Clacton 12 East London II 2
NE14Hockey East Men's LeagueDivision Four South East Clacton 12 East London II 2CLACTON took advantage of a great performance, and an opposition weakened by unavailability, to increase their goal difference which could prove crucial in the closing stages of the season in their battle with Upminster for the final promotion place.
NE14Hockey East Men's League
Division Four South East
Clacton 12 East London II 2
CLACTON took advantage of a great performance, and an opposition weakened by unavailability, to increase their goal difference which could prove crucial in the closing stages of the season in their battle with Upminster for the final promotion place.
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The Seasiders started brightly and forced a number of early short corners seeing Ric Coleman back in the starting line-up and continuing where he left off scoring with a well placed shot. Clacton pressured the opponents and took an early 3-0 lead, but the opponents showed their spirit by getting one back before Clacton made it 4-1 at half time.
James Mead had to limp off during the first half with a swollen foot and Phil Herr entered the game to score two goals and come away with the man-of-the-match award. Nick Key, Gavin Underhay, Adam Smith, and Colin Hook were in control of the defensive end with Mike Key seeing little action in goal. Carl Parkes and Jamie Roberts were able to push on from midfield with Rob Lukey, Sam Hodge, Denzil Donovan, and Coleman seeing plenty of the ball and sights of the visitors goal.
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The second half saw Clacton re-shuffle with stalwart defender Hook taking a rest to give the Seasiders a very attacking shape. With the top of the table extremely tight on points it was critical that Clacton took advantage of their superior attacking play and with the goals ticking up Clacton continued to move the ball crisply which allowed them time and space in and around the opponents circle.
Coleman continued his record breaking goal tally hunt with five in the match to reach 20 for the season. Roberts poached one from a short corner and Donovan chipped in with two, to see both players on six for the season and Coleman's closest rivals in the Clacton goal table. Herr pushed through from midfield to get two with Hodge providing the service down the right. Lukey poached his fourth of the season and Captain Parkes opened his account with a strike from the top the circle.
East London were reduced to 10 men when one of their players was tracked down by a Nick Key heat-seeking 40 yard hit and with the scoreline increasing the visitors could have easily given up the fight, but East London earned the respect of the Seasiders by continuing to play good hockey and it was the visitors that finished the scoring in the last minute when they neatly played the ball around the attacking screen and found the Seasiders short of defenders scoring with a well-struck shot that flew past keeper Mike Key for a final score of 12-2.
Next week Clacton play the final game of the year at Maldon (Binders Field 3pm) to see the half-way stage of the season come to close, not to resume until 17th January.