Cambridge City 0 Chelmsford 1
England Hockey League
Women’s Conference East
CHELMSFORD’S draw with the league leaders last week provided the team with confidence and belief that they can start winning again, starting with the game at Cambridge today.
The match started in near perfect, bright but cool conditions. Cambridge came out very brightly with an early short corner, a period of forward pressure and a shot just wide of goal. Chelmsford fought back determinedly, with strong mid-field play through Butterworth and Bolton allowing Shearer and Wild a number of skilful runs down the wings and cross-field play into the goal area. Hales followed up and nearly scored from a driving run into the D, with a deft stop, spin and shot just wide of the post. Cambridge threatened throughout the half forcing good tackling and covering from our defence, with Kirkham working hard across the pitch cutting off Cambridge opportunities.
Smith and Cambridge’s No. 24, Colton, collided heavily after 25 minutes, both players injured. However in the following minutes good running from Shearer forced a penalty corner for Chelmsford that was converted with a strong strike from Ecott, breaking a long run of unsuccessful corners.
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The second half started with Chelmsford showing some really good passing movement between all of our mid-field and forwards, reminiscent of our good play at the beginning of the season.
Chelmsford were in good form and began to take control of the match with numerous darting runs into the goal area and strong interactive play. Cambridge had short attacking spells but Chelmsford had the majority of play and goal opportunities. Our defence worked hard to prevent breakaway opportunities, and Chelmsford could have scored more goals if Cambridge’s goalkeeper, Griffin, had not been so sharp.
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It was great to see all of the team play well both individually and as a team today. Whilst Cambridge allowed more open play than some recent games, it was clear that the effects of the winter break have been shaken off and the team is improving strongly again.
With Chelmsford now third in the league, next week match against Ipswich is pivotal to their progress.