A TENTH win in a row for Chichester edged them ever-closer to promotion to the national leagues and the South Open Premier division-one title.
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Chichester 8 Staines 2
South Open Premier div one
Chichester made it ten wins in a row and took another step towards the title when they travelled to Staines.
The home team set out their intentions early on by sticking 11 players behind the ball and waiting for an opportunity to counter-attack.
Staines seemed to have the better of the opening 25 minutes, although Chichester showed patience by retaining procession whenever they got into a promising position basic individual errors were made.
After 30 minutes of hockey, Chichester broke the deadlock and some good interchanging down the right led to Matt Cox getting around the back of the Staines defence before the ball looped to the back post for Jack Lerwill to tap in for 1-0.
This was as good as it got in the first half.
After the break, with only one goal in it, Chichester knew they had to step up their game - and they did so in style.
A well-worked short-corner routine found Alex Thakore in space to make it 2-0 and this goal opened the floodgates. Matt Cox pounced on some sloppy defending to make it three before Lerwill found Tom Phillips in space and he fired the ball into the goal to make it 4-0.
Chichester stepped off the pace for five minutes and paid the price by allowing Staines to score two in quick succession.
This spurred Chichester back to life and Bejay Ranger scored two for Chichester within two minutes with some great close-range finishing to make it 6-2 to Chichester.
Thakore produced a moment of magic by beating a player and firing a reverse-stick shot past the goalkeeper’s helmet and into the top corner. Cox finished off the scoring at the end of a fine team move 8-2.
Chichester are now top of the league with a six-point cushion and four games to go. They welcome Lewes to Kingsham on Saturday (1.30pm) as they continue their quest of National League hockey next season.
CHICHESTER: Dan Godsmark, Kieran Henn, Jason Collins, Dan Brook, Luke Matthews, Jack Lerwill (c), Alex Thakore, Matt Cox, Tom Phillips, Ollie Baxter, Ollie Robinson, Bejay Ranger, James Ellis.
Chichester Centurions 7 Worthing Ladies II 5
Sussex Ladies’ League division one
A thrilling match saw Centurions tiptoe closer to getting out of the relegation zone.
Worthing arrived just above them in the league so a win was crucial.
Within ten minutes, Louise Thew converted a short corner. Shortly afterwards, Nicki Williams stormed down the wing and crossed to Thew, who made a terrific strike to put Centurions 2-0 ahead.
Worthing were quick to respond, making two fast breaks through the defence to equalise. Centurions were tenacious in tackling every ball and Anna Bevan made a beautiful long pass into the D which gave Thew her hat-trick.
Newcomer Jade Rutherford made her mark by slotting the ball into the net from a neat pass by Thew. Despite some fine defending, Centurions were unable to block a penalty flick by Worthing, ending the first half 4-3 up.
The second half began with more tremendous teamwork by Centurions. Bevan provided Anna Pordage with the ball, which she pushed confidently past the Worthing keeper.
The rest of the match was end-to-end play. Worthing scored on a fourth rebound attempt but the combination of Bevan and Pordage gave Centurions their sixth goal.
Worthing did not give Centurions an inch and a converted a short corner to narrow the gap but some crisp, tight passing from Centurions ended with Thew scoring to finish the scoring at 7-5.
CENTURIONS: Lucy Sarson, Vicki Wake, Louise Thew, Anna Pordage, Nicki Edge, Debbie Brown, Louise Hurford, Pat Simmonds, Anna Bevan, Nicki Williams, Jade Rutherford, Claire Mealing, Louise Harris.
Chichester Ladies PP 7 Chichester Ladies PP II 0
This should be the last time the club’s first and second XIs meet in the league as the firsts should get promotion to the Sussex premier league if they win the rest of their matches.
The second XI held their own in the first half but were occasionally undone by great forward play by Verena Sambel.
With Holly Gyles running her socks off and Lottie Greenlees working hard in midfield with Sarah Jessop, it took the firsts a while to break through.
Mel Howarth had her marked Sambel fantastically well but the Chichester seconds could not stop the tidal wave of attacks and it was 3-0 at half-time.
In the second half, the ones stepped up the pressure and packed the midfield with Kate Helme at the forefront of their defence. They went on to score four more but this took nothing away from the gritty performance of the seconds, who on another day could have taken their chances.
Ruth Duckers, the seconds goalie, won praise for a display that kept the score down.
The firsts are deservedly top of the league and should win promotion.
CHI: Sarah Pack, Nadine Leifting, Holly Govey, Kate Helme, Amy Chaplin, ClaireYoung, Nikki Kuntze, Ellie Buckley, Verena Sambel, Emily Ursell, Sally Bradley, Lyndsay Hudson, Emily Nixon.
CHI 2s: Ruth Duckers , Mel Reeves, Mel Howarth, Lottie Greenlees, Alice Shoebridge , Tracy Austin, Tina Keartland, Emma Hunt, Sarah Jessop, Jenna Greenway, Holly Gyles,Tendo Manyarara.
Chichester Ladies III v Eastbourne
Chichester got off to a great start with an early goal as an excellent assist from Demelza Peake allowed Abi Darke to strike home.
After a tough 20 minutes, disaster struck as Chichester striker Emma Bain suffered a nasty blow to the head - leaving Chichester with ten players.
After half-time, Chichester’s defence of Tyler, Carter and Cruttenden had a hard time defending their goal. With one player loose, Eastbourne were able to slip a ball past goalkeeper O’Callaghan to bring the score level.
This made Chichester fight back harder and some excellent midfield work from Howarth and Armstrong lead to Darke scoring her second goal of the game.
Relentless pressure from Chichester paid off as Willway and Whittington effortlessly worked the ball around the D to allow Darke to get her hat-trick before the final whistle blew.
With two games to go, Chichester’s hard work has left them three points clear.
Player of the match was Sarah Whittington
CHI: Kayleigh Carter, Kim Howarth, Abi Darke, Demelza Peake, Emma Bain, Emma Tyler, Elaine Cruttenden, Teresa Willway, Sarah Whittington, Amanda Armstrong, Charlotte O’Callaghan.
Chichester Canons 1 Eastbourne Chicks 1
Eastbourne took the opportunity to slip in an early goal before the Canons had woken up after the half-term break.
From that point onwards, the Canons had the lion’s share of the play and any breaks were ably absorbed by Young, Stemp, Bennison, Fowler and keeper Lonsdale.
The game settled with some excellent play by both sides and Canons scored a well-deserved equaliser ten minutes before half-time from Jess Gleeson following from some superb open play by the home side.
Going into the second half, the Canons stepped up the pressure with the midfield trio of Chamberlain, Horton and Binning holding strong to support frontrunners Roses, Lock and Stockman, who were relentless in pursuit of the winning goal.
The Canons were unlucky not to score through Rose in the last few minutes. Player of the match was Young.