Victory over Milton Keynes blows away Chichester’s relegation fears

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There’s good news for Chichester’s first and second XIs and Centurions in our round-up of the latest local hockey action.

Chichester 4 Milton Keynes 1

South open premier division one

This win put Chichester out of reach of the bottom three team in the league for good.

Milton Keynes were the stronger team early on, putting early pressure on to Chichester and forcing short corners which were dealt with by Dan Godsmark.

Tactical changes moved right-back Connor McLaughlin farther forward, forcing MK to hold back.

Width in attack and selfless passing from midfield created openings for Chichester to penetrate into the MK D. A post was hit and Neil Pendle was first to react and put the ball in.

Chichester played good team hockey and a tiring MK couldn’t live with them, and two more quick goals followed from Jack Lerwill and Richard Blakesley.

MK had their moments but they were quickly snuffed out by Luke Matthews and Alex Holton.

After the break, MK came out to defend and break. This led to an early short corner and after various mis-hits and traps, the ball was self slotted in at the far post.

Unlike other occasions this season after conceding, Chichester remained in control and a run into the D by Matthew Cox saw him hit a reverse-stick shot past the helpless keeper.

Chichester could have made it more if players had looked for Martin Gough on the far post but are happy with the result.

Basingstoke 5 Chichester II 2

Having gained promotion a week earlier, Chichester knew a point would see them crowned champions. They created good early pressure but failed to convert a number of corners.

Basingstoke found their way into the game but a good corner routine from Chichester saw Lunn deflect in from a Hayward strike.

Basingstoke replied with a corner of their own to leave it 1-1 at half-time.

Chichester started the second half with nine men because of cards picked up at the end of the first half.

This enabled Basingstoke to exert early pressure and they scored within five minutes.

Back up to 11 men, Chichester looked stronger and equalised through a penalty stroke from Hayward.

Further yellow cards and two contentious red cards meant Chichester played most of the second half with nine or ten men. Basingstoke made the most of the advantage and scored three more.

The game was rather spoiled by all the cards shown and Chichester thought they had missed out on the title - but news filtered through that Hamble had beaten Wanderers to leave Chichester top dogs.

Centurions 3 Horsham 1

Ladies’ Sussex League

Horsham pressed hard for the first ten minutes, but decisive saves from Howard meant they were denied an opening goal.

A good team effort by Centurions and Thew broke through for a shot. Two short corners followed but goals were denied.

Mealing took the ball to the D and a pass to Thew resulted in Centurions’ getting the breakthrough.

Hedge made some quick runs down the wing.

After the break, Brooker took the ball to the Horsham goal and Williams made it 2-0.

Johnston had a chance but the Horsham defence held. Strong defending from the midfield, with Proctor and Harris working well together, kept the pressure on and Dixon on the wing was involved.

Edge and Eames kept pushing the ball into the Horsham half and Thew had a clear run on the keeper for Centurions’ third.

Horsham grabbed a consolation but the win secures Centurions’ place in division one for the next season with a game left to play.

CENTURIONS: J Howard, C Hedge, D Brooker, N Edge, L Proctor, L Thew, C Mealing, K Eames, M Johnston, N Williams, L Harris, E Dixon.