Chelmsford Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI had their first league match on Saturday 28th September. The match marked their long awaited return to National League after promotion from the previous successful season. They faced Bromley & Beckenham, the team that pipped them to the top spot in the league last year. Previous show-downs have proved to be highly competitive with end to end action and lots of goals from both teams. Chelmsford have seen many changes in their team this season, with players stepping down and some going to Uni, but a whole breadth of new and exciting talent has stepped forward to replace them.
The match began with high intensity from both sides. An aggressive start from Chelmsford saw them win a short corner which Annabel Muir converted with a powerful drag flick to make the game 1-0 to Chelmsford in the 3rd minute. Both teams applied large amounts of pressure resulting in turn overs and very strong attacks. Brom Beck had a series of short corners but were unable to convert these past a strong Chelmsford defence. Chelmsford had open play opportunities but were also unable to score.
At half time the score was still 1-0 to Chelmsford.
The second half again started with a high intensity and a green card for Brom Beck brought them down to 10 players, an advantage Chelmsford were unable to capitalise on. 10 minutes into the half Brom Beck won another short corner and this time converted to make it 1-1. They continued to pile on the pressure, attacking down the middle of the pitch and utilising their fitness and speed. A good opportunity for Brom Beck saw a 1 on 1 with Molly Smith in goal, but she remained composed and dealt with the ball brilliantly as she did on several other occasions. Towards the end of the match Chelmsford were unable to withstand the continued pressure and Brom Beck made it 1-2 from another short corner and they didn’t stop there. Chelmsford’s defence absorbed continuous attacks but could not hold out and Brom Beck converted a final short corner with 2 minutes left to secure a 1-3 win. Chelmsford played with high intensity and gave a strong team performance but were unable to get any points from their first match back. However, they are taking huge positives from the game.
Final score: 1-3 loss, goal scorer: Annabel Muir, man of the match: Molly Smith