Men’s 6th XI v Waltham Forest

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We have been fortunate enough to receive two versions of the Men’s 6s match against Waltham Forest on Saturday 4th February. Please enjoy both!

Edition 1:

Chelmsford turned up to their away game promptly only to find out that they had worn the wrong colour. Both the 6s and the opposition wore green. However this did not stop Chelmsford as luckily there was a spare set of navy Essex shirts which saved the eager team from a lot of confusion.

The game set off to a slow start but after getting their well-trained eyes in Chelmsford were the first team to slot one home with a powerful cross from Matt Gore to Owen who positioned the ball in the back corner of the goal. This goal was quickly followed by another goal from Owen who was well positioned on the far post for a second tap-in of the match.

The second half started brightly, as from the moment the whistle blew Chelmsford pressurised Waltham Forest’s defenders causing them to give over the possession. Luck was on Waltham Forest’s side however as Neil was not quick enough to protect his feet from the ball and clumsily let it hit both of his feet giving away a short corner. A strong injection from the opposition gave their striker the perfect chance to score but instead of the ball going in, Elliot sacrificed his inner thigh to keep Chelmsford’s sheet clean.

The next 10 minutes was strongly contended as both teams fought hard for a goal but it was Matt Gore who broke the tension as a pass from Rob Enderby bisected the defence enabling Matt, in a composed way, to score bottom corner extending Chelmsford to a 3 goal lead.

Five minutes later another great pass from Matt to Ben broke through Waltham Forest’s defence as the counter attack left him one on one with the towering keeper. This did not however frighten him as he courageously flicked the ball over the keepers head and into the back of Forest’s net extending Chelmsford’s lead to 4-0.

The game ended with Chelmsford’s heads held high at their victory and after a firm handshake with all of the players they could return home all in high spirits, aside from Elliot who had a large bruise as a souvenir of playing in the Olympic park.

Edition 2:

Chelmsford 6s continued their charge up the table, overcoming selection headaches and a late scramble for non-green kit to cruise away from Lee Valley Hockey Centre with a 4-0 win.

With their healthy travelling fan base filling the main stand of the stadium, Chelmsford 6s started well, consistently winning a scrappy midfield battle and barely allowing Waltham Forest to get out of their own half. A lack of urgency in the final ball and a stout, crowded defence meant much of their dominance went unrewarded, restricted to a few half-chances.

After several good attacks down the right through Brad Smith, finally a cross fell to a Black-shirted Chelmsford player at the far post – Alex Nicoll was in the clear, gathering the ball and shooting, only to see his his effort half-blocked and seemingly about to trickle over the line when Owen Groves made sure/cruelly stole the glory, tapping in with a trademark strike from 1 yard out. (Something he may or may not feel a bit guilty about, but would almost certainly do again.)

The deadlock broken, and with their 4 fans still in raptures, Chelmsford started to show their clinical side. Matt Gore drove into opposition territory from right midfield and played a perfect ball to meet Groves’ diagonal run on the penalty spot, the left winger slotting the ball first-time to the right of the keeper and into the bottom corner to double the lead.

The home side enjoyed a few good spells of the play in the remainder of the first half, but Chelmsford’s always heroic defence, organised by Jon Lambert, ensured they took a 2-0 lead into the half-time break.

Waltham Forest reshuffled and became increasingly more attacking as the second half wore on. Chelmsford soaked up the pressure and were consistently dangerous on the counter attack, and on a number of occasions would have possibly had players facing open goals were it not for last second interventions from defenders.

The Super 6s were made to wait, however. It wasn’t until Jon Branch led a counter attack, later picking up a reverse stick pass into the D and getting the ball to Matt Gore to finish, that the away side finally had their third.

The home team continued to threaten, pushing Chelmsford deeper and deeper, looking their most threatening from the top of the D. However, a vicious strike from a Forest midfielder made a brave Elliott Wisner’s knee bulge rather than the net.

With the seconds ticking down, there was time for a 4th goal more than worthy of the venue. After another good Chelmsford counter attack down the left wing, and a moment of strong hold-up play, Gore was released once more, running at the Waltham Forest central defence before playing another perfect through ball to Ben Middleton 1-on-1 with the keeper. Spotting the keeper off his line, the cheeky youngster turned on the style, audaciously lobbing the ball over the onrushing keeper and into the goal.

After 3 consecutive wins and 3 of the most disappointing results from the first half of the season avenged, Chelmsford 6s now sit 5th in the table with games in hand over each of the teams around them. They host Old Chelmsfordian’s next and will look to build on a performance where solid organisation and only brief flashes of brilliance were enough to win the points.