Chichester resumed their national league Conference West campaign at Cheltenham after the winter break - but ended up 4-2 losers.
The game started slowly with both teams trying to dust away the cobwebs and establish themselves.
Chichester had good possession and were finding space to create threatening attacks but Cheltenham were quick to punish any mistakes with a strong attacking threat on the counter attack.
Despite Chichester’s control, it was Cheltenham who took the lead as a searching pass put into the D ricocheted off the post to a fortuitous player for an easy tap-in. It was an avoidable but unlucky goal to concede.
Chichester were able to equalise later on in the half through an excellent penalty corner by Ben Palmer.
In the second half it was a similar story, Chichester controlling the game with some well-worked routines, counter attacks and some threatening chances with Cheltenham defending well and attacking strongly.
A defensive error by Chichester allowed Cheltenham to regain the lead midway through the second half and an unfortunate yellow card for Chichester helped extend Cheltenham’s lead as they made the most of the advantage to go 4-1 up.
Chichester continued to fight to the end with Andrew Sparshott expertly converting another short corner to reduce the scoreline to 4-2.
It was another disappointing loss for Chichester, who face a tough challenge for the remainder of the season.
There is every belief among the players, coaches and club that the team will see a change in fortunes in the coming weeks and there is a strong will to achieve this through improvements at training.
This Saturday Chichester travel to face the University of Exeter for tough but winnable away game. Then on Sunday, Chichester host local friends and rivals Havant in the quarter-final of the HA Cup.
This match will be played at 1.30pm at the astroturf at Chichester High School for Girls at Kingsham and is sure to be a great game to watch. Make sure you come down and show your support.
CHICHESTER: Pacanowski (GK), Brook, Sewell, Henn (C), Palmer, Thakore, Lerwill, Cox, Emmett, Sparshott, Broadhurst, Gough, McCarthy, Baxter.
Get involved in the coverage - send your hockey reports and team pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
South Saxons 2 Chichester PP Ladies 2nds 1
CHICHESTER seconds made their longest trip – to Hastings – and came home empty-handed.
Saxons have always been a bogey side for Chi, an aggressive team who always seem to get the better of them.
Chi started the first half brilliantly and dominated proceedings for a fair while, not letting the home side out of their half.
They should have scored on several occasions as they had opportunities.
Jenna Greenaway put Chi in front with a slightly-deflected goal and they deserved it.
Then Chi let the home side play and retreated into their half, where from a penalty corner, Saxons equalised.
Chichester had two new players, Emma Ward and Trish Hump, both contributing fantastically well.
The game was hard-fought and Lindsay Hauxwell was working hard up front, letting nothing get in her way, and as she passed Hump they collided and Hauxwell nearly flattened her.
Chi were coming under more pressure.Their passing was excellent but Saxons caught the Chi defence too high up the pitch and the home team broke and scored the winner.
CHI: Claire Young, Tracy Austin, Jenna Greenaway, Lindsay Hauxwell, Emma Ward, Demelza Peake, Rachael Trent, Sarah Jessop, Harriet Gray, Ju Doherty, Jess Gleeson, Trish Hump.
South Downs Ladies 2 Chichester Ladies 4ths 3
Chichester ladies fourths celebrated winning their first point of the season with a solid performance in Steyning.
Starting strongly, they barely left the opposition’s half and the first goal of the game was scored by Chloë Goddard, soon followed by a smashing goal by Mandy Clark from a short corner.
In the final moments of the first half South Downs snuck a goal and scored again at the beginning of the second half.
Not disheartened, Chichester continued with sound passing and persistent attacking play earning them the winning goal, also scored by Clark.
The team were hopeful this would be the first of many more points to come in this half of the season.
CHI LADIES: Whittington, Woods, Wilway, Clark, Ashton, Flowers, Jones, Austin, Kane, Sodjen-Bridger, Burly, Goddard.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking sports news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
Share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!