Chelmsford 2 Sevenoaks 2

England Hockey League

Women’s Conference East

SEVENOAKS are one of the toughest teams to play in the Conference East league and their clear aim in this hard fought match was to use their home advantage to dislodge Chelmsford from their position at the top of the league.

In their role as hosts, Sevenoaks started the game in a highly confident mood, gaining most of the possession and ranging forward at any opportunity. After just three minutes a long ball forward found Sevenoaks’ lone front runner whose quickly taken shot opened the scoring.

Chelmsford kept their heads and played their way into control of the game. Loren Sherer made telling runs through the Sevenoaks defence and was unfortunate not to score seven minutes into the game with a fine effort just outside the left post.

Approaching the mid-point of the half, Chelmsford’s pressure was rewarded with a short corner that was initially miss-hit but Becky Budd was the first to react to strike home for a deserved equaliser. Just minutes later a second short corner came Chelmsford’s way and this time Jess Ecott found the net to give Chelmsford the lead.

Sevenoaks fought back and the flow of play opened up. A breakthrough by Sevenoaks saw their forward on a one-to-one with Chelmsford’s Lynsey Warren in goal. Warren’s diving save and swift clearance of the ball maintained Chelmsford’s lead at half time.

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The second half opened at the same frenetic pace as the first and Chelmsford’s back line of Hayley Heggie, Jess Ecott and captain Marie Kirkham held firm and sought to give the midfield support for attacking options. A well built attack from midfield gave Libby Knifton the opportunity to charge past the Sevenoaks defence with just the goalkeeper to beat. Unfortunately for Knifton, Sevenoaks’ keeper got the tip of her glove to the ball.

With the match entering its final phase Sevenoaks upped the pace, forced a short corner and scored their equaliser. Chelmsford battled away to get the late winner to no avail but must be satisfied with a creditable away point that maintains their status as league leaders.

Chelmsford’s next match is at Chelmer Park on Saturday, October 23 against Cambridge City starting at noon.

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