Chelmsford 4 Old Loughtonians 0

Slazenger English Hockey League Premier DivisionChelmsford 4 Old Loughtonians 0After the Christmas break, Chelmsford returned to outdoor action against Old Loughtonians.

Slazenger English Hockey League Premier Division

Chelmsford 4 Old Loughtonians 0

After the Christmas break, Chelmsford returned to outdoor action against Old Loughtonians.

In front of a large home crowd, who now have the comfort of a new seating stand at Chelmer Park, Chelmsford knew the importance of gaining an early advantage against a side who were just one place above them in the league before the start of the match.

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In the opening minutes, Old Loughts were the attacking force and won two penalty corners. Fine saves by England goalkeeper Katy Roberts ensured that the scores stayed level though.

A quick free-hit taken by Beccy Alltre to Lynn Bollington, who was in space just outside the visitors 'D', found the Old Loughts defence stranded. After a crisp passing move, which rounded the Old Loughts keeper, Bollington received the ball back from Chloe Rogers and she had the easy task of putting the ball into an empty goal.

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Chelmsford began to control the midfield with tenacious play by Beccy Alltree. In the opening half, Alltree continued to break down attacks by Old Loughts and turned defence into attack by quickly releasing the ball to the Chelmsford forwards. The interchanges between Lynn Bollington, Tracy Willmore and Chloe Rogers were running the Old Loughts defence ragged. Old Loughts had little reply when making any attacks of their own.

In the 20th minute, Chelmsford made the scoreline 2-0 in their favour from a short corner routine, when Lisa Wooding and Irish international Ciara O'Brien combined, the latter being able to claim the goal.

Throughout the first half, Old Loughts were unable to cope with the exhilarating solo runs made by Chloe Rogers who, along with Lisa Wooding, have just returned from South Africa where they won their first caps for GB.

Just prior to the half time whistle, Chelmsford won another penalty corner from which Kirsty Smith increased their advantage to 3-0.

The second half saw Chelmsford control the match. Any attacks by Old Loughts were dealt with ease by a strong Chelmsford defence, marshalled by Marie Arber, Emer Harte and Hayley Heggie, the latter having grown this season into a dominant figure for the Essex side.

The fourth goal for Chelmsford came following a quick, slick move between Marie Arber, Tracy Willmore and Chloe Rogers, resulting in Maria Merrigan scoring from an acute angle.

Due to Chelmsford competing in the European Indoor Finals Championships at the end of February, the Essex side has to play two league matches next weekend. On Saturday they travel to West Warwickshire to play Olton. The following day they continue their travels north, to play Manchester side Bowden Hightown on Sunday.

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