Hockey: Chi sense great escape... Dors is hat-trick hero in own testimonial

The players gather for Doreen Wilkins' testimonial
The players gather for Doreen Wilkins' testimonial

Chichester gained a crucial Conference West 3-0 win away fellow relegation battlers Guildford.

A few tactical and positional changes gave Chichester an added dimension with Matt Cox moving to the forward line and Collins and Emery supporting the defensive line.

Both teams looked keen to assert their authority on the game and Guildford were pushing hard to get an early lead.

Chichester’s defending meant the home side’s chances were limited and any shots on target were expertly dealt with by goalkeeper Maciej Pacanowski.

It wasn’t long before Chichester started to develop good attacking chances of their own, both through clinical build-up work and fast attacks.

It was a quick break that gave them their first goal 13 minutes in. Kieran Henn robbed a Guildford attacker, shifting it quickly to Jack Lerwill, who picked out Cox, and he found Martin Gough in space in the Guildford D.

The testimonial match ended in a win to Doreen’s side – with Dors scoring a hat-trick.

Chichester’s top scorer held his nerve to draw out the keeper and lay the ball off to Cox, who surged through unmarked and walked it in.

The goal was met with raucous applause from the travelling supporters and the Chichester players and coaches.

It stayed 1-0 until the end of the first half despite good chances for both teams and Guildford having a string of penalty corners expertly defended by the defensive team of Sewell, Cox, Henn, Brook, Alex Thakore and Emery led by Pacanowski.

In the second half Chichester were content to control possession and the game, with clinical passing driving the attacking force and intelligent marking and composed tackling securing the defensive responsibilities.

Chichester had to defend many more short-corner routines, but continued to save and clear all of them.

Good link-up play from the midfield and forward line saw Ollie Baxter break through for a one-on-one with the Guildford keeper, and a stylish dummy and effortless shot beat the keeper and saw Chichester extend their lead.

The third came from Luke Emmett two minutes before the final whistle. Great pressure by Sparshott, Palmer and Baxter forced a turnover from Guildford defence and Chichester pounced on the opportunity, calmly working the ball around the Guildford defence and testing the home side’s keeper with Emmett first to the ball on the rebound.

Chichester’s collective desire saw them first to the ball throughout and they walked off the pitch completely exhausted but satisfied with a good performance and a rewarding three points that applies pressure to the teams above them.

This Sunday, Chichester visit another Exeter outfit, Isca, who are the third contenders in the relegation battle. With both teams looking for another crucial win, it should be a great game.

CHICHESTER: Baxter, Brook, Collins, Cox, Emery, Emmett, C Gibbons, L Gibbons, Gough, Henn, Lerwill, McCarthy, Pacanowski, Palmer, Sewell, Sparshott, Thakore.

A group of experienced players came together on a windswept Saturday afternoon in celebration of Doreen Wilkins, one of the longest-serving women members of Chichester Priory Park Hockey Club.

She started playing in 1976 and has contributed to the club in different ways ever since. Now in her 70th year Dors, as she is lovingly known, has branched out and is a keen golfer too.

The one key thing she has noticed during her 39 years of being with the club is how the game has sped up over the years.

“Of all the differences between now and when I first started playing, it’s the speed – not only of the ball but the players too,” she said.

When Doreen started, hockey was played on grass – switching to synthetic surfaces from th 1980s onwards.

The testimonial match ended in a win to Doreen’s side – with Dors scoring a hat-trick.

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