Chichester were full of confidence after their gutsy performance the week before as they welcomed a Staines team trying to claw themselves higher than mid-table.
The hosts started very well with a crisp and sharp air to their game. Staines set up, as predicted, with a very deep defensive position to try to congest the attacking areas. However, patience at the back, the creativity through the midfield and the endless running up front would have broken down any defence.
Chichester were awarded a penalty flick which was duly put away by Matt Cox. This opened the floodgates in what was Chichester most destructive opening 20 minutes of the season.
The second was scored by Oli Baxter, latching on to a cross after a strong run down the left by Tom Phillips. Cox soon doubled his tally for the day with a fine solo effort, meandering back and forth round a number of defenders before slotting the ball home.
Ollie Robinson got in on the act by finding a pocket of space in the middle of the D before clinically passing the keeper. The last ten minutes of the half saw the tempo of the game drop but Chichester were only recharging.
The fifth goal was dispatched by captain Jack Lerwill after a lovely move. Baxter showed his cool head with a fine strike past the despairing Staines keeper.
Staines did battle until the end and made sure every goal Chichester scored was well created. The seventh came as a result of a short corner as Alex Thakore, who’d been dominant, deflected Robinson’s pass in.
The only thing left was for Baxter to secure his hat-trick and he had Lerwill to thank for his hard work down the right to gift-wrap his third.
This was a very strong performance all over the pitch and a hard-earned clean sheet, the first of the season, to cap a majestic display. This week CHICHESTER: Dan Godsmark, Luke Matthews, Kieran Henn, Jason Collins, Dan Brook, Jack Lerwill, Alex Thakore, Matthew Cox, Tom Phillips, Bejay Ranger, Ollie Baxter, Ollie Robinson, Andrew Sparshott.
Chichester Centurions 1 Worthing II 7
Ladies’ Sussex League division one
Despite the disappointing score, Centurions had a lot of possession and played some good hockey - but were unable to convert it into goals.
Worthing made several fast breaks but two shots on goal were saved. They kept pressing and scored after 20 minutes. Centurions responded positively and began to pass the ball around with more precision.
Another Worthing attack resulted in a short corner which Dawn Brooker intercepted before racing away to set up Centurions’ solitary goal of the match.
Holly Slater received the ball and tipped it to Claire Mealing, who delivered it to Louise Thew. She faced the keeper with confidence and slipped the ball in.
Centurions had several further shots on goal but were just wide of the mark. Worthing were awarded two more short corners which were blocked but a strike at the top of the D slipped in to put Worthing ahead just before half-time.
In a short space of time, Worthing increased their lead with two rebounded shots. Centurions kept pressing but saw shots were blocked or go wide.
Kerry Eames battled to keep possession and beat three players but Centurions could not find the net.
Worthing managed three further goals from quick breaks put skilfully past the goalkeeper.
Shortly before the final whistle Mealing gave Thew a lovely, clean pass but Thew’s shot glanced off the post.
Team: – L Thew, H Sleet, D Brooker, N Edge, V Wake, L Hurford, D Brown, P Simmonds, K Eames, C Mealing, N Williams.
n Centurions are looking for new players. If you are interested in joining in at training, the team meet at 7.45pm every Wednesday at the University of Chichester off College Lane.
Brighton & Hove Ladies III 1 Bognor Town Ladies 5
Bognor Town Ladies enjoyed their visit to sunny Hove.
Although Bognor were missing key players, they were eager to put in a strong performance and continue their winning ways.
The action was confined to the midfield at the start of the first half, with neither team gaining much advantage. Debbie Cox, Sara Coulson, Charlotte Cox and Sue Perry battled to find a way through the opposition defence but were thwarted at each attempt.
Charlotte Cox, using her stunning skills, threaded her way past each opposing player that attempted to disposses her, and upon entering the D, fired the ball so hard the Brighton keeper had no chance of stopping it.
The deadlock now broken, Bognor began to push harder towards the attacking D. However, Brighton fought back strongly and Bognor keeper Alina Hlynianski made some superb saves.
Charlotte Cox converted two more goals bringing the score to 3-0 at half-time.
The second half saw both sides start strongly. Bognor defenders Jackie Okonta, Kim Agate and Helen Arnold were powerful in the tackle and accurate at passing, sending the ball forward for June Rogers, Karen Harmer and Sue Woodall to pick up.
However, Brighton, making a push forward, found an unmarked player who was able to slot in.
There was further action in the Bognor D when Brighton won a penalty flick. Hlynianski was strong on her line and the ball was flicked wide of the goal.
Bognor scored two more in the second half. Charlotte Cox scored her fourth, then sent a ball whistling down the pitch to find Rogers, who coolly popped it into the net.
Player of the match was Hlynianski.