Following their national HA Cup success against Bath, Chichester Hockey Club’s men’s first team aimed to gain momentum in the Conference West and welcomed an Exeter University side that had dropped points only once this season.
Chichester started slowly, losing the ball soon after their push-back and soon found themselves 1-0 down after a loose ball trickled in at the back post.
They began to get a foothold in the game, moving the ball round nicely before conceding another. A driven diagonal ball into the D was met with a deft touch, producing an unstoppable shot that left the Chichester keeper no chance – unfortunately this touch came from a Chichester player.
Matt Cox then inadvertently gave the ball to an Exeter attacker who promptly buried it in the back of the net.
The frozen crowd urged Chichester to relight the fire and get back in the game.
A breakaway created a lifeline, with Cox making amends and stealing the ball in midfield releasing Ollie Baxter who, for a moment, appeared to have squandered the chance before sliding the ball under the onrushing keeper.
Chichester began to grow in confidence and create good chances.
The second half continued with Chichester pressing for more goals. Jason Collins majestically plucking a one-handed aerial from the air to set them off on another attack, much to the delight of the crowd and Jamie Whitehouse nearly found Alex Pendle at the back post.
A well-worked move nearly led to another goal with Jack Lerwill completely missing a ball played across his path. Lerwill produced some mazy runs into the Exeter half.
Baxter again found himself in the right place at the right time, rifling home an audacious shot leaving the keeper no chance.
As Chichester continued to chase the game they found themselves open at the back with Kieran Henn’s tireless work down the right beginning to take its toll as he struggled to get back for Exeter counter-attacks.
Matt Sewell was often the last man yet challenged Exeter attackers to one-on-ones. Chichester conceded a further three goals, the match finishing 6-2.
Captain Kieran said: “We’ll hit training hard and be back for and important double header this weekend.”
Chichester thanked the crowd for their support and now play at home to Birmingham on Saturday before the next round of the HA Cup at Havant on Sunday.
Chichester Ladies 6 Burgess Hill 1
Chichester settled quickly and within the first few minutes a marvellous goal was scored by Verena Sambel with assistance from Patty Hyla and Meg Goring, showing just how determined Chichester were to take the victory.
Strong defending from Sally Bradley and Natty Halliday meant no Burgess Hill player had space.
Miriam Sparshott and Lottie Greenlees showed superb hockey as they worked together to drive the ball up the left side, with help from the experiencedm Amy Chaplin.
Chichester scored a second only ten minutes in. Anna Healey showed splendid skills to drive the ball up the right, meaning that Cita Haines could drive the ball into the D and score.
A third goal was scored and Chichester were 3-0 up at half-time.
In the second half Jess Gleeson showed her youthful talent to feed Hyla, who could dominate in the midfield.
Meg Hattemore showed strong defending as Burgess Hill tried to get the ball into the D.
An error in Chichester’s positioning meant Burgess Hill scored one back.
Chichester battled on and with nifty movement and sneaky passing from Demelza Peake to Haines, Chichester scored again.
Chichester’s transfers around the back four showed just how much expertise and support eeper Steph Kalber had as she got cold feet waiting for Burgess Hill to attack.
Fantastic passing between Goring, Hyla and Sambel meant Chichester scored two spectacular team goals to finish the match.
Chichester visit Hailsham this weekend.
Chichester: V Sambel, M Goring, A Chaplin, P Hyla, C Haines, S Kalber, M Sparshott, N Halliday, S Bradley, M Hattemore, A Healey, L Greenlees, D Peake, J Gleeson.
Middleton 2 Chichester Ladies 2nds 0
Chichester travelled to Littlehampton on the coldest Saturday of the season so far but lost to Middleton.
Chi have stalled of late and were unable to stabilise their position in the league.
The home side had some young fit uni players and overran Chi’s midfield. They had pace and accuracy and this put Chi on the back foot for most of the game.
Chi held their own and good work from player of the match Claire Young in goal made sure it was all-square at half-time.
Middleton kept pressing and were rewarded with the first goal.
Chichester played much better in the second half and had a few more chances with everyone putting in 100 per cent. Middleton had a penalty corner and struck it home. This was a competitive match with the home side coming out on top. Chichester face top-of-the-table Eastbourne at home this week.
Chichester: Claire Young, Tracy Austin, Jenna Greenway, Vicky Oliver-Catt, Cheryl Parrott, Harriet Gray, Sarah Jessop, Nat Spencer, Xenia Trueman, Maddy Wright, Emma Bennison, Rachel Trent, Sarah Pack, Alisia Wergan.
Chichester Ladies 3rds 1 Mid Sussex Ladies 2nds 1
Chichester threes returned to action after a week off feeling fighting fit and ready to take on Mid Sussex.
The first half saw dominance from Chichester but some strong counter-attacks from Mid Sussex. Chichester had several chances on goal but couldn’t score.
Mid Sussex scored fairly early in the second half but Chichester showed a positive approach and determination which led them to score a cracking goal from Carrie Eddis to finish with a 1-1 draw.
Chichester: B Stemp, C Stemp, Carter, Cruttenden, O’Callaghan, Maddison, Rose, Goddard, Burley, Eddis, Sodden-Bridger, Bennison, Tyler, Hurd.
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