Chelmsford 4 Cambridge City 5
East Men’s League
FOR the second week running a second-half fight back was not enough for Chelmsford to snatch a point against third place Cambridge City. The result and performance continues a run of fixtures where Chelmsford have played some of their best hockey of the season in patches, but lapses in concentration have been punished by their opponents.
The start looked bright for Chelmsford, with several openings created in the early stages, but for all their forays into the City D could not find the killer touch in front of goal. Frustratingly for the hosts, City were able to score against the run of play when their first penalty corner was turned into his own net by Jack Strange.
From that point on Cambridge began to dominate and just midway through the half were deservedly three goals up. Their second goal came from a rebound after Jason Evans had saved the initial City shot, with the third a well placed strike from the top of the D from a Cambridge midfielder.
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As the interval loomed, Chelmsford were thrown a lifeline when Adam Hunter jinked into the City D, and as he was closed down by the keeper rolled the ball to the far post for Marc Pike to tap into an empty goal.
With momentum now building in their favour, Chelmsford started the second half on the front foot, and it wasn’t long before they scored a deserved, if somewhat fortuitous, second goal. A push out from a penalty was misplaced to the open stick of David Hunter, but he somehow looped the ball into the far corner past a bewildered keeper.
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With Chelmsford now back firmly in the game, they could sense an unlikely victory. However, City hit back with two killer goals in the space of two minutes. Firstly they scored another short corner which was almost identical to their first, Dale Becker this time the unlucky defender. Moments later, a long aerial pass was allowed to land deep in Chelmsford territory, and the City winger was able to bundle his way past two defenders and Evans in the Chelmsford goal before completing an easy finish.
With time running out, Chelmsford committed numbers forward and almost got rewarded for their endeavour. Firstly Will Hales continued his run of scoring form with a fine reverse stick finish from the top of the D, and then George Mann volleyed home from close range after Adam Hunter’s cross picked up a deflection off a City stick.
However, this late pressure was not enough for Chelmsford to earn a point as the final whistle sounded to the relief of the visitors. The result means City continue their challenge for second place, whilst leaving Chelmsford firmly in mid table.