Chichester’s early-season form has deserted them

Alex Salmon was on target for Chichester but they lost heavily at Old Loughtonians   Picture by Chris Hatton
Alex Salmon was on target for Chichester but they lost heavily at Old Loughtonians Picture by Chris Hatton

Another defeat for Chichester’s men’s first team heads this week’s hockey round-up - which also features wins for Bognor Town Ladies and Chichester III.

Old Loughtonians 6 Chichester 1

National Conference East

Chichester travelled to Chigwell for a game between two sides needing points – and came off decidedly second best.

The visitors had lost three in a row while Old Loughts were bottom of the table. In their first meeting of the season, Chichester came out 4-1 victors.

Chichester started well and played the ball around with purpose, but were unable to make the most of their possession and create meaningful chances.

Old Loughts won the first penalty corner and a rebound off the post fell straight to a forward, who slotted the ball into an empty goal.

Chichester pressed for an equaliser but a quick counter attack left them exposed and it was 2-0. Things went from bad to worse as Chichester again gave away sloppy possession, leaving an Old Loughts forward to make it three at the break.

Chichester needed a second-half performance to be proud of but yet another penalty corner was conceded and converted.

The visiting team kept trying and Alex Salmon found some space at the back post to pull one back.

Any hope of a comeback was thwarted when Old Loughts made it 5-1 with ten minutes to go and the agony was sealed when Loughts scored another penalty corner in the final minutes.

Chichester will need to bounce back quickly for their final match before Christmas on Sunday at home to Cambridge.

East Grinstead Ladies III 0 Bognor Town Ladies 3

The first half saw both teams putting together flowing passing moves, with both defences tested.

Gradually Bognor began to push harder and retain possession. Charlotte Cox was responsible for most of the free hits, managing to find a way through the defensive wall of East Grinstead, and sending supersonic shots down to Clare McKnight and Karen Harmer on the forward line, but were not able to be converted.

Theresa Cooper, Charlotte Cox and Denise Sandy held a good grip on the central area, with Nadia Muncey maintaining a strong presence on the left, making clean tackles and feeding the ball through to McKnight.

Charlotte Cox ran through the defence like a wisp and reaching the D struck the ball on the reverse side, which whistled past the keeper and into the net.

East Grinstead took up the challenge on the restart with some pressing moves, but were thwarted at every attack by the defensive skills of Kim Agate, Helen Arnold and Sue Perry. Debbie Cox was stalwart in the centre-back role, not allowing any attack through.

With only a few minutes left in the first half, Charlotte Cox hammered a ball towards a waiting Harmer, who deftly diverted the ball up and over the keeper, scoring a magnificent second for the squad.

The second half saw Bognor taking most of the possession and continue to pressure East Grinstead. Charlotte Cox, noticing a waiting McKnight in the D, sent in another of her high-powered strikes, and McKnight converted with ease.

In the final few minutes, Cooper suffered an injury and to go off. She was replaced by sub Sue Woodall.

The Fox Inn’s player of the match was awarded jointly to Nadia Muncey and Debbie Cox.

BOGNOR: Theresa Cooper, Charlotte Cox, Nadia Muncey, Debbie Cox, Karen Harmer, Clare McKnight, Helen Arnold, Kim Agate, Sue Perry, Denise Sandy, Sue Woodall.

Lewes III 2 Chi Priory Park Ladies II 2

LEWES had a very young and fit side and Chichester knew they were going to have to improve on last week’s showing if they were to see any reward.

With a different line-up, Chi were still finding their feet when Lewes had their first attack. The midfield was open and Chi needed to find a way of plugging that gap.

Chi enjoyed some excellent play, accurate passing and good running off the ball – but made some errors that let the home side into score first.

In the second half, Chichester changed their formation and played more conventionally using the sweeper system. This steadied the ship and allowed more players to get forward and press the opposition, especially Ellie Buckley playing at right-back but switching to centre-forward.

Chichester’s equaliser came from the breakdown of a penalty corner with Jessop bagging a great strike from near the top of the D.

Lewes, with their steady players and their fast youngsters, broke through the middle and scored their second. It could have been three but for Buckley at the back.

Chi fought every step of the way and were rewarded when Sarah Pack got away down the right and put a great cross. The ball fell to Hudson, who swept the ball in from five yards out.

CHI PP: April Cowley, Ellie Buckley, Isobel Dodds, Tracy Austin, Rachael Trent, Jenny Horton, Damelza Peak, Lindsay Hudson, Sarah Pack, Sarah Jessop, Emma Bennison.

Chichester III 2 Southampton II 1

Chichester threes extended their winning run to six games with victory against a competitive Southampton side who dominated early on.

After 20 minutes Southampton went 1-0 up through a well-taken short corner that Chichester were unlucky to concede.

Chichester put on pressure, creating lots of chances before O’Boyle neatly finished from the middle of the D after a good passing move.

After half-time both teams went close and Moon and O’Boyle were unlucky not to score for Chichester.

With ten minutes to go, after both teams were reduced to ten men, McConachie flicked the ball into the top corner to give Chichester a second goal.

For the final few minutes Chichester sat back and the defence of Gleeson, Pacey, Hagell and Clark ensured Southampton couldn’t break through. They were, however, saved by a great reflex save from keeper Hetherington to ensure Chichester came out victorious.

CHI: B Hetherington, J Gleeson, A Hagell, M Pacey, H Clark, E Hamill, B Richardson, C Gibbons, P Sowden, D Moon, T O’Boyle, O Troy, S McConachie, T Hindmarsh.