Hockey: Spencer make their mark on Chichester’s proud record

Chichester line up for a new league season  Picture by Kate Shemilt C131413-1

Chichester line up for a new league season Picture by Kate Shemilt C131413-1

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Chichester’s men’s first XI got their south open premier division one campaign off on the wrong foot. Read about that and all the other local hockey - and get involved by sending your reports and team pictures to steve.bone@chiobserver.co.uk

Chichester 2 Spencer 3

South open premier div one

CHICHESTER’S home campaign began with a surprise defeat - their first in the league for 11 months.

Spencer came to Chichester full of confidence having kept clean sheets against them in their previous two meetings. And the visitors took the early initiative, pressurising Chichester into mistakes.

Chichester struggled to get the ball into midfield and forward line. The pressure began to tell and Chichetser were down to ten when Luke Matthews was unfortunate to be shown a yellow card and have to go off for five minutes.

Chichester seemed to wake up and started to make progress and they took the lead when Matt Cox’s fine aerial pass found Jack Lerwill in space and he slipped the ball to Beejay Ranger to tap home.

The hosts soon made it 2-0 through a fine strike at a penalty corner by Alex Thakore. Unfortunately Thakore went off with a hamstring injury to join Andrew Sparshott on the injury list, Chichester would have to see out the remainder of the match with no substitutes.

With two minutes left before the break, Spencer pulled one back when some sloppy defending enabled a unmarked forward to tap in from a yard.

After the break Chichester were again under pressure, this pressure once again telled when Spencer equalising.

Chichester were not firing on all cylinders and Spencer took a deserved lead when Chichester keeper Dan Godsmark made a fine save but a Spencer forward reacted first to tap the rebound home, although at first glance the ball seemed to have been taken above shoulder height.

In the final 15 minutes, Chichester started to show what they were capible of. Ollie Baxter, Beejay Ranger and Tom Phillips all went close but Spencer held on.

Chichester are frustrated with the result but know that there is a long season ahead and lessons will be learned.

Chichester’s next match is at Milton Keynes.

Worthing Ladies II 3 Bognor Town Ladies 3

Bognor were unable to continue their winning ways but came away with a point.

They took a while to adjust to the speed of passing from the opposition, who broke through with a shot from the left which crept past keeper Alina Hlynianski to score the first goal.

Bognor unleashed midfield master Charlotte Cox on a solo foray upfield from deep in Bognor territory. She beat three defenders and released an unstoppable shot to level.

Debbie Cox, Theresa Cooper, Sara Coulson and Sue Perry worked hard to contain the mobile midfield while defenders Jackie Okonta, Kim Agate and Helen Arnold stuck to marking duties.

A well-placed pass from Jackie Okonta was picked up by Charlotte Cox and, using her excellent skills, she sliced through the defence and scored Bognor’s second goal.

Worthing scrambled an equaliser just on half-time.

Bognor started the second half firing on all cylinders, taking control and pressing Worthing, but Worthing slipped in a third goal.

Bognor again picked up their tempo and Cox, shrugging off numerous physical tackles en route to goal, smashed the ball across the D for Karen Harmer to slot in the final equaliser just on the whistle.

Player of the match accolades went jointly to Cox, Harmer and Agate.

Chichester Centurions 5 Crowborough Ladies 4

Ladies’ Sussex League div one

Centurions beat Crowborough in a thriller after welcoming new players Olivia Harrison and Katie Hall into the fold.

Within minutes, Crowborough took the lead by tucking in a ball at the post. Centurions responded with Louise Thew striking the ball at the top of the D to equalise.

Claire Mealing and Kerry Eames broke through the Crowborough defence for Mealing to convert a short corner in style. A defensive short corner was successfully stopped but a goalmouth scramble saw Crowborough equalise.

Despite some brilliant passing in midfield and intelligent defensive interceptions, Crowborough went ahead.

Then Eames swept the ball out to Nicki Williams, who sprinted down the wing to provide a cross to Thew, who converted it. Goalkeeper Louise Hurford blocked a Crowborough shot just before the whistle.

At the beginning of the second half, Centurions created lots of goalscoring opportunities which were denied by fine goalkeeping by Crowborough.

Dawn Brooker made several fast breaks up front and a well-struck shot by Williams gave Centurions the lead.

Another goalmouth scramble resulted in an equaliser for Crowborough but Centurions stayed calm and gave Thew the ball, which she put past the keeper to put Centurions ahead.

Just before the final whistle blew, Crowborough were awarded a short corner which Centurions successfully defended but they conceded another short corner. Tensions were high but the defence denied Crowborough an equaliser.

CENTURIONS: L Sarson, K Eames, D Brooker, N Edge, L Hurford, D Brown, K Hall, A Pordage, C Mealing, N Williams, O Harrison.

Chichester Bad Habits 5 Worthing Ladies III 1

Sussex League div four

Chichester enjoyed a cracking game from pushback and the first goal came from Upton after good work from Cliff and Howarth.

Bad Habits went two up as Lake saw the opportunity to tap the ball in off the right post.

After a short corner to Worthing, they got one back.

But soon Upton took possession to crack the ball in. Then a short corner to Chichester brought another to make it 4-1.

Finally quick passing from Baker, Cliff. Howarth and Cleghorn saw Chichester score a fifth.

CHICHESTER: Priddle, Lake, Upfold, R.Austin, Wilkins, Cliff, Upfold, Howarth, Cleghorn, Upton, g-k.

University of Chichester 0 South Saxons 2nd 2

Sussex Open League division two

Having had a great start to the season the previous week, winning 5-1 away to Eastbourne fourths, the University were eager to get on to the pitch against South Saxons.

Chichester had the early pressure but the Saxons defence repelled them. A few breakaway passes enabled Saxons to score, despite valiant attempts by Ben Southall in goal.

Saxons made it 2-0 but Chichester came together well as a team and did their best to prevent numerous other attempts.

Mitch Chapman did very well in the centre.

Chichester play Littlehampton on Satrurday hoping to recover and earn another win.

UNI OF CHI: Ben Middlemost, Sean MacEnri, Max Rivers, Kostas Tsiamis, Tom Fagg, Mitch Chapman, Michael Riglar, Todd Finn, Cameron Tait, Gus Ardley-Forder, Ben Southall, Harry Finn, Ross Williams.