Chelmsford 2 Harleston Magpies 1

English Hockey League

Women’s East Conference

DESPITEe the disappointment of losing their opening game, Chelmsford will be pleased with the development of their new squad and the excellent features of the team’s play through most of this match. Chelmsford lost some mainstream First XI players in the close season but newly appointed Manager Kathryn MacDonald has brought in some excellent new squad members, including Elsa Genovese and Liz Egan who contributed first rate skill and commitment to the team’s efforts.

With a clear agenda of organised, supportive play Chelmsford dominated the first half and excellent building work through the central duo of Louisa Taylor and Julia Butterworth allowed the Chelmsford front runners free rein. After 10 minutes a penetrating run from Loren Sherer left the Harleston defence standing and following a quick interchange Sherer steered the ball home for a well-deserved opening goal.

Chelmsford continued to press forward with Judith Duffin and Georgia Herron dominating possession in the midfield and Kate Taylor and Becky Budd ready to range forward. Where Harleston attacked, strong defensive play from captain Marie Kirkham, Hayley Heggie and Anna Smith stifled any meaningful attacks.

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For the first 10 minutes after the break the teams were equally matched and Harleston started to grow in confidence. With a couple of short corners awarded to Harleston the Chelmsford organisation was seriously tested but goalkeeper Lyndsey Warren stayed solid.

To Harleston’s credit they persevered and when sensing some loss of concentration in the Chelmsford structure midway through the half, built a charge on goal that brought the equaliser. Chelmsford struggled to stay organised and allowed Harleston to come at them. A fine run across the D and a snap shot gave the visitors the lead.

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In the closing minutes Chelmsford rallied and pressed forward. Drama built in the final seconds as a short corner was awarded to Chelmsford but they were unable to convert the opportunity.

Chelmsford’s next match is away on Saturday 24 September at Sevenoaks. Pushback is at 1.30pm.

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