Chelmsford 3 Cambridge University 2
East Men’s League
CHELMSFORD were forced to work hard on Saturday but ended the afternoon with all three points against a dogged Cambridge University side.
The hosts put their opponents under intense pressure from the first whistle and pinned them deep in their own half. However, Cambridge somehow managed to manoeuvre themselves out of trouble and within three minutes broke away and an unmarked striker was given a simple finish after the ball was slipped past James Stock.
Chelmsford continued to apply pressure but their dominance was not converted into goal scoring chances as the visitors repeatedly broke up flowing Chelmsford moves. They were finally rewarded though with 10 minutes to go in the first half when Adam Hunter took advantage of a mistake by a Cambridge defender and fed Ian Belchamber in the middle of the pitch. He in turn picked out Simon Taylor in the Cambridge D who picked his spot at the near post.
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After the break, Chelmsford remained on the front foot and soon took the lead. A broken down short corner was picked up by Harry Rayner and his cross across the face of goal was nudged through the keeper’s legs by Dillet Gilkes.
The students picked themselves up and brought themselves level at the midway point in the second half from a short corner which was rifled into the roof of the Chelmsford net.
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As the game neared its conclusion, the high fitness levels of both sides were put to the test, and Chelmsford were placed under further scrutiny when Mike Millane was sin-binned for a clumsy tackle. Despite this, it was Chelmsford that finally prevailed. A devastating move from deep in Chelmsford territory culminated in a long ball down the line from Rob Hartley picking out Vasan Veerapalam. He took advantage of gaps in the Cambridge defence to drift into the D and drill past the advancing keeper.
With the clock ticking down, Cambridge forced a late short corner, but Stock produced a fine save from a drag flick and then picked himself up to turn the rebound around the post with what proved to be the last touch of the game.
The victory takes Chelmsford into fourth place with a game in hand on their nearest rivals. Next week Chelmsford travel to league leaders St Albans.
Letchworth 2 Colchester 1
COLCHESTER’S poor season continued with a disappointing result away at Letchworth. Colchester had their chances to take something out of the match, but once again found themselves on the wrong side of the score line.
It was a fairly even game with neither side able to impose themselves on the game and it was the hosts that took the lead into half time. A neat penalty corner move saw the ball moved first to the right and then the left for a shot to be deflected from close range.
Colchester though continued to battle and had chances of their own with Mark Prince firing narrowly side from a Penalty Corner strike.
The second half continued in the same vein, again with neither side able to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Colchester were hampered in the pursuit of getting back into the match when first Rob Mann and the Rohan Khaira were awarded Yellow Cards to reduce Colchester to ten men. Colchester though took the setbacks in their stride and continued to battle. However the hosts doubled their advantage when a Letchworth player was allowed to run in from the left and fire in his shot past Aaron Sime in the Colchester goal.
Once again Colchester picked themselves up and a quick break saw the ball get to Rohan Khaira on the left, whose first time effort went just wide of the far post. For the third time in the match Colchester were reduced to ten men when Michael Pearce received a yellow card for a stick tackle which made Colchester’s task even more difficult.
With just over a minute to go Colchester did receive the reward their efforts had deserved. Colchester broke quickly down the right, with the ball being crossed to Vince Moore in the middle. Moore’s first effort was saved but the ball fell back to Moore, who lifted the ball over the keeper and into the goal. Colchester’s goal came just too late for them to fully get back into the game and take a share of the spoils.
Colchester will be hoping for a slight upturn in their fortunes in the next two weeks as they face fellow strugglers City Of Peterborough III away next week and Long Sutton at home on December 1.
Colchester Round Up
Colchester II recorded their second win of the season with a 2-1 victory at home to Crostyx II, a result which saw them leapfrog their opponents and out of the bottom two of division 3SE.
Colchester III kept up the 2-1 scoreline as they beat Wapping V to move them up to third in division 5SE. Colchester IV went down 3-6 at home to Harlow II, a result which leaves them in the bottom two of division 7SE.