Chichester beat leaders to make a statement in hockey's national leagues
Chichester returned to winning ways in the national Conference East with an accomplished performance against league leaders St Albans, running out 4-0 winners in what was a tight contest for most of the match.
They started the game with genuine purpose, and within three minutes had pressed their advantage home. From a save off an Alex Pendle penalty corner, Chichester recovered the rebound and at the second time of asking, Ollie Baxter put the ball into the roof of the net.
St Albans found some inroads towards the Chichester goal, without really troubling Chris Bristow, who had a commanding game in goal.
Chi might have doubled their lead when an attack down the right found Ollie Baxter in space in the circle. But Baxter did not make great contact on his strike.
St Albans won a number of penalty corners in a row, two of which were chased down by Ollie Robinson and one leading to a fantastic save from Bristow.
The third period was tight, with St Albans controlling most of the possession but Chichester a little more dangerous when going forward. Chi did however start to show some signs of fatigue.
The visiting side somewhat lost their heads in the final period. An early yellow card saw them reduced to ten, and Chichester capitalised immediately winning their second penalty corner through good work down the left, where Alex Baxter was upended illegally outside the circle.
Pendle’s initial shot was charged down, but the rebound fell kindly and was coolly dispatched by the GB youngster.
Pendle was on hand again minutes later when Andrew Sparshott and Alex Baxter again combined well down the left and found him in space inside the circle. A rasping reverse-stick shot put the game beyond doubt, and with St Albans now down to nine there was a promise of more to come.
Pendle completed his hat-trick when he dispatched a well-taken penalty corner, which rounded up a confidence-inspiring win ahead of a busy two weeks.
Chichester Ladies 1 Lewes 4
On a wet and windy day Chichester ladies were beaten by league leaders Lewes.
Chichester had a great start with Jess Gleeson and Bella Festa working well together to move the ball forward. But a drop in concentration led to Chi going 1-0 down.
Chichester pressed with Philly Bowry and Chloe Goddard working well up front but Lewes put another in the back of the goal. Great saves from Fi Griffith’s meant Chichester were still in it.
After the break Lottie Greenlees made some terrific runs down the line connecting with Katie Rose. Sally Bradley and Emma Benison kept the ball the out of Lewes D and made strong tackles but Lewes were rewarded with a penalty flick and went 3-0 up.
The girls’ heads did not drop and demernination from Demelza Peake and Jenny Horton meant Chichester still had it all to play for.
However Lewes had some skilful players and went 4-0 up.
Another strong run from Greenlees ended in a psss to Rachael Trent, who deflected the ball into the back of the net, a goal Chichester deserved. This was a strong performance from Chichester, who are excited for the season ahead.
Southwick Ladies 3 Chi Ladies II 0
Sussex Ladies Div 1
Chichester travelled to Steyning to play Southwick with ten players unavailable.
They knew it was going to be an uphill struggle but felt if they pulled together they could come out with a point.
Alas it was not to be and the home side scored their first from a penalty corner in the first ten minutes.
Chichester gradually gave Southwick something to think about, forcing them into mistakes. But Southwick scored their second just before half-time, gutting for Chi.
In the second half Chi were not up to speed and Southwick got their third soon after the restart.
Chi were awarded several short corners which Sarah Jessop was close to scoring from, and she also hit the post.
Alex Hurd and Kath Mundy ran their socks off while up front Lindsay Hauxwell was single-handedly giving the opposition defence the run-around.
Credit goes to Julie Abson, normally a goalkeeper but playing at centre-back.
This Saturday Chi are at home to leaders Crowborough.
Chi ladies: Char O’Callaghan, Julie Abson, Tracy Austin, Jackie Baxter, Kate Woods, Vicky Oliver Catt, Kath Mundy, Alex Hurd, Lindsay Hauxwell, Sarah Jessop.
Wimborne Wayfarers 1 Chichester Friars 5
Hampshire Area Div 4
After a great 7-1 win against Southampton University threes last week, in which Bryan Locke scored five, the Friars continued their 100 per cent start to the season with a very hard-earned win against a Wimborne side who enjoyed the majority of the possession.
From the start Wimborne attacked, but the Friars defence held firm.
The Friars did enjoy some possession but were unable to make any real clear chances until 15 minutes when Tracy Boyce slotted home, only for an umpiring discussion ending in the goal being disallowed.
On 30 minutes the Friars were awarded a penalty stroke that was fired into the roof of the net by Andrew Savory, against the run of play.
Two minutes later Luke Savory was picked out by Martin Hughes with a long pass, and he drove into the D and produced a great finish past the keeper.
The second half started with more pressure from Wimborne, who scored with only three minutes.
But the Friars rallied and began to take more control. On 43 minutes Locke picked up a loose ball after a short corner and finished from close range.
Wimborne were frustrated by the defence and Rob Torrance in goal made a number of good blocks and saves. Andrew Savory finished off a move on 60 minutes to increase the lead.
The game finished with a series of over-time short corners for the Friars, which resulted in another penalty stroke, which Andrew Savory fired high into the top corner.
Mark Wisby and Dave Horton stepped in at very short notice when two players dropped out. They both played extremely well.
The Friars are top of the league, the only team to win all three opening games.
Friars: Rob Torrance, Dave Walters, Mark Richmond, Trevor Andrews, Andrew Savory, Steve Mercer, Bryan Locke, Tracy Boyce, Martin Hughes, Mark Wisby, Dave Horton, Luke Savory.
Chichester Ladies III 7 Worthing II 0
Chichester were a dominant force but did not fully press their advantage and went in at half-time 2-0 up.
After a pep talk the team went out determined to increase the score. This was achieved with A Gilmour scoring a hat-trick, joined by Juste with a hat-trick of her own and Gemma Warr topping off the scoring.
It was a convincing attacking performance with the team in great spirits celebrating club vice chairman and player Becca Stemp’s birthday.
Chichester Ladies III 4 Mid Sussex II 2
Juste continued her scoring streak putting one away before half-time.
Mid-Sussex earned a penalty flick after the break but Chichester keeper Kane made a fantastic save from a great shot bound for the bottom corner.
Overton-Smith scored a nifty goal before Mid-Sussex fought back with two goals in quick succession. Warr hunted finished the game off with two goals securing a 4-2 win.
Chi Ladies IV 1 Eastleigh II 3
Chi hosted Eastleigh on the new pitch and new from the off it was closely matched.
Strong defence from Chi kept a goal at bay and fast runs up the right got the ball into the Eastleigh D but Chi couldn’t find a breakthrough.
Eastleigh took the lead and went on to use the pitch well and scored a further two goals.
Chi spirits were dampened slightly but some great passing in the middle of the pitch saw Howarth keep her cool and slot the ball past the keeper for Chi to take a consolation.
Player of the match was Hayley Johnson
Chi ladies: Batchelor; Cox; Priddle; HY Johnson; Whittington; Ashton; Austin; Willway; Howarth; Homer; HI Johnson.