Hockey: Sands of time are helping Chichester find their feet

WITH another south open premier division win - 4-1 at Eastbourne - Chichester are finally beginning to gain momentum.

On Eastbourne’s difficult sandy pitch, Chichester opened by putting Eastbourne under early pressure.

Eastbourne sat with 11 players in their own half whenever Chichester had possession. Chichester relied on winning short corners and a well-worked short corner broke the deadlock with Alex Thakore scoring.

Eastbourne got to grips with the game but Jason Collins and Luke Matthews were strong in the middle of the defence, giving Chichester goalkeeper Dan Godsmark very little to do in the first half.

The second half saw Chichester continue to dominate.

Eastbourne’s goal-line clearances saw Martin Gough, among others, cruelly denied.

Chichester created openings for Matt Cox and Connar McLaughlin and eventually Chichester scored three open goals in quick success session with Gough, Richard Blakesly and Paul Wallis scoring.

Steve Spear put Chichester under needless pressure with a poor pass and Eastbourne turned a short corner into a goal with the last hit of the game.

Lewes III 3 Centurions 0

Centurions travelled to Lewes for their first cup game and it was one of two halves.

In the first half, Centurions’ strong midfield enabled Proctor to have an early shot.

End-to-end play saw Brooker making fine tackles and linking with Hedge. Eames’ excellent hit-outs found Thew and Skinner who, with Johnston, kept pressure on the Lewes goal.

Half-time saw Lewes reorganise and a quick start secured them the first goal after a sound double save from Vaughan.

Harbord and Brown did well but two corners to Lewes led to their second. A late corner ended in a third goal.

After a real team effort, Centurions will now continue in the plate competition.

CENTURIONS: B Vaughan, K Eames, D Brooker, M Harbord, D Brown, A Skinner, L Proctor, L Thew, C Mealing, C Hedge, M Johnston.

Chichester II 4 Hamble II 3

Chichester dominated the first half and good finishes from Barnes and Lunn saw Chichester take a thoroughly-deserved lead.

Chichester could have scored four or five more but a mixture of a poor final pass and poor finishing meant it stayed 2-0 at the break.

The second half was different: with Chichester sitting too deep, it enabled Hamble to apply pressure, and a well-worked short corner brought the score back to 2-1.

A Hamble player was given a yellow card for not retreating five yards and Chichester turned the screw and scored two short corners in quick succession.

Despite Hamble scoring two late goals, this was a comfortable win.

Chichester IV 3 Bournemouth IV 2

Simmonds and Blanks set up Gammon for a goal but Bournemouth fought back, scoring either side of half-time to go 2-1 ahead.

As the game neared its conclusion Chichester’s extra men showed.

They got a well-deserved equaliser when Gammon and Blanks combined down the left for latter to score after a mazy run.

Chichester cleared to Gammon on the halfway line and he beat the final defender and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way, finishing off an enthralling game.

CHICHESTER: Torrance, Worthen, white, Cally, Smithers, Blanks, Durrant, McCartin, Gammon, Macey, Simmonds, Waters, Moore.

Chichester Ladies II 6 South Saxons Ladies II 2

South Saxons started strongly but a goal against them woke Chichester.

They equalised through Tina Finn from a cleanly-struck short corner. Chichester began to pressurise the Saxons goal with Lotte Marqueson hitting the bar and Teresa Willway narrowly missing with a fabulous lifted attempt. Another converted short corner struck by Finn put Chichester ahead at half-time.

Feisty Saxons got an equaliser but Chichester reacted positively.

Pressure led to a further short corner from which Finn slammed the backboard again. Then Finn strolled through the rattled defence and calmly placed the ball in the net to make it 5-2.

After some well-timed tackles and terrific midfield work, Marqueson scored a beautifully-crafted and well-deserved goal.

CHICHESTER: Young, Burley, Finn, Stemp, Bennison, Shannon, Howarth, Willway, Marqueson, Priddle.

Friars 2 Basingstoke 3

Friars’ good start to the season came to an abrupt end with a poor performance against more determined opponents.

The Friars enjoyed long spells of possession but gave away too many short corners in the first half, two of which were converted.

The Friars improved in the second half, but a breakaway move resulted in a third for Basingstoke.

With seven minutes remaining, the Friars made a breakthrough with an individual run from Andrew Savory, who converted with a low hard shot from the top of the D.

Soon, the Friars were awarded a short corner which led to Savory scoring his second.

The Friars battled in vain to score the equaliser.