Chichester within whisker of win over Isca

Alana Giles in action on Chi ladies' seconds' draw with Crowborough / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Alana Giles in action on Chi ladies' seconds' draw with Crowborough / Picture by Kate Shemilt

A BATTLING draw for Chichester’s men’s first team while the ladies’ firsts had a comfortable win on the road.

Get involved in our hockey coverage by sending reports and team pictures to

Chichester 3 Isca 3

National League Men’s Conference West

CHICHESTER battled back from three down for a draw - but couldn’t go one better and claim victory.

The game started slowly, but still there were scoring opportunities created by the midfield and forward lines.

However Isca opened the scoring capitalising on an error by the Chichester defence.

Despite some great saves from Maciej Pacanowski, Isca continued to gain momentum with another open-play goal and then converted a penalty corner to take the lead to 3-0 at half-time.

Chichester had given themselves a mountain to climb in the second half, but weren’t content to settle for a mediocre performance nor a frustrating defeat.

They started the second half as a different team. The technical mistakes of the first half disappeared and they started to play with a freedom and pace Isca couldn’t withstand.

The attacking midfield of Jack Lerwill, Matt Cox, Luke Emmett and McCarthy tore through the Isca midfield and were able to link up the threatening forward line of Sparshott, Martin Gough, Ollie Baxter, Sam Broadhurst and the Gibbons brothers so well that goals seemed inevitable.

Isca’s defence did well and some great saves from their keeper kept Chichester off the scoresheet until Gough scored the best goal of game. Lerwill spotted Gough leave his man to find some space, Gough saw the keeper coming out of his goal and expertly deflected the ball in to the top corner.

Chichester continued to dominate possession and the solid defensive set-up of Pacanowski, Brook, Kieran Henn, Alex Thakore, Sewell and Ben Palmer meant the midfield and the forward line had freedom and support, which led to further goals for McCarthy and Emmett.

With six minutes left, Chichester threw everything at Isca to try to get the winner but, physically exhausted from chasing the game, they had to settle for the draw.

While the result wasn’t the best for Chichester, their second-half performance was impressive and a credit to the players and supporters’ determination.

This week Chichester host Exeter in the league on Saturday and last-16 HA Cup opponents Hampstead & Westminster on Sunday.

If you are free at 1.30pm on either day or both, get along the High School in Kingsham Road to cheer on the boys

CHICHESTER: Pacanowski (GK), Brook, Thakore, Sewell, Palmer, Henn (C), Lerwill, Cox, Emmett, Sparshott, Broadhurst, Gough, Baxter, L Gibbons, C Gibbons, McCarthy.

Hailsham 1 Chichester PP Ladies 7

Chichester came out quietly confident and after a rousing team talk from Verena Sambel and started the way they meant to go on. Good early inter-play led to Emily Nixon breaking into the D and providing a great pass for Lottie Greenlees to slot home the first goal.

It seemed to be Greenlees’ day with some searing runs up the right which led to more shots on goal.

Finally, after high-intensity play from Chichester, a penalty corner was awarded which captain Verena Sambel put away with a confident flick after taking it round the top runner.

A third goal came from Fern Hollyoake after some great linking moves in the D.

Hollyoake was again involved when she provided an easy tap-in for Sambel for number four.

Chichester were rewarded further with an amazing team goal finishing with Patricia Hyla providing a beautiful pass to Amy Chaplin to smack it away for the fifth and final goal of the first half.

The second half started with a torrential downpour, which didn’t dampen Chichester’s spirits one bit.

An impressive reverse-stick shot at goal from Emily Nixon flew high over the crossbar and showed Hailsham Chichester still meant business.

Hard work and determination lead to a run from centre-back Livie Knight high up the pitch where she was provided with the perfect pass by Sambel, which she took to her reverse-stick side and clattered home for goal number six.

An unfortunate and rare mistake at the back lea to Hailsham getting a goal back. But Chichester rallied again to take the majority of possession in the final minutes of the second half and produce one of the most rewarding team goals this season, put away by Chaplin.

Chichester are still fourth in the league but are only two points behind their opposition Hailsham.

CHI LADIES: M Goring, V Sambel, N Kuntze, A Chaplin, N Halliday, L Knight, S Bradley, E Lerwill, R Mealyer, F Hollyoake, L Greenlees, E Nixon, P Hyla, A Cowley.

Chichester PP Ladies 2nds 4 Crowborough 4

Chichester had to be on top form for the visit of Crowborough as they are always tough opponents.

Chi started well with great passing – and penetrating runs from the forwards soon led to Lindsay ‘Hauxwell striking the ball from the top of the opposition’s D and into the goal.

They couldn’t have hoped for a better start and things got better when ten minutes later Sarah Jessop made the most of a rebound from the Crowborough goalie and put the chance away.

Crowborough were not going to lie down and gradually got into their running and passed the ball around with more consistency.

Chichester still had the edge until five minutes from the end of the first half, when the visitors scored.

In the second half Chi seemed to lose concentration and this led to some sloppy play that let Crowborough into the match. They equalised and battle commenced.

From this point, Chi always appeared to be playing catch-up and for the first time Crowborough went ahead. The home side fought on and put some good passages of play together but it didn’t match the first-half performance – but there was no mistaking the will and passion that ran through the side. This paid off when Chi won a penalty corner and Hauxwell scored.

Crowborough were not finished and had another counter attack and with their fast forwards got past the Chi defence to score. That wasn’t the end though – the home side never gave up and a quick pass from the left went across the Crows circle and Alana Giles, running in from the right, popped into the goal to make it 4-4 – a relief to Chichester, who probably should have put the game away in the first half.

CHI LADIES: Claire Young, Tracy Austin, Georgia Welch, Rachael Trent, Lindsay Hauxwell, Jenny Horton, Merryn Young, Holly Gyles, Harriet Gray, Alana Giles, Demaelza Peake, Sarah Jessop, Jenna Greenaway, Juliannae Doherty .

Chichester PP Ladies 4ths 1 Crowborough 2nds 4

Chichester started in lively fashion and with high hopes – they are a team who are gelling and finding their feet.

In the first half there were a couple of Chichester chances, but then Crowborough got the breakthrough.

Chichester had some golden chances but just couldn’t turn them in to scores.

The second half brought a reprieve as Austin scored a nice goal set up by Flowers but they were hit by the goalkeeper being sinbinned for

five minutes.

Woods stood in for the penalty flick, which was defended well.

Chichester pushed on but Crowborough were the better team on the day.

CHI LADIES: Kane, Lillywhite, Flowers, Cruttenden, Ashton, Austin, Woods, Whittington, Dunster, Wilway, Goddard, Soden’bridger.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking sports news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make this website your homepage

2 Like our Facebook page at

3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

Share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!