Chelmsford 2 Sevenoaks 7

England Hockey League

East Conference

THE score line in this hard-fought game disguises Chelmsford’s excellent commitment, skills and effort that produced some fine hockey away at Sevenoaks. Whilst Chelmsford will give careful consideration to how they defend against a spirited attack, Sevenoaks had the good fortune of the rub of the green and virtually all efforts on goal found the net.

Chelmsford were highly organised in building their game and in the opening 15 minutes first XI debutante Ruth Gordon gave Sevenoaks a particularly hard time. Great hockey skills and running off the ball from Loren Sherer and Becky Budd saw Chelmsford hold the initiative, but at 16 minutes Sevenoaks broke forward and poached a goal. Just a minute later Sevenoaks converted a short corner to take a 2-0 lead, leaving Chelmsford surprisingly with a negative balance sheet for their efforts.

With a couple more goals from Sevenoaks, Chelmsford went in at half time knowing they had to stay resilient in order to match their opponent’s confidence and make a game of the second half. This they did brilliantly with hard work and good organisation and with heads held high they went on the attack, but in leaving the midfield somewhat exposed, Chelmsford conceded another goal.

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An attacking run half way through the second period from Louisa Taylor and a probing pass in from the left allowed Julia Butterworth to run on to the ball and score Chelmsford’s deserved opening goal. The pace of the game went up a notch, with both teams willing to take on the match and seek further goals. Well-orchestrated defence under captain Marie Kirkham’s direction with excellent support from Hayley Heggie, Liz Holmes and Anna Smith held Chelmsford together. But as they ranged forward Sevenoaks broke back and increased their account. Another slick attacking move from Chelmsford saw Taylor this time convert the pressure into a goal of her own. In the final minute another goal from Sevenoaks settled the match at 7-2.

Chelmsford will not feel they were a poor second in this testing game, given the creativity and skills demonstrated. At the next home game on Sunday, October 2 they will certainly wish to translate these attributes into points on the board. Pushback is at 2pm.

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