Colchester 3 Long Sutton 1

East Men’s Hockey League

Premier B Division

COLCHESTER got life back in the Premier B division off to a great start as they ran out 3-1 victors at home to Long Sutton. Colchester welcomed back Wayne Masters to the first XI squad and gave league debuts to twins Bertie and Ed Mortimer.

Colchester started the game in fine form and only had to wait two minutes for their first chance. Colchester broke down the right and the ball fell to Jack Devitt who fired wide from a tight angle.

Colchester were looking good and had further chances to take the lead when good balls into the ‘D’ just evaded the forwards stick, when a deflection would have put the ball on target. In the 11th minute it was third time lucky as Joe Rich’s ball into the ‘D’ found Tim Wright’s stick, but he could only deflect the ball wide.

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Midway through the half Long Sutton had their best spell within a couple of minutes they had a shot fly wide and had a Penalty Corner effort saved. Colchester though soon got back in their stride with Jack Devitt and Joe Rich forcing the Long Sutton keeper into making two saves within a minute.

Colchester were pressurising the Long Sutton defence and a period of pressure lead to a deflection effort from Rohan Khaira being saved, with the ball falling to Bertie Mortimer, whose flicked effort was saved by the visiting keeper, but deemed dangerously to give Colchester a Penalty Corner. Rohan Khaira’s strike was well saved by the keeper.

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Colchester continued to press forward looking to break the deadlock, Jack Devitt firing wide again from a tight angle and Ed Mortimer forcing the keeper into a fine save with a reverse stick effort from the top of the ‘D’, which was heading for the bottom corner.

Colchester’s failure to find the back of the net almost cost them when skipper Mark Kennedy couldn’t get his feet out of the way to give the visitors a second penalty corner, with the strike going narrowly wide.

Colchester did find a way through just before half time. Joe Rich picked up a loose pass in midfield and set off on an attack, Rich pass the ball to Bertie Mortimer who forwarded the ball into the ‘D’ for Jack Devitt, Devitt was denied by the keeper but the ball fell to Bertie Mortimer who drew a foul.

From the penalty corner, the ball went through to Wayne Masters who fired the ball to the back post for Jack Devitt to deflect the ball into the goal.

The second half continued in the same vein with Colchester dominating possession and territory. It was the visitors though that scored first in the second half. A quick break by Long Sutton forced Michael Pearce into a stick tackle, which earned him a green card and the visitors a Penalty Corner.

Pearce was out well to deny the straight strike, but when the ball fell to the left, the Colchester defence all followed and the ball back into the ‘D’ found a Long Sutton man unmarked at the top of the ‘D’. His shot was saved by Jack Gardner in the Colchester goal, though he could do nothing about the follow up.

Parity though lasted only a minute as Colchester regained the advantage. A Wayne Masters pass found Ed Mortimer on the top of the ‘D’, Mortimer laid the ball out wide for Rohan Khaira, who calmly laid the ball across the goal for Joe Rich to push home at the back post.

With the lead restored, Colchester also restored their control of the game. Colchester came within a whisker of doubling their lead when a superb Jack Devitt reverse stick pass found Tom Britton at the back post, but Britton could not quite get the touch that would have put the ball in the back of the net.

Colchester just could not turn their dominance into goals; Richard Sexton flicked the ball wide after showing some great skills to beat three men along the baseline and final passes just evading their intended targets.

The away side were reduced to ten men when one of their defenders was shown for crudely upending Tim Wright in midfield. With the game drawing to the close the visitors had a chance to restore parity. Joe Rich was forced into making a stick tackle after Long Sutton had broken down the left. The Penalty Corner was slipped forward, with the Long Sutton man taking a touch before firing a reverse stick effort, which was well saved by Jack Gardner.

Colchester though put the game beyond doubt in the dying minutes. A great ball from Rohan Khaira found Jack Devitt, totally unmarked on the 25 yard line. Devitt picked the ball up and drove into the ‘D’, rounding the keeper before slipping the ball into the goal.

Ellisons Solicitors’ man of the match was Tim Wright for his superb work at the heart of the Colchester midfield. Colchester will be hoping for more of the same when they travel to Harleston Magpies next week.

Colchester Round Up.

After promotion last season the second XI found life tough in Division 3SE as they went down 4-1 away at Upminster 2nd XI. he third eleven also tasted defeat away as they lost 3-1 against Southend 2nd XI. There was a fine win for the fourth XI as they ran out 6-1 winners at home to Southend 3rd XI, with goals from Andy Bryant (3), Stewart Riddle (2) and James Barber.

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