Clacton 1 Upminster II 1

NE14Hockey East Men's LeagueDivision Four South East Clacton 1 Upminster II 1 CLACTON dropped their first home points of the season with a closely fought promotion clash.

NE14Hockey East Men's League

Division Four South East

Clacton 1 Upminster II 1

CLACTON dropped their first home points of the season with a closely fought promotion clash.

The Seasiders started brightly and when Captain Carl Parkes fired across a side line ball from the right it somehow managed to evade everyone and reach the far post where Sam Hodge and Dennis Donovan were lurking. Donovan swept the ball into the goal for 1-0 within two minutes.

Clacton were solid in defence seeing Colin Hook return from injury to put in his usual solid shift. Nick Key, Gavin Underhay, and Phil Herr all policed their men well and intercepted any attempts by the visitors to get back into the game.

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Man-of-the-match James Mead was in control of the middle of the pitch making sure the visitors were not going to find an easy route to the Clacton fortress and giving James Roberts and Parkes the freedom to roam forwards. Up front saw Stuart Perkins come in for the missing Coleman and showed great positioning and sense of where the goal was. Perkins was unlucky not to double the lead when his snap shot was well saved by the visiting keeper, and another shot beat the keeper but went agonisingly the wrong side of the post.

Donovan and Hodge caused fear down the flanks as Clacton kept the second placed team encamped in their half. Rob Lukey played a cameo roll and held the ball up well to bring others into the game whilst at the other end Mike Key saw little of the ball with the visitors not getting a single short corner in the first half, but Mike Key kept his concentration and thwarted a one-on-one in the last touches of the half to keep Clacton 1-0 up.

The second half saw Clacton come out sleeping and the visitors pressing to equalise and when they stole the ball deep in the Clacton defence Mike Key was left isolated for the visitors to score for 1-1. The Seasiders took a while to recover as the visitors had a new sense of confidence. Clacton settled down late on with Donovan going close from short corners. With Hodge and Perkins forcing saves from the oppositions' custodian. Parkes saw his well-struck short corner hit the keeper and deflect high and wide, and again the keeper saved well when Parkes set off on a mazy run down the left. It was Clacton pushing the hardest for the winner come the final minutes, but Upminster defended well with their keeper snuffing out the ball whenever it entered the circle.

In the end both teams cancelled each other out and effectively voiding the fixture leaving both teams locked on the same points in a mini league of their own.

Clacton, at home again next week (Clacton Leisure Centre 2pm), take on East London who will be fighting to get some more points on the board whilst Clacton need to keep winning to take advantage of any slip-ups by Upminster or London Metropolitan University make.