Chelmsford Ladies 5 Harleston Magpies 0

England Hockey League

Women’s Conference East

THIS was a convincing win for Chelmsford controlling much of the game and taking the goal opportunities that came their way. From the start Chelmsford took the play to Harleston with probing balls from midfield through to the front runners. After seven minutes Harleston responded with a counter-attack that resulted in the first short corner of the match, but without score. Chelmsford stuck to their tactics of fast controlled play with accurate forward passing and in the 18th minute a burst of pace from Loren Sherer through to the back line was unfairly defended and a short corner ensued. After Harleston initially saw off the strike on goal, Libby Knifton pounced on the loose ball to open Chelmsford’s account.

The attacking line up of Sherer, Knifton and Beth Wild maintained pressure on the Harleston defence and the visitors could not mount an attack of their own. When they did come forward the Chelmsford defence held firm under the direction of captain Marie Kirkham. Chelmsford went into the break with the one goal advantage but had clearly indicated they had more to offer.

The second half saw an even more determined Chelmsford side with two short corners in the first few minutes. Gaining confidence as the match progressed, Loren Sherer pushed hard into the D and crossed to Knifton, who switched the ball immediately to Hayley Heggie who guided a beautifully hit reverse stick strike into the goal for Chelmsford’s overdue second.

Just two minutes later Beth Wild ran at the goal only to be blocked by a line of Harleston defenders. Her gently steered pass found Sherer with the space and time to guide the ball home for goal number three. Chelmsford had Harleston reeling and in Wild’s next foray forward she picked up the ball just within the D but with her back to goal. A dropped left shoulder and a smartly struck shot through the crowd saw Chelmsford’s third goal in six minutes and a potentially unassailable lead.

To Harleston’s credit they rallied half way through the second half and Chelmsford’s defence was again tested. Solid performances from first team debutante Georgia Herron and the experienced Heggie and Kirkham, ensured that Chelmsford were not in great danger of conceding. As Chelmsford regained the initiative and another short corner, Sherer again found space to sweep in a deserved fifth goal for the home side and Sherer’s second of the day.

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Chelmsford’s next match is at home on Saturday, September 25 when they welcome local rivals Old Loughtonians. Pushback is at noon.

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