Guildford 2 Chelmsford 3

Slazenger EHLDivision OneGuildford 2 Chelmsford 3Chelmsford picked up their first points of the season on Sunday with victory over a Guildford side that have now replaced them at the foot of the table.

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Division One

Guildford 2 Chelmsford 3

Chelmsford picked up their first points of the season on Sunday with victory over a Guildford side that have now replaced them at the foot of the table.

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These two sides enjoyed a number of close battles during their time in the Premier League, but have both struggled for the past few seasons. This latest encounter was similarly tight for the entire game.

Early on Chelmsford's new midfield trio of Danny Emery, Jon Peckett and Duncan Woods were able to control the game and were creating numerous opportunities.

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The Essex side eventually took the lead in the 19th minute through Emery, who finished with aplomb from a tight angle after a through ball from Ian Belchamber.

Belchamber then wiped out his good work when his first touch gifted David Usher the chance to draw Guildford level as, despite Dean Armstrong getting a decent stick onto the ball, the strike had enough momentum to make it over the line.

Chelmsford went into the break a goal to the good though thanks to Luke Mepham's penalty stroke, following fine work down the right between Mepham and Adam Hunter.

The flow of the game then changed significantly in the 50th minute when Chelmsford's Palmer was red carded for an alleged strike of the stick on a Guildford player's arm.

Chelmsford appeared somewhat shell-shocked by this decision and, even though Armstrong had been a spectator for large parts of the game, Guildford drew level after 55 minutes when Thomas Griffin slotted the ball past him.

For a side who were without a point and down to ten men, Chelmsford showed tremendous bottle and slowly fought their way back into the game.

Despite the man disadvantage, it was the Essex side who created the more chances, with Olly Cooper in particular being guilty of missing a gilt edged chance.

Then, in the 63rd minute, Mepham scored his second of the game with a quality reverse stick finish into the roof of the net.

The numbers on the pitch were evened up moments later when Guildford's Craig Acquaye was sin-binned for the remainder of the game, and Chelmsford were able to hold out for victory.

The previous day, Chelmsford's fixtures against Brooklands and Leicester had been postponed due to a frozen pitch. Both games are scheduled to take place next January.

This fixture brings a close to the first half of outdoor season. Both Chelmsford's men and ladies can look forward to the indoor season, the men being first up with an East Qualifying tournament starting on December 1-2.

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