Ipswich 2 Chelmsford 1
East Hockey Men’s League
A DISAPPOINTING performance saw Chelmsford slump to eighth place in the table, but in truth still created enough chances to win the match.
In a dull first half, neither goal was threatened with any regularity, with the only real chances being created from short corners. Chelmsford nearly took the lead when a slick routine resulted in Will Hales’ effort being cleared off the line. However, Ipswich finally broke the deadlock when a drag flick was flung into the top corner of the net.
In the second half, Chelmsford begun to dominate proceedings. Player coach Owen Thom had the best opportunity to equalise but his snatched effort five yards from goal went harmlessly wide. Chelmsford were soon punished for their wastefulness when another short corner from Ipswich was despatched into the bottom corner.
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As the game drew to a close, Chelmsford dragged themselves back into the game when Adam Hunter finished a short corner from close range. As conditions worsened, play was abandoned for 15 minutes as the flooded pitch was allowed to clear, but upon resumption Chelmsford camped in the Ipswich half.
Chelmsford should have equalised from the penalty spot after Hunter’s goalbound shot was illegally stopped on the line, but his feeble penalty was easily saved to the keeper’s left.
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Still Chelmsford poured forward, and in the dying minutes first Tom Fanger and then Hales rattled the woodwork, and George Mann saw a chance at the far post go begging, but it wasn’t to be Chelmsford’s day as Ipswich clung on to victory.
England Hockey Cup
Doncaster 4 Chelmsford 2
CHELMSFORD’S fine cup run came to an end with a battling display against EHL North Conference side Doncaster in the quarter finals of the EHA Cup.
Chelmsford had previously knocked out EHL sides Sevenoaks and Olton & West Warwicks, but with Doncaster vying for promotion to the EHL Premier League, they knew they were in for their stiffest test yet.
However, in the opening exchanges there was no indication that Doncaster were the favourites as Chelmsford maintained their defensive structure to snuff out the hosts’ direct attacking threat.
As the half progressed, Doncaster started to pick out gaps in the Chelmsford defensive line with keeper Jason Evans increasingly called out of his goal to close down Doncaster forwards, and Vasan Veerapalam made an impressive goal line clearance to keep the scores level.
At the other end, long balls from Tom Fanger constantly caused the Doncaster defence problems, but Chelmsford lacked the killer instinct to take an unlikely lead.
As the half drew to a close, Doncaster’s superiority started to show as they forced a number of short corners. Five minutes before the interval, they finally took advantage when a corner was slipped left and fired into the bottom corner.
After the break both teams came out on the offensive and the game became stretched. Unfortunately for the visitors, Doncaster were able to quickly take an unassailable lead as first a speculative reverse stick short from a tight angle crept under Jason Evans, and then a Doncaster forward was allowed an unchallenged entry to the D and given time to pick his spot in the far corner of the goal.
Having saved their best performances this season for the cup, Chelmsford were not about to roll over and let Doncaster run riot. Will Hales and Sam Rayner took control of midfield and Chelmsford were soon creating chances. They finally got the goal they deserved when Hales propelled the ball goalwards having beaten the keeper, and Simon Taylor lifted the ball over a retreating defender’s stick into the back of the net.
Doncaster soon restored their three goal lead when Andy Fox’s interception from a long pass fortuitously fell to an unmarked Doncaster forward who coolly slotted the ball home. However, Chelmsford were to have the final say when a short corner won on the final whistle was deflected high into the roof of the net by Adam Hunter.
Next week Chelmsford return to league action at home to Cambridge University on Saturday at 2pm.