Chelmsford 0 Oxted 5

Slazenger England Hockey League Men'sConference EastChelmsford 0 Oxted 5THE sun was shining over Chelmer Park this weekend as Chelmsford took on league leaders Oxted in their penultimate home game of the season.

Slazenger England Hockey League Men's

Conference East

Chelmsford 0 Oxted 5

THE sun was shining over Chelmer Park this weekend as Chelmsford took on league leaders Oxted in their penultimate home game of the season. Chelmsford were always in for a tough match against a strong Oxted side but could take promise in the fact they only narrowly lost to them in the first half of the season.

The first minutes of the encounter were intense as both sides looked to stamp down their authority on the game. The teams looked to hold onto possession as much as possible throughout these stages with the forwards working hard to press Oxted's defence. The visitors jumped on an early defensive mistake and hit the post with a diving attempt.

Chelmsford in attack looked promising throughout the team, with the right side of Adam Hunter, Luke Mepham and Shuhel Malique working particularly well. Relatively few chances were created in the first 20 minutes, even after the addition of young striker Richard Nourse who added a fresh spark of speed and vision to the team.

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It looked like the visitors had broken the deadlock on 20 minutes when a goal was given, only for the decision to be reversed after the ball seemed to leave the field of play before the goal was scored. Two minutes later however Oxted did take the lead through a penalty corner scored by Johannes Kloess. Soon after Elliott Seleska made good use of himself in the opposition 'D' and found himself driving down the baseline with the ball only to be forced to shoot from an impossible angle.

Chelmsford's situation was made worse with some double trouble on 28 minutes. Johan Kloess scored his second of the game with a well-worked goal which was followed by a yellow card being brandished to Ross Henderson, his second in as many weeks, after an apparent deliberate foot on the lead up to the goal. The remainder of the half was fairly quiet with few meaningful attacks from either side.

The hosts came out in the second half knowing they had to push the league leaders much harder if they were going to take anything from the game. Chelmsford initially started to move the ball with more confidence and looked the more likely to score. On 42 minutes however Oxted scored their third through ex Chelmsford overseas player Thornton McDade with a well rehearsed penalty corner routine.

This seemed to drop the green machines heads and minutes later the score was 4-0 after a reverse stick strike found the bottom of Carl Wright's goal. The afternoon got worse as Seleska had to come off with knee trouble and then Malique was sin binned for a wild challenge. Chelmsford kept fighting though and looked strong in attack but couldn't find that clinical edge in the final third. Kloess completed his hat-trick on 65 minutes after another penalty corner. Richard Nourse had Chelmsford's best chance of the game with a reverse stick effort near the close of play but even he couldn't find the backboard as the keeper kept the ball out.

Oxted came out deserved winners although positives can be taken by Chelmsford, both individually and as a team. Strong words came from injured forward Geoffrey Mills after the game 'I believe we lacked some of the character we have shown in other performances recently and need to push teams and ourselves much harder throughout the game to really show what we can do'. Chelmsford will be hoping the heavy weight Australian will be fit for next Sunday which sees the Essex based side take on Sevenoaks in a must win game which could potentially decide if they finish up in or out of the relegation zone.

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