Chelmsford II 1 Canterbury II 4
NE14Hockey East Womens League
Chelmsford II 1 Canterbury II 4
CHELMSFORD played host this week to the only other second XI in the East Premier League, Kent side, Canterbury. The visitors started the match with some strong, quick attacking play, pressurising the Chelmsford defence. The pressure resulted in the Greens conceding two early short corners in quick succession both of which were well defended with Chelsey Claridge in goal making a number of excellent saves to give Chelmsford more confidence.
Despite the continuing pressure from Canterbury in the first half, Chelmsford where able to make two quick breaks from defence, but were unable to convert these in the opposing “D”. The Kent side continued to squeeze the home team defence through quick attacking play and won three corners in succession, but were unable to convert these, through tenacious defending by Chelmsford.
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Perhaps against the run of play, Chelmsford then made a decisive attack which they made count, winning their first short corner, which was duly converted on a rebound by Judith Duffin in the 25th minute of the match. With Chelmsford now leading 1-0 they started to take control of the game and play some good hockey. However, Canterbury remained relentless with a renewed attack and intercepted a back pass in the Chelmsford defence third, to equalise before the break.
In the second half, with the scores level, Canterbury attacked as a unit winning three corners in succession with the third being converted despite a number of decisive saves from second half Chelmsford keeper, Vanessa Smith. A quick break by Chelmsford saw George Speakman's shot on goal saved by the oncoming goalie. But the visitors didn't have to wait long for a third goal when they capitalised on a Chelmsford error on the half way line and demonstrated some first rate inter-play between their forward and midfield lines to create an opening.
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Chelmsford kept their heads up and continued to pressurise Canterbury, coming back to win two short corners, which they were unable to convert. However, the visitors continued to make things difficult with for the Chelmsford defence with the resulting pressure forcing Anna Smith to make a body save which allowed Canterbury to win a penalty flick. This was converted in the closing minutes of the match, leaving the final score at 1-4.
Despite the heavy loss, there were some excellent individual performances from members of the team, including a deserved Player of the Match, Judith Duffin.