Brentwood 2 Colchester 4

NE14Hockey East League

Division One

COLCHESTER maintained their quest for promotion as they battled to a fine victory away at Brentwood. Colchester started the game well and within the first minute forced the home goalkeeper into coming out quickly to deny John Wilson a chance after a through ball from Rohan Khaira.

Colchester pressed hard and another run from Khaira set up Chris Dunning, but the defence were out quickly to deny any chance, Colchester though won the ball back and a ball from Joe Rich into the ‘D’ found a defender’s foot to give Colchester the first penalty corner of the match. Matt Brown stepped up and put his drag flick narrowly past the top corner.

Colchester did not have to wait too long to get on the score sheet. Joe Rich intercepted the ball in midfield and put the ball on a Brentwood foot. Rich showed presence of mind to take the free-hit quickly and drive at the home defence. Rich then forwarded the ball to the unmarked Jack Devitt who coolly rounded the keeper before slotting home.

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Colchester continued to look dangerous and an aerial ball found Rob Mann on the left, Mann did well to get into the ‘D’ and draw a foul to give Colchester another penalty corner. This time Matt Brown’s effort was saved by the keeper only for the ball to fall back to Brown, whose reverse stick effort was deflected by a defender on the line.

Colchester continued to press forward and were looking dangerous but often found that last pass just lacking. The home side equalised when the broke quickly after defending a penalty corner. Brentwood worked the ball nicely from right to left and to the top of the ‘D’, where the forward rounded Liam Phillips and fired the ball at goal, Mark Kennedy managed to get something on the ball to deflect the ball wide, however the umpire adjudged that the ball had hit his foot and awarded a penalty stroke. The Brentwood taker put the ball to the keeper’s left to level up the score.

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This set back did not deter Colchester from their task and were soon back in full flow, Matt Brown started a quick break when he found Jack Devitt on the right, Devitt forwarded the ball to Rob Mann, who waited for support before firing in a cross which narrowly evaded John Wilson at the back post. Colchester and Wilson were not to be denied for much longer as the away side regained the lead before half-time.

Joe Rich won Colchester their fourth penalty corner, with Matt Brown’s effort being deflected for a long corner. Jack Devitt showed some nice skill to drive along the baseline and firing the ball across for John Wilson to slap the ball in at the back post.

The Colchester coach called for more of the same in the second half and the players delivered. Early in the half the home side were reduced to ten men as a Brentwood midfielder received a yellow card for dissent. Colchester made the most of their man advantage as they doubled their lead scoring their third goal. Tim Wright put in a good tackle in midfield and laid the ball off to Rohan Khaira; Khaira found Michael Pearce charging down the right. Pearce then laid the ball forward to John Wilson and continued his run into the ‘D’. Wilson slipped the ball back to Pearce, who could not control the ball but played the ball onto Joe Rich, whom took a touch before firing the ball into the goal.

Brentwood then got a foot back into the match when they broke quickly once more. The worked the ball quickly from the right back position into midfield and then onto an unmarked attacker, who pushed the ball to the left before firing in a reverse stick shot past Liam Phillips. Brentwood’s cause was then aided by the sin-binning of Rob Mann for dissent.

However Colchester were not to be deter and they defended well and whilst still down to 10 men restored their two goal advantage. Rohan Khaira took a sideline ball and drove straight for the Brentwood ‘D’. Khaira beat two men before slipping the ball past the Brentwood keeper.

With the game nearing the end Colchester resorted to playing half court as they saw out the game with no further scares. Colchester skipper Rohan Khaira was names Mersea Homes man of the match for his superb running in midfield and wonderful goal.

Colchester will be hoping for more of the same when they host Cambridge City 2nd XI at the Garrison next week.

Colchester’s 2nd XI maintained their promotion push from division 4SE as David Fletcher scored the only goal of the game away at Upminster 3rd XI. The 3rd XI were also 1-0 winners away at Saffron Walden 3rd XI in Division 5SE. The 4th XI could not make it a clean sweep of results as they went down 3-0 at home to Saffron Walden 5th XI.

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