Colchester 2 Ipswich II 3

NE14Hockey East Men’s League

Division One

COLCHESTER’S superb run of wins came to an end as they tasted defeat for the first time this season. The game got off to the worst possible start for the league leaders as they were a goal behind within half a minute of the start.

Ipswich started the game and moved the ball back to their sweeper. The sweeper launched an aerial ball, which was not dealt with by the Colchester defence. An Ipswich player picked up the ball and ran into the ‘D’, his effort was parried by Liam Phillips but only to the back post where another forward was on hand to put the ball into the empty net.

Things got worse for Colchester as they went further behind in the fifth minute. A foul by the Colchester defence gave Ipswich the first penalty corner of the match. The injection came out to the man waiting on the left who fired his shot past Phillips in the Colchester goal.

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After giving the visitors a two goal head start Colchester began to get into the game. Some good work by the forwards forcing the Ipswich defence into making a few mistakes and conceding a couple of Penalty Corners in quick succession. Chris Dunning just failing to get on the end of a Rob Mann pass from the first and then Rohan Khaira seeing his flicked effort saved by the visiting keeper from the second.

A loose pass in midfield almost lead to a third for Ipswich. Ipswich broke quickly and Liam Phillips was out well to deny the forward a chance, however the ball fell for the attacker and he pushed the ball towards goal, only for Rohan Khaira to clear the ball off the line.

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This lapse didn’t deter the hosts and they were soon back to pressuring the Ipswich defence. This period of pressure brought three more Penalty Corners and a neat first time effort from John Wilson after good work down the right by Rohan Khaira.

As the half wore on Colchester were able to force another couple of Penalty Corner’s but without first choice Penalty Corner man Matt Brown, they were unable to convert, although they did force the Ipswich keeper into making saves.

On the stroke of half-time Ipswich were handed a chance to extend their advantage when Mark Kennedy was adjudged to have made a stick tackle and they were awarded a Penalty Corner. Chris Dunning saving the strike on the line, with Phillips beaten.

Colchester came out for the second half hungry to get back into the game and almost had the ball in the goal after only a couple of minutes. Jack Devitt forced a long corner, from the corner the ball found Joe Rich, who turned and put in a cross, where a diving John Wilson saw his deflection go just wide of the post.

Colchester finally got back into the game when an Ipswich player used the back of his stick to prevent Rohan Khaira advancing down the right. The umpire awarded a Penalty Corner, the injection was misplaced but still got to Michael Pearce, whose shot was saved but the save lead to dangerous play, so another Penalty Corner was awarded. This time the injection found the right place and Rohan Khaira fired his shot through the keeper to make the score 1-2.

The goal really spurred Colchester into life and their forwards put the Ipswich defence under great pressure. Jack Devitt picked the ball up in midfield and pushed the ball for Rob Mann, the Ipswich keeper was out quickly but the ball fell kindly for Mann, who pushed the ball towards goal, only for a defender to get a slight touch to deflect the ball centimetres past the upright.

Colchester still pressed on with Rob Mann narrowly deflecting the ball wide twice more within the space of a minute. Firstly from a Penalty Corner and then a long through ball from Mark Kennedy where the keeper made the save, which was not seen by the official and a 16 yard hit was given. Colchester though got the ball back once more and won another Penalty Corner. Rohan Khaira’s effort this time was saved by the Ipswich keeper but John Wilson was in quickly to sweep the ball off the keeper’s pads, though once again just narrowly missing the mark.

Colchester continued to dominate the game and created chances and won some more Penalty Corners, but were unable to find a way past the Ipswich keeper. With 10 minutes left to play Colchester had a glorious chance to get back on level terms. Rob Mann showed great tenacity to get down the right and along the baseline. Mann cut the ball back to Richard Sexton, who slipped as he shot and pushed his effort wide of the post, where a diving John Wilson was just unable to get enough of a touch to put the ball into the goal.

Ipswich then restored their two goal advantage against the run of play. A quick break saw the Colchester defence in tatters and an advancing Liam Phillips was unable to get out quick enough to prevent the forward putting the ball through his legs and into the goal.

Colchester stuck to their task and with five minutes left set up a tense finish. Rohan Khaira was fouled in the ‘D’ to give the host their 15th Penalty Corner of the match. Rohan Khaira neatly beat the first two runners before firing past the Ipswich keeper. Colchester pressed for the final five minutes but were unable to create a decent chance to get an equaliser, for which their efforts had deserved. Rohan Khaira was the Mersea Homes Man of the Match for his midfield running and two goals.

Colchester will not be happy with losing their 100% record but will be buoyed by the number of chances their created and on another day might have won the game comfortably. Colchester will be hoping to rectify this result when they travel to Felixstowe next week.

Colchester Round-Up

The Second eleven maintained their position in second place of Division 4SE with a 4-0 win at home to East London 2nd XI, with the goal coming from David Fletcher (2) and Duncan Scott (2). The third eleven lost out 2-1 in a tight contest with the leaders of Division 5SE with Andy Bryant getting the only goal for Colchester. The fourth 11 tasted defeat for sixth time as they went down 6-2 away against Wapping 7th 11.

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