Dereham II 1 Colchester 2
NE14hockey Men’s East League
COLCHESTER continued their brilliant start to the season as they came from a goal down to win in a tough encounter in rainy Norfolk. Colchester started the game brightly with Rohan Khaira driving into the ‘D’ and winning a Penalty Corner within the first minute. However a bobble meant the corner came to nothing. Colchester were playing well and causing trouble for the home defence. Mark Kennedy started a quick break playing in Jack Devitt, Devitt cut in from the right before finding Rob Mann in the ‘D’; Mann looked to find Khaira at the back post but played the ball just too far in front of the Colchester skipper.
Midway through the half Dereham took the lead in slightly dubious fashion. Dereham were awarded a Penalty Corner after a foul by Matt Brown. From the corner Dereham took a straight strike, which Brown deflected on the line, with the ball well above backboard height. After some deliberation between the two umpires they decided to award a goal.
With the rain starting to pour down, Colchester upped their efforts. Richard Sexton doing well to win another Penalty Corner for Colchester. This time Matt Brown’s effort hit the post. Shortly after Colchester had a glorious chance to equalise; Rob Mann made a surge round the outside and crossed the ball where Rohan Khaira could only deflect the ball wide.
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Edwin Cawthorn, making his first appearance of the season received a yellow card towards the end of the half for raising his stick above shoulder height to bring down an aerial ball. Whilst down to ten men, Dereham pressed and won a Penalty Corner. This time the strike was saved by Colchester keeper Liam Phillips.
In the second half Colchester continued to control the play and created plenty of chances. Colchester got back on level terms when Chris Dunning deflected a Matt Brown Penalty Corner on the right post.
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Colchester were playing nicely and Rob Mann went close to putting the visitors ahead, after rounding the home goalkeeper, Mann flicked his shot narrowly wide of the post. Colchester had to be wary of the threat that the hosts still posed and a good save by Liam Phillips from a Penalty Corner prevented Dereham from regaining the lead.
It was Colchester that finished the game the stronger and Colchester soon took the lead, which their play had deserved. Chris Dunning made a superb run down the right, reach the baseline. Dunning fired in his cross and found Jack Devitt on the Penalty Spot, who swept the ball into the bottom corner.
Colchester nearly put the game to bed when Joe Rich cut in from the right; Rich beat a couple of men, before rounding the goalkeeper, however Rich pushed the ball just to wide and couldn’t aim his reverse stick effort on target.
Mersea Homes Man of the Match was Chris Dunning for his work rate in the Colchester midfield. Colchester will be pleased to have come from behind in this match and will be looking to show the same great team spirit when they look to extend their 100% record at home to St Ives next week.
THE Second eleven got back to winning ways with a 5-1 win at home to Harlow. The third eleven lost their unbeaten record in devastating fashion as they lost 13-0 away against Wapping fifth eleven. While the fourth eleven recorded their first victory with a 1-0 against Old Southendian fourth IX.