Hockey: Chichester ladies are spot-on for plate progress

Chi PP ladies seconds in action earlier in the season / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Chi PP ladies seconds in action earlier in the season / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Chichester beat hosts Crowborough 3-1 on penalties in the Sussex Plate quarter-finals after their tie finished 5-5.

They took a mixture of youth and experience, with Jess Gleeson and Charlotte Binning making their debut for the second team.

Crowborough are a good side with fast, skilful players. But Chichester broke the deadlock through Emily Nixon.

Chichester had to keep the pressure up and with some great work by Julianne Doherty down the right enabled Nixon to get her second.

The home side stepped it up and Chi seemed to back off and lose their way.

Crowborough pulled one back and their confidence rose and they gained a second to make it all-square at half-time.

Chi couldn’t get to grips with the speed of the Crowborough players. Passing wasn’t accurate enough and before they knew it, the opposition had scored again.

The game was slipping away from Chi when Crowborough got their fourth. But Claire Young in goal had a fantastic game and this led to Chi rallying.

Everyone pushed themselves to produce better hockey and the Chi midfield, hassling the opposing team’s midfield through Jenna Greenaway and young Gleeson, gave Chi a chance.

Nixon scored a great individual third goal and Chichester’s confidence like Crowborough’s came back and they were a much more solid unit.

Nixon’s fourth came after malaise in the home side’s D, which created an opportunity for her to score from five metres out.

From the restart, however, Chi gave Crowborough space to run into their circle and scored past Young into the top corner.

Chi never gave up hope and Bradley was pushing further forward, causing mayhem in the Crowborough defence and creating several opportunities and winning several penalty corners.

Crowborough nearly had a sixth but for a great clearance off the goal-line from Welch. The score was levelled through Tracy Austin and Sally Bradley combining well with some slick passing inside the circle and Austin scoring a great team goal.

It had to go to penalty flicks and Chichester won 3-1 with Nixon, Doherty and Bradley scoring.

Chichester are now through to the semi-finals in April.

CHICHESTER: Claire Young, Tracy Austin, Georgia Welch, Sally Bradley, Emily Nixon, Jenna Greenaway, Julianne Doherty, Lindsay Hauxwell, Harriet Gray, Jess Gleeson, Charlotte Binning, Elaine Cruttendon, Emma Bennison.

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