Upminster II 2 Clacton 1
NE14Hockey Men's LeagueDivision 4SEUpminster II 2 Clacton 1CLACTON matched their opponents for determination and effort, but unfortunately it was the home side that got the breaks in front of goal to secure a crucial win that puts them two points behind the Seasiders with a game in hand.
NE14Hockey Men's League
Upminster II 2 Clacton 1
CLACTON matched their opponents for determination and effort, but unfortunately it was the home side that got the breaks in front of goal to secure a crucial win that puts them two points behind the Seasiders with a game in hand.
Clacton were well organised and spent most of the opening minutes in the opponents half, but the home defence was just as organised and when the home side broke they got in behind Clacton isolating keeper Mike Key to put in a fierce shot. Covering defender Colin Hook did well to get in the right place to stop the shot, but unfortunately it was with his foot and Clacton found themselves a goal down.
The Seasiders continued to stroke the ball around with Carl Parkes at sweeper, and Casper Khan advancing down the right. Gavin Underhay stuck with his man all game, and Hook progressed down the left forcing the opponents back.
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In midfield James Mead was ever available and spread the ball to each flank well, supported by Jamie Roberts and Phil Herr. Up front Denzil Donovan was tenacious, Sam Hodge in passionate form, and Rik Coleman in his usual deadly form.
Clacton equalised after some sustained possession after working the ball into the circle to find the right man in the right place to fire home his 33rd goal of the season, Coleman.
Clacton had plenty of possession, but were not able to break through the home defensive wall to create clear chances or ask questions of the home keeper. The Seasiders' short corners created half chances as Hodge and Herr failed to get the crucial touch as the ball flew past the post from Coleman, and Roberts got too big a touch on his opportunity to deflect into the roof of the net.
The home side took the lead when they drilled a perfectly hit short corner that had a wicked dip to it just clipping the top of the back board for 2-1.
The second half saw few chances for either side as both teams cancelled each other out. Hodge ran his legs into the ground earning the man-of-the-match award in a game that saw his passion nearly over-spilling. Ryan Nippress continued his steady consistent form playing the utility man this week across four different positions as Clacton tried everything to break the home side down and secure a vital point, Key was forced into a great save to keep Clacton's hope of a late equaliser alive, but on the day it wasn't to be and with only picking up one point in the last three games the chances of promotion now lay in the hands of the chasing pack.
Clacton have two games left, next week travelling to East London who are fighting relegation hard and then the final game at home the following Saturday.