Hockey: Chichester can’t find way past Southgate

Action from Chichester's home clash with Southgate / Picture by Pete Burgess
Action from Chichester's home clash with Southgate / Picture by Pete Burgess

Chichester’s men’s first XI couldn’t find a way past third-placed Southgate in Conference East.

The hosts were eager to build on their away win against then leaders Oxted against Southgate’s possession-based game.

Chichester were unfortunate not to equalise after a fantastic solo run through the middle of the pitch by Jack Lerwill.

There were debuts for German Tim Ehret, having joined from Mannheimer HC, and Alex Messenger.

Alex Holton left the field early, adding to Chichester’s injury list. Chichester were unlucky to fall behind on 16 minutes with a Southgate forward fortunate to tap in above his head at the far post.

Chichester had Ehret, Ollie Baxter and Alex Pendle combining to good effect. A golden chance fell to Neil Pendle with a free shot near the top of the D, but it went awry.

A challenge on Alex Thakhore forced Chichester’s captainoff the field.

Chichester were unfortunate not to equalise after a fantastic solo run through the middle of the pitch by Jack Lerwill.

As the first half neared a close, Chichester thought they had equalised through Ehret after a pass into the circle by Richie Barlow, but it was ruled out for an alleged foot.

Chichester were unable to take advantage from their first penalty corner of the half late on and were reduced to ten men just before the break after Barlow received a harsh green card.

In the second half, Chichester continued to play well in attack through Luke Emmett and Ehret.

The game became ever more stretched as Chichester searched for the equaliser, with Emmett in particular and Lerwill imposing themselves in the midfield and Southgate receiving their first cards of the match.

Matcej Pacanowski pulled off another great penalty-stroke save which gave Chichester greater belief midway through the second half. Southgate’s goalkeeper pulled off a fine save of his own from a Barlow drag-flick as Chichester started to apply more pressure.

Lerwill received Chichester’s second green card for breakdown play, with similar cards being given to Southgate.

Chichester lost Kieran Henn temporarily in the final stages after receiving a stick to the head drawing blood.

For all Chichester’s efforts they were unable to find an equaliser and Southgate’s man of the match was the goalkeeper.

Chichester showed again they could clearly match one of the league’s leading teams and were disappointed after a scrappy game which could have gone either way.

The team host Teddington this Sunday (12.30pm) at Chichester College – all local support welcome.