Chelmsford 1 Old Loughtonians 6
England Hockey League
Men's Conference East
Chelmsford 1 Old Loughtonians 6
CHELMSFORD entered Saturday's game with a nothing to lose mentality against the league leaders Old Loughts. Chelmsford had an uphill struggle from the start with only a 12-man squad due to injuries and absences meaning their fitness would be tested to the full.
Chelmsford started well in the first five minutes with a high work rate and strength on the ball however conceded in two quick fire goals in two minutes, one from open play and one from a short corner. Chelmsford also had a couple of chances through Josh Mepham and Marc Pike after applying pressure to the Old Loughts back-line and dispossessing them, but the keeper saved well in both instances.
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Old Loughts then scored again in the 12th and 21st minutes with ex GB International Darren Cheesman scoring the latter, a superb individual goal and then powering the ball into the top corner. Goalkeeper Carl Wright could do nothing about either goals which were both sublime finishes. Despite the scoreline, Chelmsford definitely did not deserve to be 4-0 down at half-time however they kept their heads high and tried to do what they could to get back into the game.
Chelmsford out of nowhere then dominated the start of the second half with chances falling to Ed Stanhope and Luke Mepham. Chelmsford were soon rewarded when Josh Mepham scored from the top of the d with a thumping shot into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
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Chelmsford were now putting pressure on the Old Loughts team who were offering a lot more width which seemed to cause Old Loughts problems creating gaps for the forwards to lead into. If you were there watching the second half, you would have thought that Chelmsford were the team in front, dominating possession and chances in and around the goal.
They continued to push throughout however they were down to 10-men when Josh Mepham got sent off for a reverse stick tackle which made the team work harder. Nevertheless they kept pushing knowing another goal could get them back into it.
It was then time for the opposition to get an extreme stroke of luck when a speculative aerial from one of the Old Loughts midfielders bounced off of the turf and onto the crossbar right into the path of their forward who pushed the ball into an empty goal from 5 yards.
Scorer - Josh Mepham
England Hockey Cup
Chelmsford 1 Olton & West Warwickshire 2
ON Sunday, Chelmsford entertained Olton & West Warwicks with an opportunity to get into the final eight of the national cup. To ensure the game took place, the Chelmsford team mucked in together and spent an hour clearing the waterlogged pitch with a number of innovative techniques!
Chelmsford fought the whole way throughout with a team mixed with the up and coming youth of Will Affleck (GK), Jack Strange and Harry Rayner and the senior presence of players such as Simon Pidgeon and David Hunter. Chelmsford went 1-0 down early on however levelled right on the half-time whistle with a short corner deflection from Marc Pike into the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelmsford battled throughout however conceded a short corner which was slotted into the top right-hand corner to make it 2-1 and could never get back into the game despite the opposition going down to 10 men twice and having a number of short corner opportunities.
Despite the loss, it was a great opportunity for the future of Chelmsford Hockey Club to gain experience. We should also not forget the efforts made by all of the club and youth coaches who give their weekends to the club and the influx of youth in the senior teams shows that their time and effort is paying off.
Next week is the final game of 2009 for Chelmsford who play Canterbury away at 5pm in an evening game, hoping they can get the win they are so desperate for against the high flying team.
Scorer - Marc Pike