Long Sutton 2 Colchester 4

East League Hockey

Premier B Division

COLCHESTER made the perfect start to the resumption of their league campaign with a hard- fought victory away in Lincolnshire. With a few unavailability’s Colchester recalled Tom Britton and making his first appearance of the season, Rob Mann.

It was the visiting side that took the game by the scruff of the neck and within 30 seconds had a chance to take the lead, with Joe Rich having his effort saved, from the resultant long corner Colchester made the perfect start, when the ball fell to Jack Devitt; he made no mistake in slamming the ball home.

As the half wore on the home side came into the game. When Rohan Khaira was caught in possession in his own ‘D’, all he could do was commit a foul. From then Penalty Corner the hosts equalised with a bullet shot into the bottom corner.

Colchester though were showing some attacking flair and a ball from Joe Rich narrowly evaded Rob Mann at the far post. Another ball from Rich found Rob Mann in the ‘D’, this time he forced the home keeper into committing a foul and giving the visitors a Penalty Corner.

Joe Rich’s shot took a deflection and hit a defender on the line, for the award of a penalty stroke.

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Stand-in skipper Rohan Khaira stepped up a pushed the ball, low into the bottom corner.

The home side’s attacking threat could not be denied and their right forward was particularly dangerous, one such run, saw him ride a number of tackles and unleash a reverse stick effort into the bottom corner.

With the match ebbing and flowing it was Colchester that once again seized the advantage before half-time. Rohan Khaira, took a sideline ball, deep in the Long Sutton half, Khaira’s cross found Rob Mann in the ‘D’ who took a touch before firing the ball into the roof of the net.

In the second half Colchester came out and were more assured in defence with Michael Pearce, Richard Sexton, Tom Britton and Mark Prince all upping their performance.

The visiting side pressed forward, looking to kill the game off and created a number of chances to get their fourth, but found their opponent’s keeper in fine form.

Colchester finally got their goal in the dying minutes of the match. A period of concerted pressure saw the ball fall to Joe Rich, Rich drove into the ‘D’ before unleashing his shot, which deflected off the keeper’s pads and into the goal.

The victory gives Colchester a seven point buffer from the bottom two and takes them above next week’s opponents Harleston Magpies. Ellisons Solicitors Man of the Match was Joe Rich, for his superb work in the Colchester midfield and the sealing goal.