Clacton 0 Maldon & Lt Baddow 1
NE14Hockey Men's East League
Division Four South East
Clacton 0 Maldon & Little Baddow 1
CLACTON suffered their first defeat of the season with the first time they have failed to score. The game was extremely well balanced with both sides having ample opportunities to provide a six all draw. In the end the difference was a scrappy goal that drifted in with Clacton having a strong penalty claim turned down.
The Seasider's only have themselves to look at, as they failed to covert any of the seven great chances they had whilst stand in keeper Sam Hodge kept Clacton in the game the whole match making save after save in what was the busiest game of the season for the Clacton custodians. Hodge rightly received man-of-the-match in a game that the Seasider's would have preferred to see him slotting in the goals at the other end.
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The visitors played some nice hockey to carve open a normally solid Clacton defence of Adam Smith, John Hambrook, Casper Khan, and Colin Hook. With Jamie Roberts, James Mead, Denzil Donovan, and Russell Measor battling away in midfield allowing Rik Coleman, Paul Thorpe, and Carl Parkes the opportunity to carve open the visitors defence.
Coleman unusually let the visitors off the hook when he was found in space in the circle, one smashing the keeper and one wide. Parkes also went close but found the wrong side of the post and Thorpe saw his neat deflection palmed away by a great save from the visiting keeper.
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It was midway through the first half that Maldon took the lead after Hodge had saved the first two shots, the third mishit spun in off Hambrook and crept through the prone Hodge. Smith cleared one off the line with Hodge getting enough on the initial shot to slow its path towards goal. The Seasiders kept playing hockey and pressing for the equaliser, but the it wasn't to be Clacton's day and the game ran out of time.
Despite the loss Clacton stay top by four points as Romford lost again. Second place is now occupied by Colchester with Maldon closing in to make the top of the table very interesting.