Sutton Coldfield 3 Chelmsford 3
Premier DivisionSutton Coldfield 3 Chelmsford 3Chelmsford secured a final position of fifth in the league, a place above Suffolk rivals Ipswich, thanks to this draw at relegation fighting Sutton Coldfield.
Sutton Coldfield 3 Chelmsford 3
Chelmsford secured a final position of fifth in the league, a place above Suffolk rivals Ipswich, thanks to this draw at relegation fighting Sutton Coldfield.
With Sutton heading into the game requiring a win to be certain of avoiding the automatic relegation place, Chelmsford were expecting a hard match so it was therefore against all expectations when the Essex side stormed into a two goal lead within the opening five minutes.
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Captain Lisa Wooding opened the scoring when her shot from a penalty corner was hit with precision and flew under the diving goalkeeper. Chelmsford doubled their lead when, three minutes later, Beccy Harris cleverly intercepted a pass between Sutton Coldfield's defenders and calmly hit the ball from the top of the D past the keeper.
Chelmsford controlled much of the first half and the little opportunity that the home side had to score was through their ex-England and GB player Jane Sixsmith. On one of these brief attacking moves Sutton scored in the 26th minute. Following a save by Chelmsford's keeper Katy Roberts, it was a Sutton attacker who reacted first to the loose ball and chipped the ball over Roberts.
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With Sutton still fighting for survival in the division and having more to gain from a win than Chelmsford, the pace of the game became frantic for the first ten minutes after the interval. It was within this period of play that Sutton took the lead with two quick goals.
Chelmsford regained their composure and again controlled the remaining 25 minutes, playing the ball around with great confidence and having several chances to level the score line. It was a fine solo effort by Tracy Willmore that ensured the points were shared in this final league match of the season when she turned with the ball in the D and hit the ball with great power into the near corner.
While league hockey has finished, attention now turns to the European Championships which are being held in Manchester between the 18th and 26th of August. Chelmsford's English trio of Katy Roberts, Chloe Rogers and Lisa Wooding, and Irish pair Emer Harte and Ciara O'Brien will be hoping to be included in their respective national squads for the tournament. For details on the Championships visit www.chemsfordhc.org.uk and follow links to England Hockey.