It was a busy week of ladies for the ladies' and men's teams at Chichester Hockey Club. Read the latest match reports below and get involved in the coverage by sending your reports and team pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
Chichester Ladies 1 Barnes Ladies 2s 1
South division 3B
Chichester had to settle for a share of the points at home to Barnes.
They had been looking forward to the bottom-of-the-table clash since the start of the second half of the season. With a strong squad missing only Kelly Stevens, who suffered a broken hand in the previous game, they went in search for the three points from Barnes.
Chichester came out the starting blocks firing and were linking passes well and looking like a team not to be messed with. Chichester won a few consecutive short corners.
Louisa Taylor saw an opening and hit a straight strike from the top of the D into the bottom corner.
Barnes continued to put pressure on the Chichester defence. A lapse in concentration from the back five resulted in Barnes being allowed into the D unmarked. A reverse hit from the top of the D led to Barnes levelling the score at 1-1.
In the second half Barnes pushed for the winner, which left them exposed at the back. Chichester had most of the possession in the second half and had elements of strong play with Bella Fiesta, Vicki McAllistar and Louisa Taylor linking well.
Chichester were unable to convert the short corners they fought hard to win or convert any of several clear-cut chances they had.
Credit goes to Barnes for the way they continued to believe and push to win the game. It was hard to be disappointed as both teams fought hard to the end and deserved a point apiece for their efforts.
This week Chi ladies travel to London-based team Tulse Hill and Dulwich expecting a tough game.
Chichester Ladies 2s 1 Horsham 3s 5
Sussex Ladies premier div
Chichester found Horsham too strong as they welcomed them to Kingsham.
Chi had to make changes from the previous week which didn’t help their flow and it was clear to see it was going to be difficult.
Although the home side were playing well Horsham had the edge. Rachel Mealyer in the sweeper position snuffed out the visitors’ attacks and covered a lot of ground as they switched the ball from one side to another.
Chichester had their chances but Horsham had more and the difference was in the finishing. Chi conceded two own goals, although Sarah Jessop scored for Chichester, who never gave up.
Julie Abson made an excellent save from a penalty flick and her hard work kept the scoreline down.
Chichester play Worthing this week in a relegation battle.
Chichester: Abson, Austin, Parrott, Stemp, Jessop, Trent, Hurd, Woods, Goddard, Hallier, Mealyer, Trueman.
Chichester Men’s 2nd 2 Aldershot & Farnham 1st 2
Hampshire Surrey division two
Both teams were hunting for a win to take them clear of the relegation battle.
Chichester produced a great counter-attacking move which could have lead to a goal within 30 seconds, but the chance was squandered.
The game settled down with Chichester on the front foot and Aldershot sitting back with a high press when needed.
Chichester broke the deadlock with a great team goal finished by top scorer Connor McLaughlin with a clinical reverse-stick strike across the keeper.
Chichestr missed an open goal and hit the post from a short corner. Soon Joe Budgen put pressure on the opposition centre-half and dispossessed him inside the D and scored past the keeper, who was helpless, putting Chichester 2-0 up at half-time.
After a positive half-time team talk, the second half started with a debatable goal for Aldershot to make it 2-1 – and from there they presse hard.
Chichester had the better clear cut chances and created a couple of one on ones but could not extend their lead.
Eventually Aldershot scored a well-constructed goal with a shot deflected at the back post.
The last ten minutes were all Chichester’s, with possession and chances, but it wasn’t meant to be. A hard-fought draw was a fair result.
Chichester: Kirby, Ricketts, Collins, Grant, Mitchinson, Pendle, Wallis, Peyman, Stemp, Budgen, McLaughlin, Leleu, Todd.
Two weeks after playing at the same venue in ice and snow, Chi’s third team were back at Eastbourne - and enjoyed a 2-1 win, this time in the sunshine.
They took a while to find the right footing and struggled to find the gaps to attack effectively.
They staved off a few attempts at goal but Eastbourne scored first.
After a quick regroup at half-time Chi started to open up gaps in the Eastbourne midfield and defence which allowed Verity Overton Smith to score a cracking goal from just inside the D, touching it past the keeper.
The girls were reinvigorated and after a few more attempts on goal, a short corner was fed into the top of the D by Kim Howarth to Amy Gilmour and eventually Howarth was there to slip the ball past the goalie.
Chi managed to see out the final minutes without conceeding.
Chichester Men’s 3s 3 Isle of Wight 0
Chichester had already beaten the islanders this season, and repeated the trick in this home fixture.
The game started with Chichester doing a conservative amount of probing. A focus on keeping it tight in the middle had been drilled in to the threes by the skipper Brian Lock and it was showing. Around 15 minutes in, Ben Palmer scored from a superb reverse stick hit into the bottom corner.
Chris Pacey was next to score, with a straight shot through the legs of the keeper.
After the half-time break the game slowed, with IoW having slightly more control and Chi losing their edge. That didn’t stop Mark Pacey though as he produced a calculated shot to make it 3-0.
In a chase down the wing, Chichester’s Tom O’Doherty over-committed to a challenge sending an IoW player tumbling. A yellow card brought a five-minute suspension.
Chichester keeper Jasper Marshall deserves praise for the clean sheet but it was a sterling performance from the whole Chichester team.