Sevenoaks 4 Chelmsford 3
England Hockey Men's League
Sevenoaks 4 Chelmsford 3
FOR the third week in a row, Chelmsford have lost by the narrow margin of one goal in another game where they truly deserved more. With an unchanged squad to the previous week Chelmsford were hoping they could get the victory they so desperately needed to boost their chances of staying up.
Early on they came under large amounts of pressure early on and were 1-0 behind after four minutes when Sevenoaks worked the ball down the right and put the ball across the goal which well to their centre forward who's shot hit a Chelmsford player on route to the goal. Their flick was despatched in the top left corner but goalkeeper Jason Evans almost got a glove to it.
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For the next 20 minutes Chelmsford absorbed a lot of pressure and has the odd breakaway chance with opportunities falling to Joe Rich and Josh Mepham who nearly made it level. However on the following breakaway Chelmsford won a short corner where Adrian Palmer stepped up and slotted the ball home to make it 1-1.
Sevenoaks continued to dominated the possession and in the 33rd minute Sevenoaks got back into the lead through a quick attack. A long cross field ball hit at head height which a Chelmsford player had to dodge, managed to fall to a Sevenoaks centre forward who despatched the ball into the corner of the goal with a sublime finish.
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With the pressure really on Chelmsford now, the second half started at a frantic pace with good skills through the middle of the pitch by Will Hales and Luke Mepham. Chelmsford began to create more chances and in the 40th minute Ed Stanhope hit a thunderbolt of a shot into the top right hand corner of the goal with the goalkeeper left helpless.
With the score at 2-2 Chelmsford began to looked like the team that was going to go in front however Luke Mepham was sent off for a 'dangerous tackle' when he approached an opponent and slipped over at his feet. This put the pressure back on to Chelmsford and Sevenoaks made it 3-2 after a double turnover on Chelmsford's 25 yard line.
Chelmsford however managed to regain composure and hit back soon after through another short corner. The short corner was unsuccessful at first but Elliott Seleska followed up slipping the ball passed the goalkeeper with Adam Hunter making sure from 20 centimetres. You can never be too careful and in the post match interview Elliott was delighted with his assist that helped his team mate get on the score-sheet.
Chelmsford then suffered another blow when Luke Mepham was sent off again for an innocuous challenge that put them back down to 10 giving Sevenoaks the numerical advantage on the pitch. Despite this the team fought hard throughout and managed to hold on and get back to 11 men on the pitch.
With the remainder of the game being very tense and fiery the game, the play became scrappy. To Chelmsford's dismay, Sevenoaks managed to score a short corner in the 66th minute after an attack down the left hand side. Chelmsford then tried to push for the win, however they were unable to do so as Sevenoaks shut up shop.
With only four games left Chelmsford still need to secure at least two wins to stay up outright or gain at least four points to chance it in the playoffs. However after three close losses by one goal and a win since Christmas they can still get themselves out of the situation through staying positive. Chelmsford host Southgate on Saturday 6 at Chelmer Park, 2pm start and welcome as much support as possible to be the catalyst to victory.
Scorers - Ed Stanhope, Adrian Palmer, Adam Hunter