Chelmsford Ladies 1 Sevenoaks 2

England Hockey League

Women's Conference East

Chelmsford Ladies 1 Sevenoaks 2

FOLLOWING the restart to the season after the winter break, Chelmsford have struggled to find the excellent form that placed them as a championship contender in the first half of the season and this high-pace game against Sevenoaks proved the point. Chelmsford maintained their discipline and strengths but found it hard to control the mid-field and the final touch often eluded their strikers.

There was no shortage of commitment from the Chelmsford team and early in the match a probing ball into the D by Jess Ecott, overlapping from defence, gave Chelmsford their first short corner. Sevenoaks responded with attacks of their own and the play ranged rapidly to each end of the pitch. Another drive into the D saw Libby Knifton's opportunist jab on the ball lofted over the bar. A couple of minutes before half time, Sevenoaks were awarded a short corner which Chelmsford initially defended but the ball fell kindly to a Sevenoaks player whose simple strike gave the visitors the lead.

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Soon after the restart Chelmsford established the ascendancy and a Sarah Bolton goal, initially given by the umpires was queried by the Sevenoaks team and the decision was reversed. This prompted outcry from the Chelmsford supporters and an astounding reaction from one of the umpires as play was halted mid-flow whilst the Chelmsford captain, coach and manager were all involved to address the issue of the crowd's disquiet.

Whatever the issues were, the umpire's intervention halted the game for around five minutes. Chelmsford then had to rebuild their control of the game with Kate Maxey and Marie Kirkham excellent in defence and indeed created some fluent play, with Knifton, Beth Wilde and Sarah Glanvill spearheading the goal scoring efforts.

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Sevenoaks' work rate continued unabated and they broke out from the Chelmsford pressure to win another short corner. Again it was the second phase of play after Chelmsford had seen off the attacking strike that Sevenoaks found space to shoot and score.

Chelmsford's passion to win came through ever more strongly and in the final minutes good building play allowed a piercing shot from Beth Wilde to bring the score back to 2-1. Unfortunately for the home team, time was now against them and Sevenoaks held on to their lead to take the points.

Chelmsford's next game is on Saturday 20 February away at St Albans.

Scorers: Beth Wilde

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