Colchester 1 Cambridge City II 2
Hockey East League
TABLE toppers Colchester suffered defeat for the second time this season as they went down 2-1 at home to Cambridge City II. Colchester started the game looking to build on the previous week’s good result and early in the match had a chance to open the scoring. Chris Dunning won the ball in midfield and fired a pass to John Wilson; Wilson deflected the ball for Rohan Khaira to run onto. Khaira drove into the ‘D’ and let go a shot; which the keeper kicked back to Richard Sexton; whose flicked effort was also saved by the visiting keeper.
Colchester skipper Rohan Khaira was looking in fine form as from a sideline hit he beat five men on his way into the ‘D’, Khaira was fouled as he beat the last man, but the umpire allowed play to go and Khaira could only push the ball goal wards, where the keeper made a comfortable save.
Colchester were looking good and some nice teamwork gave Colchester the first Penalty Corner of the match, which Rohan Khaira fired straight at the keeper.
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Midway through the half the visitors took the lead against the run of play. Michael Pearce got a stick to a hopeful through ball, but the deflection fell into the path of the forward, who ran onto the ball and hit the ball first time past the out rushing Liam Phillips.
This set back did not throw Colchester off their stride and they were soon back to pressurising the Cambridge City defence. With Joe Rich getting into a couple of good positions but just unable to find a Colchester man with his cross.
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With the half drawing a to a close Colchester had a couple of chances to get back on level terms, Richard Sexton firing narrowly wide from open play and Rohan Khaira unable to get a telling contact from a slip back at a Penalty Corner.
Colchester were looking for more of the same in the second half as they were playing well and creating chances. This continued in the second half and their first chance came within minutes of the restart. Chris Dunning made a tackle deep in the Cambridge City half and drove into the ‘D’; Dunning looked for his man at the back post, but the ball was just too strong.
Colchester were camped in the Cambridge City half for much of the second half, but had to be wary of the quick break from the visitors as Liam Phillips was called upon to make a save when a Cambridge forward had got through.
Colchester were still creating chances and Jack Devitt forced the Cambridge keeper into making a save from his fine reverse stick effort. With 10 minutes of the game remaining Colchester finally forced an equaliser. A ball forward from Mark Kennedy found David Fletcher, who did well to win a free hit. Rohan Khaira passed the ball to Joe Rich, who drove into the ‘D’ and drew a foul. From the resultant penalty corner Rohan Khaira stepped up a fired a strike at goal, which deflected off a defender’s stick into the goal.
Colchester should have been looking to consolidate at then press on for the winner, however a minute of madness after the goal gifted the visitors the lead once more. A poor pass from Michael Pearce surrendered possession in the Colchester half and the visitors piled forward, Colchester saw out this attack, but Richard Elston tried to take a quick free hit but only found a Cambridge player. Cambridge played the ball up to a man in the ‘D’ who crossed the ball, only for Tim Wright to deflect the ball past Liam Phillips.
Colchester regained their composure and set about getting back on level terms once more. However they found the visiting goalkeeper in fine form as he made a couple of good saves from Rohan Khaira and a great save from a Michael Pearce reverse stick effort.
Cambridge City had the final chance of the match as they broke quickly in the final minute as Colchester pressed for the equaliser. A foul by Michael Pearce gave the visitors a penalty corner and a double save from Liam Phillips prevent the visitors from getting a third goal.
Mersea Homes Man of the Match was Colchester Skipper Rohan Khaira. Colchester will see this as three points dropped as they had the lion share of the match and created the more chances. Results elsewhere meant that their four point lead at the top remained and they will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host bottom club Bury St Edmunds next week.
Colchester seconds recorded another win to keep them top of division 4SE. Goals from Lloyd Dennis and Alfie Sexton saw them take a two goal lead. Witham seconds did well to get back on level terms, but a first goal for the club from Edwin Cawthron ensured all three points went to Colchester. The third eleven hit six as they demolished Havering 3rd XI in division 5SE. The fourth eleven where narrow losers as they went down 3-2 at Southend 3rd XI in division 7SE.