Colchester 4 St Ives 1
NE14Hockey East Men’s League
COLCHESTER maintained their wonderful start to the season as they recorded their sixth straight win. It was a game of two halves as Colchester started the game slowly allowing their visitors to take control. St Ives bossed the first half as they were first to every ball and put Colchester on the back foot.
The visitors took the lead, when Tim Wright gave away a needless Penalty Corner pushing the ball away after he had committed a foul. The Strike from the corner was saved, but from the resultant long corner, St Ives worked the ball into the center, and shot from close range to beat Liam Phillips.
Colchester had their chances in the first half with Matt Brown having a Penalty Corner effort saved and Rob Mann firing just wide from the follow up. Colchester had further Penalty Corner efforts in the first half bit failed to find the target. The scoreline remained 1-0 to half time as Colchester really struggled to get a foot hold into the game due to the hard work of their opponents.
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In the second half Colchester began to play the type of hockey that they are capable of and took the game to St Ives and showed why they are table toppers. Colchester had a period of pressure on the St Ives goal with Rob Mann going close. Colchester got back on level terms when Edwin Cawthorn pushed the ball onto a defender’s foot in the ‘D’. From the Penalty Corner Matt Brown switched the ball back to Rohan Khaira; Khaira was tackled but the ball fell to the Penalty Spot where Chris Dunning was on hand to lift the ball past the stricken keeper.
Within a minute Colchester had won another Penalty Corner. Rohan Khaira drove down the right before being stick tackled in the ‘D’. This time Colchester slipped the ball to Rob Mann who slapped the ball to the back post, where Chris Dunning deflected the ball into the goal for Colchester’s second goal.
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Colchester were pilling on the pressure with Khaira once again doing well down the right, this time he cut the ball back to Rob Mann who took a touch and was just unable to get his shot off when in a good position.
Colchester still had to be wary of the threat their opponents posed as the visitors were able to win a couple of Penalty Corner’s after breaking quickly, however the Colchester defence stood firm and saved the St Ives chances.
Colchester doubled their advantage when Joe Rich found the back of the net. Richard Elston had broken quickly down the left and won a free-hit. Elston took the hit to Tim Wright; Wright deflected the ball to Joe Rich, who showed great tenacity to get the ball into the ‘D’ despite the attention of three defenders and fired off his shot past the St Ives goalkeeper.
Colchester got their fourth goal of the match after Rohan Khaira was able to run through the St Ives defence. Khaira ran from deep into the ‘D’ a pushed the ball through the advancing goalkeeper’s legs. With the ball heading into the empty net, Jack Devitt got a touch to steal the goal of his skipper.
Late in the match St Ives were reduced to 10 men as a defender received a yellow card for a stick tackle. Colchester had chances to further extend their advantage but Rob Mann’s tame effort was saved and Joe Rich dwelt too long on the ball after a quick break down the left from Rohan Khaira and Rob Mann.
In the final minute Chris Dunning had a chance to complete his hat-trick. Colchester broke quickly and Joe Rich took the ball into the ‘D’; Rich fired a shot towards the back post where Dunning was waiting, however Dunning could not get his stick on the ball and the ball hit his foot to give St Ives a free-hit.
Colchester will be hoping that they can put the first half behind them and play like they did in the second half when they travel to London next week to take on mid-table Waltham Forest. Mersea Homes Man of the Match was Chris Dunning for his two goals and midfield play.
Both the second and third elevens hit seven as they recorded emphatic wins at the Garrison. The second eleven beat Southend second eleven 7-1 to go third in division 4SE and the third eleven went one better by beating Chelmsford fourth eleven 7-0. A result which lifts them up to fourth in division 5SE. There was no such joy for the fourth eleven as they went down 4-1 away against Phoenix third eleven in Braintree.