Harpenden 2 Colchester 4
East Men’s Hockey League
Premier B Division
IT was a game of two halves as Colchester got back to winning ways and recorded their second victory of the season. Colchester started the game at a great pace and did not have to wait long before opening the scoring. Tim Wright put in a great tackle in midfield and released jack Devitt with his pass. Devitt took the ball into the ‘D’ and rounded the Harpenden goalkeeper before unleashing a reverse stick shot into the roof of the net.
Colchester were much in the ascendancy and Jack Devitt shot narrowly wide before he managed to get his and Colchester’s second. This time making space for himself at the top of the ‘D’ and releasing another reverse stick rocket into the back of the net. Colchester continued to press forward and were denied a third goal, when Vince Moore’s effort from a Penalty Corner went into the goal marginally above the backboard.
Colchester and Moore were not to be denied for long as Colchester had their third goal before half time. Some good work down the right by Richard Sexton and Rohan Khaira found the ball being played back to Vince Moore in the ‘D’. Moore took a touch, and facing away from goal, took a snap shot which took the home keeper by surprise and found the back of the net.
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The home side came out for the second half looking to take the game to Colchester and find a way back into the game, which they did early in the half. A Penalty Corner effort found the foot of Tim Wright in the ‘D’ and a Penalty Stroke was awarded, with the Harpenden player making no mistake from the spot. Harpenden had a renewed sense of belief and only a save on the line by Wayne Masters prevented the home side from getting a second.
Colchester had their moments in the second half, with Lloyd Dennis narrowly missing a long ball from Rohan Khaira, and then firing wide after a quick break through Jack Devitt. Colchester restored their three goal advantage through a Penalty Stroke of their own. A planned move at a Penalty Corner did not quite work, but the ball fell to Michael Pearce in the ‘D’, with Pearce setting up to take his shot, he was crudely tackled and the umpire awarded a Penalty Stroke. Wayne Masters stepped up to flick the ball high into the net.
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The home side though continued to press Colchester and pulled the deficit back to two goals, in controversial fashion. Another Penalty Corner for the hosts was fired into the goal, above backboard height, but the umpire decided there was nothing wrong and awarded the goal.
Colchester had to pick themselves up and had a chance to put the game to bed, an aerial ball found Jack Devitt in plenty of space, Devitt drove into the ‘D’, but just dwelt on the ball too long and allowed the Harpenden defender to get back and make the tackle.
Colchester were happy with their first half performance and will be hoping for more of the same, when they host Cambridge University 2nd XI on Saturday. Ellisons Solicitors Man of the Match was a tie, with Joe Rich and Jack Devitt sharing the award.
The Second XI made it four matches unbeaten as they recorded a 2-0 victory at home to Brentwood Second XI in Division 3SE, with the goals coming from Alfie Sexton and James Barber. The third eleven rounded off a great day for Colchester as they ran out 3-1 winners at home to Chelmsford fourth eleven.