Old Loughts 3 Chelmsford 2
Slazenger English Hockey League Division OneOld Loughtonians 3 Chelmsford 2Chelmsford had a close fought defeat against Old Loughtonians on the home sides President's Day.
Slazenger English Hockey League Division One
Old Loughtonians 3 Chelmsford 2
Chelmsford had a close fought defeat against Old Loughtonians on the home sides President's Day. The 3-2 defeat was an exact reversal of the victory earlier on in the season, and while Chelmsford felt they possibly deserved something out the game, it was probably evened things up from earlier in the season when Chelmsford stole the result with two late goals.
Both sides scored controversial goals. Adam Hunter claimed to have deflected Chelmsford's first, although the Old Loughts players were convinced it was touched by a defender in the 'D', rather than Hunter. However, Chelmsford were equally convinced that there was an infringement prior to Old Loughts third and deciding goal.
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Chelmsford knew they would have to soak up a great deal of pressure during the opening ten minutes, which they successfully did. However, it was then a disappointment to concede after 15 minutes when Stuart Robson slid the ball past Adrian Kimber.
The away side responded quickly, firstly when a drag-flick from Luke Mepham may have been illegally stopped on the line, but then moments later Hunter claimed his touch and, following a consultation between umpires, the goal was given.
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Chelmsford were therefore pleased to have gone into half time on level terms. However, within five minutes of the restart Chelmsford found themselves 3-1 down as first Chris Seward and then Oliver Didham scored.
Kimber, excellent throughout the game, made a number of crucial saves in both halves. Chelmsford, though, found Kimber's opposite number, Stuart Hendy, also on top of his game.
With 17 minutes of the game left, Chelmsford gave themselves a lifeline when Duncan Woods cross was picked up by Olly Cooper. He then slid the ball under Hendy, allowing Adi Palmer to slot the ball into the open net. Although they had a number of penalty corners, one of which was unconventionally saved off the line, Chelmsford could not do quite enough to force the equalising goal.
Chelmsford gave a National League debut to 16 year-old Rob Wilson, who performed admirably at right-half, and also welcomed back veteran David Hunter from six months injury, who also showed signs of his return to full fitness.
Next Sunday Chelmsford welcome back a number of old faces as a Teddington side containing Phil Wilkinson and Phil Pineo are welcomed back to Chelmer Park for the first time since their departures over the summer. While Teddington remain rooted to the bottom of the table, Chelmsford are expecting a far from easy game as the Middlesex team have made a number of important signings over the winter break.