Hockey: Chichester close in on league leaders

Chichester on the ball in their win over West Hampstead  Picture by Kate Shemilt
Chichester on the ball in their win over West Hampstead Picture by Kate Shemilt

A comfortable win for Chichester’s first XI - which puts them a point behind the leaders in south open premier division one - heads our latest hockey round-up.

Chichester 5 West Hampstead 2

South open premier division one

Chichester knew bottom side West Hampstead would be fighting for points - but overcame their challenge to keep their promotion hopes burning.

Hampstead tried to go forward every time they got the ball but the home side struck first. A nice move involving Andrew Sparshott and Bejay Ranger saw Martin Gough slot in a deflection.

Hampstead came back though and found an un marked player at the far post to make it 1-1.

Sparshott again broke free and set up Gough for his second.

Shortly after, Richard Blakesley intercepted a pass and found Gough, whose shot deflected off the keeper to Ranger who fired in the top corner.

Just as Chichester looked in control, Hampstead pulled one back with a great solo run and finish.

The second half saw more composure from the hosts. Long periods of pressure and good work from Mclaughlin and Ellis carved open Hampstead.

Solid performances at the back from Matthews, Collins and Spear saw Hampstead create little and Godsmark was called upon only once in the second half.

Chi found a fourth through Ranger and Gough completed his hat-trick to make the score 5-2.

They sit just one point behind Brighton at the top so it’s all to play for.

Reigate Priory 1 Chichester II 4

Chichester were without some regulars, but started with panache and early chances went begging.

Reigate had many chances themselves but the Chichester defence stood firm and Beales and Dougal blocked well.

Halfway through the first half, a quick attack was finished with a stunning strike from Holten.

After a good effort from Jenkins, hitting the post, Chichester doubled the lead through a penalty stroke after fine work from Lunn resulted in a Reigate foot on the goal-line. Wallis slotted in the penalty stroke.

Reigate put Chichester under severe pressure but Gotham in the Chichester goal produced some quality saves.

Lackadaisical defending allowed Reigate to squeeze through and hit a pinpoint shot into the far corner.

Chichester responded with a counter attack through Baxter and Jenkins, allowing Lane-Smith to slot home underneath the oncoming keeper.

The game became more open and another penalty stroke was won by Baxter - only for Wallis to flick it just wide.

But the fourth came from the breakdown of another Reigate attack. Veltom picked the ball up inside the Chichester D and released Lunn, who fed Baxter. He spotted O’Boyle and played a quick one-two before sweeping into an empty net.

The win means Chichester remain fifth in the league.

CHICHESTER: Gotham, Dougal, Beales, Veltom, Hayward, Wallis, Jenkins, Holten, Lunn, Baxter, O’Boyle, Lane-Smith.

Bognor Town Ladies 3 Chichester Ladies II 1

This derby started at a great pace, both sides pressing. Bognor’s midfield of Simmonds, Cox, Cooper and Perry worked hard to contain the Chichester threat.

Clare Gammon was a stalwart in central defence, and Cooper picked up one of her clearances and drove from midfield to the top of the D beating two defenders on the way. She unleashed a shot which put Bognor one up at half-time.

Bognor coach Jerry Cox delivered a crucial half-time team talk. Okonta and Arnold worked hard chasing back and supporting the midfield as Chi peppered the D.

Chichester drew blood courtesy of a Sarah Jessop reverse-stick goal. But Bognor’s work-rate went up and Karen Harmer’s tireless running across the frontline was rewarded with a reverse-stick goal of her own.

Chi piled on the pressure but Jade Colwell played a blinder in goal.

Clare Gammo found Clare McKnight up front and she drove down to the baseline and held up the ball before feeding Simmonds, who cracked it emphatically into the net.

This was the best all-round performance of Bognor’s season to date.

BOGNOR: Jade Colwell, Jackie Okonta, Clare Gammo, Helen Arnold, Sue Perry, Teresa Cooper, Debbie Cox, Pat Simmonds, Karen Harmer, June Rogers, Clare McKnight. Subs: Heather Wadey, Kim Agate.

CHICHESTER: Duckers, Austin, Howarth M, Ursell, Greenway, van Beek, Pack, Goring, Howarth K, Greenlees, Jessop, Hudson.

Horsham IV 1 Chichester Centurions 3

Ladies’ Sussex League

Centurions came superbly through a tough clash with opponents four places above them in the league.

Their strong start saw them threading the ball around and after ten minutes, Debbie Brown cleared to Kerry Eames, who kept possession well to provide Nicki Williams with a scoring opportunity – which she powerfully struck from a difficult angle.

Centurions’ defence was solid against five Horsham short corners, denying them any conversions. Claire Mealing and Vicki Wake made several good attacking runs.

Horsham equalised but Centurions quickly responded when they pummelled the Horsham defence and Mealing fired a shot past their goalkeeper.

Centurions began the second half with discipline and determination. Anna Pordage and Wake snatched every opportunity to keep the ball in the midfield while Louise Thew worked hard to evade Horsham defenders who

were marking her closely.

Mealing made a spectacular clearance straight to Thew, who skilfully wove the ball into the net to increase Centurions’ lead.

Lucy Sarson and Nicki Edge kept Horsham forwards at bay and Centurions goalkeeper Chantelle Strudwick made a superb save from a penalty flick.

Debbie Brown and Louise Hurford worked well to block Horsham’s attacking runs before a questionable goal was scored by Horsham which was eventually disallowed.

This was a fantastic, well-deserved result for Centurions.

CENTURIONS: D Brown, N Edge, N Williams, V Wake, K Eames, C Strudwick, L Thew, C Mealing, A Pordage, L Sarson, L Hurford.

Havant Veterans 0 Chichester Friars 6

This emphatic derby win against title contenders almost guarantees the Friars will win the league.

The best early chance fell to Havant but they failed to hit the target from a short corner. The Friars settled and a good run from Tracey Boyce led to a pass to Bryan Lock, who finished well from close range.

Havant were restricted to very few chances and Tracey scored the second after another sweeping move.

Towards the end of the half, Chris Pacey made a great run from the right, beating several defenders before shooting past the keeper on the near post as he stepped away from the goal.

The pressure from the Friars was relentless in the second half and after a number of near misses, Lock scored his second before being yellow-carded for dissent.

Despite being down to ten players, Boyce and Pacey added a second each.

Special thanks go to Martin Hughes for stepping up to play and to John Milton for umpiring.

Hughes made a major contribution. Mathematically the title is not assured, but a home win this week should seal it.

FRIARS: Colin Ball, Danny Jaeger, Andy Osborne, Martin Hughes, Colin Smith, Dave Alexander, Dave Walters, Neil Pacey, Andrew Savory, Chris Pacey, Tracey Boyce, Bryan Lock.

Chichester Ladies III 3 Brighton & Hove Ladies V 1

Chichester needed to win to have a chance of staying up - and they did the job.

The first goal came towards the end of the first half when, from a short corner, Tina Keartland found the net.

Brighton fought well and had as much if not more of the play down their end in the first half.

Chichester started the second half with enthusiasm but a short corner led to a Brighton equaliser.

Chichester were hungry for another goal. Holly Gyles did well on the wing, pushing the ball through to Jules Stallard, who had some near misses.

The breakthrough came with a fantastic hit from Heidi Dunster. Keartland managed to get her stick on the ball which took a deflection in.

The shape of the team started to work better and despite Hollie Chamberlain taking a tumble a third goal was squeezed in towards the end, again from Keartland.

Sophie Tanner was player of the match with exceptional goalkeeping, producing some very risky commited tackles at the top of the D.

CHICHESTER: Heidi Dunster, Kelly Lillywhite, Demelza Peake, Teressa Willway, Emily Halterman, Elaine Crutterdon, Caroline Burley, Tina Keartland, Karon Chamberlain, Hollie Chamberlain, Emma Tyler, Holly Gyles, Sophie Tanner, Jules Stallard.

Chichester III 6 Fleet & Ewshot 3

Hampshire division three

Chichester stayed top and on course for promotion with a seventh straight win at home.

Dominant from the start, Chichester camped in the Fleet & Ewshot half in the opening minutes before Moon rammed home the first.

Chichester were awarded a series of penalty corners which they could not convert.

Futcher and Coote were prominent in all that Chichester did well.

After the break, two quick goals effectively saw the game won. Hansford scored twice but the classiest goal of the day was a reverse-stick strike from Futcher.

Chichester were awarded a penalty stroke after a foul by the Fleet keeper. Hansford slotted the ball calmly away to put the game out of sight.

Chichester took their foot off the gas in the final 20 minutes, with Fleet exposing gaps in the defence. They pushed Chichester hard to the end, scoring three times.

CHICHESTER: Strudwick, Hagell, Trent, Neame, Clark, Coote, Richardson, Moon, Gammon, Farr, Piesse, Futcher, Futcher.

Fareham V 3 Chichester IV 2

Hampshire area division four

Fareham got into their stride quickly but Chichester hit them on the break to go 1-0 up , Conor Lutton converting.

Fareham were awarded a dubious short corner which resulted in their equaliser.

Chichester reverted to a 4-5-1 formation and forced Fareham into error, regaining the lead through a great goal by Roger Anthony to take his tally to five goals in three games.

Chichester were denied a great goal when Anthony knocked the ball down to the keeper’s right. But the home umpire awarded a hit to Chichester from outside the D after the whistle had been blown.

Fareham were able to knock the equaliser home.

Momentum slowly swung in Fareham’s favour through umpiring decisions. Eventually a yellow card was awarded to frustrated skipper Gavin Walrond.

Fareham went 3-2 up against the run of play when Chichester were back to full strength. Chichester never gave up pressing for the equaliser. The result leaves Chichester seventh.

CHICHESTER: Rob Torrance; Jamie Gleeson; Gavin Walrond; Dave Horton, Rob Holden, Callum Adams; Patrick Sowden; Josh Odell; Matt Gammon; Roger Anthony; Conor Lutton; Kit Steely.

Chichester Cardinals 1 Chichester Chipmunks 2

Sussex division three

Kingsham was the venue as Chichester sides from the opposite ends of the table met.

Chipmunks pressed for an early advantage but could not break through the solid Cardinals back-line. They were awarded a penalty corner but a set move failed.

The Cardinals’ pacy forwards looked likely to make chances on the breakaway and interplay between the forwards led to Andrew MacCartain slotting home from a weighted pass from his brother.

Kathegesu moved to Chipmunks’ midfield and Toby Hindmarch levelled the scores before another penalty corner was awarded. The ball was fed back to Hindmarch to slam the ball home.

The Chipmunks pushed for a third and Troy hit the post after a first-time cross. The Chipmunks move up the table and the Cardinals need good results over the rest of the season to avoid a relegation battle.

CHIPMUNKS: Hetherington, Palmer, Gleeson, Stemp, Woodruff, Dannatt, Hindmarch T, Hindmarch C, Lowther, Sturdey, Kathegesu, Troy.

Chichester girls’ under-12s played in the Mid Sussex tournament at Hurtspierpoint on a chilly Sunday morning.

The absence of match practice showed and they were exposed against Mid Sussex in their first game, which was followed by a tough game with East Grinstead C.

Chichester regrouped and met East Grinstead A. An improved performance saw Chichester stay in the game and they were unlucky not to score when the ball was saved on the line.

Looking more their usual selves, Chichester took their last game to Worthing from the first whistle. An early penalty corner was well executed and Rachael Trent slammed the ball home. Debutant Alisha Renwick scored in open play after a swift interchange of passes.

The result saw Chichester third in the pool with a play-off game against Burgess Hill to follow.

Chichester were again up for the challenge and Jess Gleeson slotted home what turned out to be the winner, leaving Chichester fifth on the day but in good heart for the national club championships on March 17 at Eastbourne.

CHICHESTER: Batchelor, Stemp, Horton, Stone, Trent, Ayling, Wain, Gleeson, Rose, Renwick.