Chichester Hockey Club have secured a second season in the National League.
Despite losing 4-1 at home to Brighton last week, other results meant theit place in the Now Pensions Conference East – into which they were promoted a year ago – was assured for 2015-16.
Brighton and Chichester were level-pegging going into the match and a win for either team would guarantee their survival.
It was Brighton who started with purpose while Chichester looked lethargic and lacking in confidence, having lost their past five matches.
Brighton look a deserved lead in the 12th minute though neat work down the right followed by a simple tap-in at the back post.
Brighton doubled their lead through a similar team move, leaving Chichester with a mountain to climb.
Chichester started to come to life with ten minutes left in the first half as a fine pass from Alex Thakore found Andrew Sparshott in space but his fine deflection was brilliantly saved by the Brighton keeper.
Chichester continued to press for a goal before the break but were unable to penetrate a well-set-up Brighton defence.
After the break, Chichester started to show the form which had seen them lie second in the table for more than half the season, but still they were unable to get that vital breakthough and Brighton extended their lead through a well-worked penalty corner.
Chichester got one back with ten minutes to go when Richard Blakesley passed to Jack Lerwill, who slotted the ball into the bottom corner. Chichester continued to press but were again caught on the break and went down 4-1.
The win for Brighton cemented their place in the league and fortunately for Chichester results elsewhere went their way to secure their survival.
Oxted 9 Chichester 4
Now Pensions Conference East
Chichester travelled to Oxted depleted by a spate of injuries and people away, and Matt Sewell was in goal for the injured Dan Godsmark.
In the first five minutes, Chichester had had three good chances to take the lead, but recent form and lack of confidence saw them go astray. Oxted caught their breath and took the lead on their very first attack as a short corner was dispatched high into the top corner.
With some great passes and patience Chichester levelled when Jack Lerwill’s pass went to Dean Symons to convert a reverse shot.
The next Oxted attack saw some strange decisions going their way and while some were waiting for a whistle a last-ditch mistimed tackle saw Oxted awarded a penalty stroke which was converted. Oxted quickly increased their lead through a goal that Sewell had no chance of reaching.
Strange umpiring decisions seemed to spur on Chichester and Oxted had to defend furiously.
Luke Emmett and Lerwill found space on the wing and fed Ollie Baxter, who deflected the ball high into the back of the goal.
Chichester won the ball back following the restart and with a virtually identical attack the ball was again deflected into the Oxted goal by Baxter.
Half-time came at the wrong time for Chichester and gave Oxted time to re-group and they soon capitalised on mistakes, scoring two quick goals.
Chichester scored when the pass of the day by Andy Sparshott allowed Lerwill to fire the ball into the D to Martin Gough, whose pass allowed Baxter to slip the ball past the goalkeeper from an acute angle for his hat-trick.
Oxted scored another open play goal then with Chichester going down to ten men with a two-minute green car,d they managed to score another three make the final score 9-4.
Chichester PP Ladies II 0 Lewes III 2
After a great effort last week, Chichester were lucky to get nil this time.
Lewes came with no keeper and elected to play all 11 players on the pitch instead of having one player playing as a kicking back.
This did not help Chichester as the opposition crowded out their defensive D and made it very hard to play against.
The home side could not create any clear-cut chances, whereas Lewes took theirs. If it wasn’t for Jac Kane in goal the scoreline could have been higher. Chichester end their season at Southwick on Saturday.
Chi PP: Jac Kane, Tracy Austin, Sarah Pack, Meg Goring, Theresa Wilway, Jenny Horton, Rachael Trent, Emily Ursell ,Damelza Peake, Merryn Young, Caroline Burley, Lindsay Hudson.