Chelmsford 5 Havering 1
East Men’s league
CHELMSFORD returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory over struggling Havering on Saturday. With both teams only having one win to their name, they were keen to pull away from the foot of the table, but it was the visitors who put together the more convincing and assured performance.
As they had done the previous week, Chelmsford started the game much the stronger, but this time they made the pressure count with an emphatic Tom Fanger finish from a penalty corner just a few minutes in.
As Chelmsford continued to pile on the pressure, the Havering defence were forced into a number of mistakes, and were soon reduced to 10 men when a defender illegally stopped a promising attack above his shoulder. Chelmsford made no mistake in punishing their opponents through another short corner, this time player coach Dillet Gilkes reacting quickest to a rebound.
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With a two goal cushion, Chelmsford took their foot off the gas and allowed Havering to claw their way back into the game. However, goal scoring chances were at a premium, and when the hosts did engineer a shot on goal they couldn’t force their way past an inspired Ben Sully in the Chelmsford goal.
With half time approaching, Chelmsford’s superiority was confirmed when a long ball from Fanger picked out Adam Hunter on the Havering twenty five yard line. He in turn fed Will Hales in the D who calmly rounded the keeper and gave Chelmsford a three goal half time lead.
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Chelmsford entered the second half expecting more of the same, but were caught off guard in the opening attack in which Havering forced a short corner, and the resulting strike looped into the bottom corner through a crowd of players.
Buoyed by the breakthrough, Havering looked to build momentum, but there followed a scrappy period of play in which neither team looked likely score. However, with 20 minutes remaining, Chelmsford regained their form and created a number of clear cut opportunities, and finally restored their three goal cushion when Mike Mullain seized on hesitant defending to steal the ball from the Havering right back.
He played the ball inside to Hunter who picked out Simon Taylor at the far post to roll the ball past the outstretched stick of the keeper.
With Chelmsford firmly in the ascendency, they were determined to put Havering to the sword, but Havering bounced back again to score another short corner, although Chelmsford will probably feel that they should have done better in keeping the ball out.
Chelmsford still had time to find another goal, with Hunter and Taylor combining again for the later to sweep home at the far post.
The result lifts Chelmsford back into the top half of the table.