Chemsford 3 Oxted 4
England Hockey League
Men's Conference East
Chelmsford 3 Oxted 4
CHELMSFORD can feel extremely hard done by in a game where they deserved at least something from the game. The home team welcomed back David Hunter from his two week's break and coach Royce Waters started himself due to an injury to Ian Belchamber. The game started off at a very high pace putting the visitors Oxted under a lot of pressure early on however this was absorbed with no real end product.
Oxted had strength at the back and distributed well throughout which increased the workload for the Chelmsford forwards chasing down the ball in particular Marc Pike, Ed Stanhope and Luke Mepham. Oxted's quick distribution led to balls being pumped into the Chelmsford circle where a number of short corners were won. Goalkeeper Jason Evans had a superb first half making a number of good saves from those short corners as well as a showing his mobility and diving ability on a number occasions.
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Chelmsford's first main chance was initiated by Willy Hales who weaved through a couple of Oxted players and hit a pass to Marc Pike who turned his man well only to see his reverse stick shot across the goal go wide with Ed Stanhope unable to tip in at the far post.
Despite Oxted having the majority of possession Chelmsford were creating the more clear-cut chances, one of which broke the deadlock in the 28th minute. Luke Mepham had a one-one with the keeper who at the second attempt forced it through to Josh Mepham who slotted the ball into the open goal. Chelmsford managed to keep this lead until half time despite being down to 10 men for five minutes where Elliott Seleska saw yellow for misconduct.
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Early in the second half Chelmsford went into meltdown and conceded two goals in the space of two minutes the first through a short corner and the second through play down the right. The Oxted player was allowed to run down the right who slipped the ball to an unmarked player who slotted the ball home passed the helpless goalkeeper.
Chelmsford fought back and scored another short corner from the prolific Adrian Palmer to make it 2-2. The tackle that warranted the short corner also saw an Oxted player see yellow meaning Chelmsford has the impetus to try and drive for the win.
As they pushed for the win so did Oxted but their chances of taking advantage of the pressure were dealt with a massive blow when Elliott Seleska was again sent off this time for verbal misconduct to the umpire. Chelmsford then made a d entry down the right and thought they won a short corner however the game continued and as a result Oxted counter attacked to score their third goal which was a massive blow for the team.
Chelmsford continued to push however as they pushed forward the Oxted team scored through a cross which was deflected into the near corner with a great diving effort. The home side then continued to push forward with as many as six forwards leaving just two at the back and scored in the final play of the game through another Adrian Palmer short corner special.
Chelmsford need at least two wins in their remaining five games and although this is a hard task it is within their own control and the performances since the Christmas break show that they will not be giving up their National League status without a fight, however they need to try to keep 11 players on the pitch for the full 70 minutes to do this.
Chelmsford face an away trip to Sevenoaks this Sunday and need to get something from the game.
Scorers - Josh Mepham, Adrian Palmer (2)