A fine fightback by Chichester’s first XI heads this week’s hockey round-up.
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Sevenoaks 3 Chichester 3
South open premier
CHICHESTER travelled to Sevenoaks for what they knew would be a tough encounter, with Sevenoaks having won five of their seven home games this season.
Sevenoaks came out of the blocks with all guns blazing and took the lead after five minutes through a sublime finish by a forward.
With Chichester seeming to have left their legs in the cars, Oaks doubled their lead through a well-worked short corner.
They were soon 3-0 up when Chichester failed to clear their lines and again paid the price with a neat finish by an Oaks forward.
Half-time could not come soon enough for Chichester and with some straight talking and tactical changes by player-coach Jason Collins, Chichester came out looking like a rejuvenated team.
They were first to every ball and put Sevenoaks under increasing pressure and with this came Chichester’s first goal.
Connor McLoughlin fired the ball across the D, where a waiting Andrew Sparshott deflected the ball into the goal.
Some great pressing and anticipation combined with hard work enabled Chichester to dominate their opposition, and it was soon 3-2 when Martin Gough’s effort deflected off the Oaks keeper for Sparshott to bag his second and give Chichester real optimism.
Chichester started to create more and more chances, some of which went agonisingly past the posts, but with five minutes left they grabbed the all-important equaliser.
A neat one-two between Jack Lerwill and Richard Blakesley enabled Lerwill to enter the D and fire his reverse shot into the top corner.
The final few minutes were frantic. Chances for both teams came and went but Lerwill and Gough both had great chances to grab a late winner for Chichester but were unable to convert their efforts.
Next up for Chichester is a clash with Milton Keynes at Kingsham on Saturday (1.30pm).
Penguins II 2 Chichester Chipmunks 3
Sussex division three
A changed Chichester side travelled away to Penguins for what turned out to be a close-fought battle.
With the clubs only a point away from each other in the league this was always going to be a tense affair.
Chichester’s nerves were settled early with a goal within the first two minutes as swift interplay saw Chichester drive into the D and they were awarded a penalty corner after a Penguins offence.
Pywell took the ball at the top of the area, waited for the defenders to commit, before slipping the ball to Sturdey who slammed the ball home.
Chichester pushed forward throughout the second half but despite good passages of play could not build on this early lead.
The second half started in the same way with Chichester hunting for a second right from the whistle.
Despite good penetration though, the goal did not come.
Instead Penguins pushed forward and found themselves opportunities to grab two quick goals to take the lead.
Undaunted, Chichester continued to play passing hockey and a pass from Richard Creswick down the right led to Grant driving on and the ball finally being passed across the goal to the waiting Lowther who struck home from close range.
Not content to sit back, Chichester pushed on looking for a winner that came through Andrew Creswick, who continued his fine vein of form with his fourth goal in three games in 2103 to steal the points for Chichester.
CHIPMUNKS: Hetherington, R Creswick, Gleeson, Woodruff, Stemp, Tadd, Dannatt, Sturdey, Pywell, Lowther, Kathegesu, Hindmarch, A Creswick, Grant.