Harlow 1 Clacton 4
NE14Hockey Men's East League
Division Four South East
Harlow 1 Clacton 4
CLACTON notched up six straight wins on an emotional day for the home side following the tragic loss of Harlow's first team ladies goal keeper Nicky Newland in a car accident.
The home side understandably had their minds off the pitch as the Seasider's took control of the game. Paul Thorpe provided the 11th man answering a last minute call as John Hambrook contracted swine flu and leading scorer Rik Coleman was forced to cry off. Clacton were already missing influential Dean Monk and Jamie Roberts seeing James Mead returning from his toe injury to provide the defensive steel in midfield.
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Steve Key made some crucial saves when the home side broke through with the score at 0-0. With Adam Smith, Casper Khan and Colin Hook defending stoutly as ever. Ryan Nippress and Russell Measor worked the wings well with Alex Mortimer full of energy to overlap down the right. Up front Sam Hodge and Thorpe created plenty of goal threats.
Captain Carl Parkes combined with Measor when the home side switched off at a long corner watching Parkes dance around the laid down sticks to beat the keeper from close range only to see his shot find the post. Hodge was the first to react to slap home for 1-0. Moments later Clacton sealed their lead when Smith fired home a well place short corner for his third of the season. The second half saw the home side pressure the Clacton defence and got a reward with a well deflected shot for 2-1.
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The Seasider's responded well when Parkes again danced around the right picking out man of the match Mortimer who smashed the ball goal wards only to see the ball rebound off the post, this time away to safety. Clacton restored the two goal lead when Measor and Nippress combined to find Mortimer in space who picked out Hodge who smashed the ball into the corner, from the top of the circle, for his sixth of the season and a score line of 3-1. Measor rounded off the scoring deflecting in Hodge cross after a mazy run from Mortimer.
Clacton are three points clear on top of table having played the top sides away from home looking forward to continuing their awesome start, with a large squad already used the strength of the Seasider's is looking good.
Next week Clacton take on bottom team Havering at Clacton Leisure Centre (2pm) determined not the slip up.