Brooklands MU 2 Chelmsford 2

Division OneBrooklands MU 2 Chelmsford 2A BRACE of goals from top scorer Olly Cooper sent Chelmsford up the table to third, but Chelmsford let a two- goal advantage slip as well as missing a last minute penalty stroke.

Slazenger English Hockey

Division One

Brooklands MU 2 Chelmsford 2

A BRACE of goals from top scorer Olly Cooper sent Chelmsford up the table to third, but Chelmsford let a two- goal advantage slip as well as missing a last minute penalty stroke. However, while Chelmsford had an opportunity to take all three points, they were fairly contented with the one that they did leave Manchester with.

Chelmsford's squad was hit before the match with Rob Wilson taken ill before the game.

Brooklands had the better of the opening exchanges, as Chelmsford were unable to retain possession and Adrian Kimber was forced to pull off a number of excellent stops in the Chelmsford goal. However, Chelmsford were looking dangerous on the break and created a number of chances for themselves.

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So it was, after 27 minutes of the first half that Chelmsford eventually made the break-through. A beautifully disguised pass from Elliott Seleska found Cooper with time and space in the 'D' and his first time slap was enough to beat the Brooklands goalkeeper.

Cooper then doubled the lead four minutes later. A subtle lay off from 15-year-old debutant Ed Stanhope found Will Hales on the Brooklands left hand base line. His firm cross allowed Cooper to simply deflect the ball into the goal.

Having controlled the latter stages of the first half, Chelmsford went into the break in confident mood. Brooklands though changed their game plan at half time and Chelmsford were far too slow to react.

As the Manchester based side pressed hard, Chelmsford were unable to get a firm grip upon the game. Brooklands found a way back into the game when Matt Lennox got onto the end of a cross and steered the ball home. Ten minutes later and they were level when David McCollum found too much space at a free hit and he too was able to deflect the ball into passed Kimber.

The game was set up for a thrilling finale and Chelmsford were given a lifeline when Brooklands were forced to 10 men following a yellow card offence. During this period, Hales was denied a winner when a goal was ruled out, the umpire having adjudged Hales to have had an 'air-shot' prior to his strike.

Chelmsford, themselves were forced to play the final five minutes with 10 players with Adi Palmer sin-binned. Then, with one minute to go Chelmsford were awarded a penalty stroke for an infringement on the line. Luke Mepham stepped up, but his powerful stroke was saved, and both sides were forced to settle for the draw.

Manager Peter Woodward was left to rue on what could have been. “We obviously had the chances to win the game, but it wasn't to be. We didn't have many players on top of their games, and we were naïve at times. But in the end a draw here is not a bad result and we will look to get back to winning ways next week.”

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