Canterbury 6 Chelmsford 3
England Hockey Men's Cup round fiveCanterbury 6 Chelmsford 3Chelmsford lost in round five of the men's cup to Premier League side Canterbury as South African international Greg Nicol scored four and England international Dave Mathews claimed a brace.
England Hockey Men's Cup round five
Canterbury 6 Chelmsford 3
Chelmsford lost in round five of the men's cup to Premier League side Canterbury as South African international Greg Nicol scored four and England international Dave Mathews claimed a brace.
Were it not for the finishing of these two internationals, both renowned as world class finishers, the game may well have been a lot closer than the score line suggested. In fact, Chelmsford found themselves playing some very good hockey and were they to have had an extra bit of luck when Adam Hunter had a one-on-one with the goalkeeper when the score was 5-3, they may have in fact had the better of the result.
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Chelmsford started the game well despite having a re-jig to their defensive line-up with Sam Burrett on school tour in Australia and Alex Collins unavailable in his final game before travelling for six months due to illness. It was Canterbury who took the lead after 12 minutes from their first corner when a rebounded shot fell nicely for Nicol to power the ball home. At this point, Chelmsford appeared to lose either concentration or confidence and after a further five minutes they found themselves three down. A further blow came when Nicol struck again just before half time and then Mathews grabbed his second just after the break.
Chelmsford then appeared to relax slightly more and began playing some fluid hockey. William Hales grabbed what appeared to be a 48th minute consolation, following a fine cross from Hunter. Hales then followed this up with a fantastic individual goal eight minutes later, taking the ball from the half way line, beating four Canterbury players before unleashing a fierce back handed drive high into the corner of the net. There probably wasn't a better goal in the round.
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Luke Mepham then drilled a corner into the side netting to bring the scores to 5-3 with eight minutes still to go and raise a small possibility of an absolutely thrilling comeback. However, the Canterbury goalkeeper made an excellent save from Hunter, before Canterbury went down the other end and Nicol grabbed his fourth when he first won then converted a penalty stroke.
The match highlighted the work Chelmsford have done over the last four months in improving their hockey with some excellent passages. However, it also showed the work that the side will need to do to improve towards the next step, and so it will undoubtedly be a busy Christmas period.
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