Chichester lost what to the neutral must have seemed a great game of hockey against Cambridge, going down 5-4 in the national Conference East clash
Conceding goals at crucial times in the game, Chi saved their best for the last quarter, when they came back from a three-goal deficit to nearly force a draw. The team will be left scratching their heads about how they ever found themselves in this situation.
On the back of a confidence boosting opening win last week, Chichester started brightly. Having been hit by injuries, changes were needed in the starting line-up, but these did not seem to affect them in the early exchanges.
Chichester may have gone ahead on a rebound from a short corner which fell kindly to Ollie Baxter. A last ditch defensive effort prevented the goal and within minutes Cambridge capitalised at the other end.
Baxter soon dispatched the equaliser but Cambridge struck just before half-time to put themselves ahead again.
The third quarter will be one Chichester will want to forget. While Cambridge’s third and fourth goals were influenced by suspect umpiring, the team will need to reflect that the defence was left exposed and the game became too stretched.
Some half-hearted challenges allowed the Cambridge attackers too much space and time in dangerous areas, which they accepted.
With the game seemingly lost the boys in white threw caution to the wind and went full on attack. Within minutes of the start of the fourth quarter this led to the first penalty corner and the resulting flick was put away by Alex Pendle.
Within two minutes they had the ball in the net again as Andrew Sparshott got a touch on a cross to deflect the ball home. With the comeback now on, Chichester won another penalty corner and at 4-3 had four opportunities to draw level. Sadly, the third effort hit the bar and the fourth was cleared off the line before Cambridge came away with the ball and went 5-3 up.
Within minutes Baxter scored his second after good approach work from Pendle. At 5-4 down, Chichester were firing on all cylinders.
Alex Baxter made headway towards the circle; Sparshott harassed defenders and Pendle drifted past players as if they weren’t there.
But the equaliser would not arrive and on his final drive into the circle Pendle watched as his shot beat the Cambridge keeper only to ricochet off the inside of the post.
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Chichester II 2 Worthing 2
Sussex Ladies division one
Chichester welcomed their captain back after work commitments. They had a more settled side and it showed.
Worthing were strong and had majority of the play in the first half but Chi defended well. The opposition broke through and scored the first goal.
Chichester began to put pressure on Worthing and this resulted in Sarah Jessop equalising just before half-time.
After the break Chichester’s passing was getting better and better. Communication was building and there was some sublime passing.
The game got frantic and Chi got their just rewards with Lindsay Hauxwell placing the ball past the Worthing keeper, who had been playing well, to give Chichester the lead.
The home side were holding their own but were tiring and they conceded a penalty corner, from which Worthing scored.
It was a fair result for two competitive sides.
Chichester: Abson, Austin, Parrott, Baxter, Woods, Oliver Catt, Mundy, Rice, Crisp, Hurd, Hauxwell.
Haslemere 4s 2 Chi Ladies 4s 0
Chichester started brightly and put considerable pressure on the opposition, winning three penalty corners but unable to convert them.
Haslemere had a couple of fast breaks but nothing the defence couldn’t handle.
After half-time Haslemere brought on their star player who made the difference by doubling up on the right wing, which led to their opening goal.
Haslemere had more penality corners but could not break Chi down on setplays. It was through a lucky break that they scored again at the back post.
A missed penalty flick meant it finished 2-0 to the hosts.
Chi ladies: O’Callaghan; Cox; Priddle; HY Johnson; Ashton; HI Johnson; Willway; Howarth; Homer; Bushnell; Lillywhite.