Chelmsford 2 Sevenoaks 1
CHELMSFORD put their indifferent league form behind them to claim an impressive EHL scalp as they marched into the last 16 of the EH Cup. Despite being forced to move the game to the unfamiliar Brentwood School and missing six members of the squad due to injuries or other commitments.
With the visitors also struggling in the EHL, their early nerves were evident from the first whistle. A couple of quick attacks showed promise from Chelmsford, and a number of short corners were forced, however, the Sevenoaks backline stood firm to anything the Chelmsford forwards could throw at them.
As the half wore on Sevenoaks forced their way into the game and enjoyed the majority of possession. A number of flowing moves were put together which stretched the Chelmsford defence, but their current lack of confidence was evident as they repeatedly failed to apply the killer touch in the hosts’ D.
At the other end, Chelmsford were restricted to counter attacks, but the two teams entered the interval goalless with neither keeper called into much action.
After the break, though, the pace of the game picked up with new French signing Victor Condemine becoming more influential as Chelmsford starting to play the more fluid hockey which has been seen intermittently throughout the season. The midfield trio of Will Hales, Geoff Mills and Condemine took a stranglehold on the centre of the pitch and stifled any Sevenoaks forays forward.
It was therefore a surprise when Sevenoaks were able to take the lead through a debatable short corner. Jason Evans in the Chelmsford goal had no answer as the ball was fired into the top left corner at unstoppable pace by Pete Turner.
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Sevenoaks’ joy however was short lived. Chelmsford soon forced a short corner of their own and Tom Fanger’s slipped pass found Mills at the far post who deflected the ball past the defender on the line to level the scores.
The host were now enjoying their best period of play, and as the final whistle approached looked the more likely to score. That proved to be the case three minutes from time when a long cross field pass from Condemine gave Mills the opportunity to power into the Sevenoaks D and smash the ball into the roof of the net.
The dying moments of the game were seen out with relative ease by Chelmsford and will now face Olton & West Warwick in the next round. The tie will offer the chance for revenge for Chelmsford who were knocked out by Olton at the last 32 stage in last year’s competitions. The game will take place at Chelmer Park at 2pm on November 21.