Old Southendian 1 Colchester 3

Hockey East League

Division One

COLCHESTER put the disappointment of the last two week’s defeats behind them as they kept up their 100% away record in Southend. Due to unavailability and suspension there was a first start for Alfie Sexton and a place on the bench for Brian Barker for the first time this season.

Old Southendian started the game well and were getting some joy down the Colchester left, but every time found Michael Pearce in fine form as he snuffed out their attacks on a couple of occasions when they had got round the back.

Colchester soon settled and took the lead after just eight minutes. Joe Rich picked up a loose pass in midfield and laid the ball back to Mark Kennedy. Colchester retained possession before Rohan Khaira fired a pass up to Rob Mann who skilfully beat his man and crossed the ball where Joe Rich was on hand to deflect the ball on the reverse stick into the goal.

The hosts were not to be underestimated and within a minute had forced Liam Phillips into making a save from a penalty corner effort. Colchester and Rob Mann though where getting some joy down the right and another cross from Mann was narrowly deflected wide by John Wilson.

Old Southendian again forced a penalty corner which led to a neat double save from Liam Phillips once more. Colchester dominance down the right was telling and Rob Mann won Colchester their first penalty corner of the match when he was fouled after being set free by Rohan Khaira. Richard Sexton’s effort was well saved by the Old Southendian keeper. Richard Sexton didn’t have to wait much longer before getting his name on the score sheet. Rohan Khaira took a long corner which was helped into the ‘D’ by Tom Britton. Richard Sexton took a touch before releasing a reverse stick effort which nestled into the bottom corner.

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The home side had got themselves back into the match before half time. An Old Southendian forward picked up a long ball; Michael Pearce made a tackle but the ball fell kindly for the attacker who drove into the ‘D’; there was some confusion between Phillips and Kennedy and somehow the ball ended in the goal.

Colchester started the second half well, looking to build on their advantage. A Joe Rich pass found Rob Mann on the left and Mann did well to put the ball on a defender’s foot to win Colchester another penalty corner. This time the ball was slipped to the left and Rob Mann’s effort was saved by the home keeper.

Richard Sexton should have had a second goal after he had a made a good tackle and driven into the ‘D’ before slipping the ball past the Old Southendian keeper. However the umpire had seen a foul on Sexton and had awarded Colchester a penalty corner before the ball had crossed the line. A miscontrol from the corner lead to a chance for Joe Rich, but his effort was saved.

Colchester were pressing hard an creating chances, Rohan Khaira having an effort saved after working a chance for himself and Richard Sexton firing wide after a pull back from Rob Mann.

Colchester still had to be wary of the threat the home side possessed and couple of good saves from Liam Phillips kept the score at 2-1. The Colchester keeper got down quickly to save from a deflected effort and produced a stunning save from a flicked effort after the ball had rebounded off the post.

With the game nearing its conclusion, Colchester finally scored their third goal. An aerial ball from Rohan Khaira was taken by Brian Barker, but as he cut in Barker was crudely chopped down to give the visitors another penalty corner and the Old Southendian defender a yellow card. From the penalty corner, Colchester worked the ball back to Rohan Khaira whose effort was blocked, but Barker was on hand to sweep the ball home on the reverse stick.

Barker almost had a second when he deflected a cross from Rohan Khaira wide of the mark. With the game entering the final minute the hosts forced a penalty corner, which Colchester defended well to deny their hosts a second goal.

With results elsewhere going in Colchester’s favour, they extended their lead at the top of the table to four points. Alfie Sexton won the Mersea Homes Man of the Match for his superb work at the heart of the Colchester midfield.

Colchester will hope they can build on this result and put their home voodoo behind them when the host bottom of the table Dereham 2nd XI next week.

Colchester Round-Up

The second XI also pulled away at the top of the Division 4SE table with a fine 4-3 victory at home to fourth placed Havering second XI. The third eleven battled hard but lost a tough third versus fourth in division 5SE as they went down 2-0 away at Old Southendian third eleven. The fourth eleven were narrow losers at home to Redbridge & Ilford third eleven as they went down 3-2.

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