Chelmsford 4 Bowdon 5

Slazenger English Hockey League Division OneChelmsford 4 Bowdon 5Chelmsford were forced to suffer a last minute agonizing defeat to top of the table Bowdon.

Slazenger English Hockey League Division One

Chelmsford 4 Bowdon 5

Chelmsford were forced to suffer a last minute agonizing defeat to top of the table Bowdon. Chelmsford could argue that it was a controversial winner from the Manchester side, however they know that they had the chances the win the game beforehand.

In a thrilling, open game that ebbed and flowed, which never saw either side open more than a one goal lead, many thought neither team deserved to lose the match.

While Bowdon had the better of the play at the start, it was Chelmsford who created the first clear-cut chance when a cross field pass found Luke Mepham on the 25 yard line. With a deft flick, he lobbed the goalkeeper, only to find the ball land on top of the cross bar.

Bowdon gained the lead through Ali Brogdon when he beat the excellent Adrian Kimber at his near post. Chelmsford quickly hit back and following an impressive five-minute spell, Chelmsford drew level when Olly Cooper forced the ball across the line.

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Three minutes later and Bowdon were back in front with another Brogdon goal, this time his strike taking a cruel deflection off Dan Emery's foot to wrong foot a stranded Kimber. However, Cooper was not to be outdone and he had restored parity with another close range effort - albeit with the assistance of a one-two with the post.

With the score at two apiece at half time, both sides started the second half fairly tentatively. It was Chelmsford that got in the initial blow when Adam Hunter swept the ball home from eight yards to the delight of the large, enthusiastic crowd.

Only seven minutes later and Bowdon had restored their lead. First David Egerton deflected the ball past Kimber and then Pakistan international Ali Ghazanfar managed to find space in the 'D' from a free hit to slide the ball into the goal.

Chelmsford then showed they had resilience themselves when Alex Collins turned neatly from a broken down set piece to plant the ball into the corner of the goal to bring the game to 4-4 with only six minutes to go. Following that, from another short corner, Emery's deflected shot looped over all defenders to see the ball once again land on the top of the crossbar.

The final moment was as cruel as the game was frenetic. With both sides showing signs of tiredness and still pressing for the victory, the ball broke to the Bowdon right-winger who crossed the ball for Dominic Maguire to slot the ball passed a despairing Kimber to send the Bowdon players into delirium. Chelmsford's protests that the ball hit the forward's foot did not succeed and with no time left on the clock there were no chances for Chelmsford to push for a deserved equalizer.

Manager Peter Woodward said: “It was such a sad way for us to lose the game, which I felt we definitely deserved something out of. The squad worked their socks off on the field today. Hopefully we will learn from the game and bounce back when we have our last league game of this half of the season against Southgate next week.”

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