Hockey: Break is well and truly over for Chichester

Richard Blakesley on the run for Chichester against Brooklands   Picture by Kate Shemilt C15007-2
Richard Blakesley on the run for Chichester against Brooklands Picture by Kate Shemilt C15007-2

Chichester returned from their winter break to something of a rude awakening away to top team Holcombe - then followed that with a cup thriller against Brooklands Manchester University.

Meanwhile, Bognore and Chichester’s ladies met in a derby clash.

Holcombe 10 Chichester 1

Now Pensions Conference East

Chichester were well-beaten when they travelled to Holcombe for a Saturday-evening test that restarted their league campaign.

They had lost 5-1 to star-studded Holcombe at home and this match was always going to be a tough ask.

It got even harder after three minutes when sloppy ball turn-over from Chichester enabled a Holcombe forward to score the opener.

After 15 minutes Chichester found themselves 4-0 down and looking down the barrel.

Chichester created a couple of half-chances but an error-filled performance from Chichester and a Holcombe team who were determined to make Chichester pay meant the visitors found themselves 7-0 down at the halfway point.

The men from Kingsham regrouped at half-time and came out for the second half wanting to deliver a true account of themselves. They made regular inroads into the Holcombe back-line but were unable to make them count.

Holcombe played the ball around with pace and precision and Chichester struggled to stay with them. Holcombe scored three more goals in the second half and Luke Emmett gave Chichester the smallest of consolations when he fired a top-of-the-D shot into the bottom corner.

It was a day to forget for Chichester, who seemed to leave everything back in West Sussex while Holcombe showed why they are on course to gain promotion to the premier division.

Chichester 3 Brooklands Manchester University 3

(Brooklands won 5-4 on pen flicks)

National Cup QF

Chichester had very little time to lick their wounds after their 10-1 loss at Holcombe as they welcome Brooklands Manchester University to Kingsham in the quarter-final of the cup.

Brooklands compete one league above Chichester in the premier division but in front of a packed crowd, Chichester flew out of the blocks.

After nine minutes Matt Cox found Jack Lerwill in space on the left and his first-time pass was deflected into the roof of the net by Richard Blakesley.

Shellshocked Brooklands didn’t know what had hit them and Chichester doubled their lead when another fast-flowing attack led to Martin Gough’s first of the match.

Two minutes later Chichester made it 3-0 when Cox found Dan Brook in space and he fired a cross into the D. The ball fell kindly to Gough, who calmly slotted the ball into the goal.

Dean Symons and Alex Thakore were linking up well and crossing at every opportunity while the back line of Brook, Gerald Cox, Kieran Henn and Thakore were playing the ball around with purpose and linking well with the Chichester midfield.

Chichester stayed strong for the remainder of the first half, with the help of goalkeeper Dan Godsmark making some fine short corner saves.

The opening ten minutes of the second half were very cagey and chances for both teams came and went but it was Brooklands who started to pile on the pressure. This paid off for Brooklands when a shot at goal was deflected into the bottom corner.

Chichester were starting to tire, and with that came some tired tackles which led to two Chichester players being green-carded, which means two minutes in the sinbin.

With Chichester down to ten men, Brooklands scored a second through a well-worked move down the right.

Chichester broke through Cox and Lerwill, but the final pass fell just out of reach of Gough.

Brooklands threw everything forward in the final five minutes and won a controversial penalty corner with the ball having apparently hit a Chichester foot – this was converted, which made it 3-3 and silenced the large home crowd. All 22 players were struggling to stand after having played high-intensity games within 24 hours.

The game went to penalty flicks and this led to Brooklands winning 5-4 on flicks after converting all their efforts and Chichester missing one.

Chichester can take heart from having had the better of their opposition for large parts of the game.

They welcome Teddington to Kingsham on Sunday in the league. All support is very much appreciated.

Bognor Town Ladies 6 Chichester Priory Park Ladies II 1

LEAGUE leaders Bognor won their derby against Chichester in the last league match before half term.

Bognor started on the front foot and applied pressure, with Charlotte Cox pepperingthe opposition D looking for forwards Clare McKnight and June Rogers, but the defenders worked hard to keep them out.

Midfielders Theresa Cooper, Nadia Muncey, Lily Morris and Karen Harmer worked tirelessly to dispossess Chichester. Cox made a characteristic run from the midfield, winding her way past defenders and firing a well-placed shot on goal to open tge scoring. A second followed soon after.

Chichester seemed to rally and made several forays into Bognor territory, only to be stopped by the superb tackling skills of Emma Hunt and Debbie Cox.

A well-placed hit out by Hunt was picked up by Cooper, who bypassed several defenders and made a pinpoint pass to the waiting Harmer, who deftly slotted home.

After Bognor were awarded a penalty corner in the last few minutes of the first half, Charlotte Cox scored her third, bringing the score to 4-0 at half-time.

For Chichester, Damelza Peake at left-back had put in an excellent display, working to halt many attacks.

Chichester started the second half at full speed and pushed hard into the Bognor half. Defenders Kim Agate, Debbie Cox, Hunt and Sue Perry were put under pressure but kept their heads and committed to every tackle.

Chichester were awarded a couple of penalty corners but failed to convert because of excellent Bognor defence.

Bognor settled back into their game and two more goals followed – another one each for Charlotte Cox and Karen Harmer.

Meg Goring would have scored for Chichester but for a last-ditch tackle and Chichester rallied and were awarded a penalty corner, and a strike from Jenna Greenway was deflected into the roof of the net by Jenny Horton.

The Fox Inn player of the match for Bognor was Cooper.

BOGNOR: Cooper, C Cox, D Cox, Hunt, Agate, Morris, Muncey, Harmer, Rogers, McKnight, Perry, Woodall (r).

CHI PP: Cowley, Austin, Trent, Pack, Hudson, Goring, Keartland, Greenaway, Young, Peake, Horton, Howarth.