Hockey: Chichester beat Brighton for national cup progress

Chichester’s first competitive match of the season brought a narrow 4-3 win against local rivals Brighton in the National Hockey Association Cup.

Chichester have had an encouraging pre-season under new player-coach Jason Collins and captain Richard Blakesley and the squad were looking forward to the first serious game.

Chichester soon took the lead through Andrew Sparshott, who beat two players and calmly reverse hit the ball into the bottom corner.

Both teams started the settle but Chichester scored again to double the lead as a rebound from a short corner came to Bejay Ranger and he flicked the ball over the stranded Brighton keeper.

Brighton clawed themselves back into it through a nicely-struck shot from the top of the D to make it 2-1.

After the break Chichester won a penalty corner though Blakesley and Martin Gough converted through a nicely-worked move.

Five minutes later Brighton scored two in quick succession, one through a quick break which caught Chichester out of position and the second from a penalty corner to make it 3-3.

With three minutes to go Chichester broke down the right through Alex Thakore and Jack Lerwill and the ball found its way to Gough, who passed to Sparshott, who buried the ball into the bottom corner.

Chichester will travel to Oxted on Sunday, September 30 to face the national league side.

They will take great heart from this win and now aim to make an early impression in the league, which starts on Saturday, September 29, again against Brighton.

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