Chelmsford II 2 Dereham 3

NE14Hockey East Women's League

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Chelmsford II 2 Dereham 3

THE weather conditions were bright and mild for the match but the pitch was saturated in the corners due to the recent wet weather. Both sides started brightly, but it was Chelmsford who pressed hardest and scored an opening goal from a well hit short corner after only five minutes.

The game ebbed and flowed evenly for most of the first half with some quick forward breakaways and attempts on goal and some equally sterling defence against a very quick and skilful Dereham attack. Dereham Ladies played a strong physical game, and towards the end of the first half began to exert pressure on the Chelmsford goal. Two exceptional saves were made by our goalkeeper, Chelsea Claridge, one from a shot in open play kicked around the post and a second from the first Dereham short corner, diving down and pushing around the other post. However, Dereham converted their second short corner and the score at half time was 1-1.

The second period matched the first half with good end to end open play from both sides. Chelmsford were awarded a short corner after nine minutes that was well defended, but both sides had good breakaway opportunities. Anna suffered a cut to her head from a deflected ball after 11 minutes, and after this Dereham had an extended period of attacking pressure which was really well defended by the Chelmsford girls.

Chelmsford finally countered with Kat Letts pushing in a goal at full stretch from a fast cross from Georgia Herron. Dereham equalised shortly after at 27 minutes, and Chelmsford nearly scored again with a shot off the post a couple of minutes later. The final five minutes saw further scoring opportunities for both sides, but Dereham scored a contentious goal, minutes from time.

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The Chelmsford team were defending another attack when a Dereham attacker's stick flew high and fast into the air after she scuffed the ball. Both teams (and some of the spectators!) took cover from the dangerous stick spinning overhead while the ball drifted into the Chelmsford net. Chelmsford were aghast when the umpires, after consultation, allowed the goal to stand.

Chelmsford Ladies can feel proud of a fine performance against the League's strongest side. The match was very different from the earlier match between the two teams at Dereham in November when Dereham romped to a 7-0 victory. On this occasion, Dereham were very lucky to leave with a close, contentious, win.

Scorers: Shen Dedic and Kat Letts

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