Chichester are on cloud nine after league opener

Richard Blakesley on the attack for Chichester against Eastbourne  Picture by Kate Shemilt
Richard Blakesley on the attack for Chichester against Eastbourne Picture by Kate Shemilt

A big win for Chichester in their first home match of the season is the highlight of this week’s hockey round-up.

Chichester 9 Eastbourne 0

South open premier division one

Chichester played like a team possessed to rack up a big win in their first home game of the season.

After a disappointing result at Brighton, Chichester started quickly but with too much haste.

After ten minutes Chichester settled and played more composed hockey. Despite conceding a penalty and after a couple of good saves from the Chichester goalkeeper Dan Godsmark, Chichester started to open up the Eastbourne defence.

The first goal came when Chichester won a PC and Martin Gough pounced on a rebound to give Chichester a well-deserved lead.

The second came when a ball found Lerwill in space and he slithered into the D and slipped it past a prone keeper.

A few passes flashed across the face of the Eastbourne goal but Chichester went into half-time 2-0 up and playing well.

The second half was a great demonstration of how Chichester can play open attacking hockey.

Having scored two goals very quickly after the restart, Chichester added another five.

Gough ended with five, Lerwill and Baxter one each.

Chichester: Godsmark, Matthews, Spear, Collins, Henn, Blakesley, Thakore, Lerwill, Gough, Sparshott, Baxter, McLaughlin.

Centurions 0 Brighton & Hove III 2 

Ladies’ Sussex League

Centurions worked hard to deny Brighton & Hove any goals in the first half, even though Centurions were put under pressure.

Goalkeeper Jenny Phillips made some dazzling saves from high and low shots towards goal. Anna Pordage took the ball up the pitch but her shot was saved.

Centurions began the second half with more possession and tried to create more scoring opportunities.

Their defenders worked hard not to allow Brighton & Hove to convert any of their eight short corners.

Ten minutes before the end, Brighton intercepted the ball just outside the D and blasted a shot into the goal.

With just minutes left, they made a fast break and just slipped the ball past the keeper.

It was a disappointing result for Centurions but they demonstrated some excellent passing and interceptions, not giving Brighton & Hove an easy time.

CENTURIONS: M Harbord, K Eames, N Edge, C Mealing, M Johnston, N Williams, D Brown, J Phillips, L Hurford, L Sarson, Anna Pordage.

Worthing II 1 Chichester Ladies 4

Chichester are gradually gelling as a team with players playing new positions - and having bright young players in the team is helping their bid to gain promotion.

Chichester started strongly and were setting up wide players Hudson and Marks to put the Worthing defence under pressure. This led to Chichester’s first goal as remarkable skill from Marks allowed her to retrieve the ball from the back-line and pass it to Hudson, who scored.

Worthing began to make the Chi defence work a bit harder. Misplaced passes and a defensive error meant Chichester conceded a goal to make it 1-1 at half-time.

After a stern team talk, Chi stepped it up and made their way into Worthing’s D - and from excellent wing play Beth Marks scored her first.

Chichester had slightly more of the play which resulted in many penalty corners, from which Marks got her second.

Worthing couldn’t cope with the speed of Kuntze and Greenlees.

Chi need to work harder on their defence as they nearly got caught a few times - but they worked hard for each other.

Another penalty corner saw Van der Stap score in the bottom corner.

CHICHESTER: Claire Young, Tracy Austin, Mel Howarth, Camila Strang, Amy Chaplin, Kate Helme , Nikki Kuntze, Beth Marks, Lindsey Hudson, Emma Benison, Lottie Greenlees, Jenna Greenway, Floor Van Der Stap.

Old Cranleighans 5 Chichester II 1

A long jouney to London didn’t help the seconds’ chances and poor mistakes from Chichester led to two early goals to the home team.

Chichester attempted to do the right things but failed to retain possession. Poor communication and distribution led to a short corner, which was converted. It was 3-0 at half-time.

Chichester worked hard to improve concentration but ball retention up front was still poor and distribution in midfield was worse.

Old Cranleighans countered and scored another neat goal. Despite great work from Johnny Gotham in goal it wasn’t Chichester’s day.

Chichester pressed forward and Ollie Lane-Smith won a short corner which Alex Holten converted.

Iain Dougal was given a yellow card for a necessary tackle with the back of his stick. A penalty stroke was converted.

CHICHESTER: Gotham, Gammon, Martin, Beales, Dougal, Hansford, O’Boyle, Lunn, Holten, Lane, Smith, Ranger, Strudwick.

Bognor & Middleton Ladies 1 Chichester Ladies III 3

Sussex Ladies’ League division three

Chichester drove towards Middleton’s goal from the off, keeping possession for most of the first half.

Team captain Abigail Darke and woman of the match Sarah Pack worked together as a force, scoring Chichester’s first. The first half ended 1-1.

Chichester lost their sparkle for a few minutes, but fantastic defending by Karon Chamberlain meant Chichester regained the ball and went on to score two more - one an own goal.

CHICHESTER: Darke, Pack, Peake, Beckinsale, Cruttenden, Lilliwhite, Stannet, Carter, Medhurst, Murphy, H Chamberlain, K Chamberlain.

Bournemouth IV 2 Chichester IV 2

Hampshire area division four

Bournemouth started well spreading the ball as they probed Chichester’s defence. Ben Barnes stepped into central defence for Chichester and produced a man-of-the-match performance.

Bournemouth were 1-0 up at half-time from a well-taken short high to the keeper’s right which bounced off the back frame. Chichester’s claim that the ball was outside the D was ignored.

Chichester became more frustrated as decisions went against them - Bournemouth’s second a prime example, as the ball came off a Bournemouth player’s foot in the D when Chichester failed to clear. Bournemouth pounced and went 2-0 up.

Adam Macey was green-carded while team skipper Gavin Walrond received a yellow card five minutes from time for questioning the umpire’s decisions.

Down to ten men, Chichester put Conor Lutten through one on one against the keeper and he capitalised.

Chichester pressed on and equalised through Lutten’s second.

The team took pride in not letting their head drops or give up until the last whistle.

Worthing IV 2 Chichester Chipmunks 2

Sussex division three

Worthing sat second in the table before this game but against expectations, Chichester dominated the first half with precise inter-play in midfield stretching a less mobile Worthing defence.

Chances came and went with Chichester failing to take their opportunities and work a confident Worthing keeper. Worthing were canny and found a way to take the lead before half-time against the run of play.

Indeed the Worthing strikers always looked lively and were a constant threat although debutant Troy was close to equalisng for Chichester before half-time.

Chichester rallied and levelled through Kathegesu from close range midway through the second half. With conditions sapping the players, the game became more stretched.

Chichester’s new formation looked increasingly settled, only for Worthing to take the lead again.

Chichester were not to be denied, though. Sacrificing experience for the pace of youth Chichester continued to hammer on the Worthing D, finally to be awarded with theh equaliser in the last minutes.

It was no more than the young Chichester side deserved from a keen contest played in great spirit.

Chichester travel this weekend to lowly-placed Horsham.

CHICHESTER: Hetherington, Creswick R, Gleeson T, Woodruff, Gleeson J, Kathegesu, Hindmarch C, Lowther, Hindmarch T, Sturdy, Creswick A, Stemp, Troy.