Hockey: Ladies brave cold for solid performances

COLCHESTER 5th 3 – 1 THURROCK 3rd

This was a very physical game in East Division 8SE with both teams desperate for points to maintain their push for promotion. The game moved rapidly from end to end with both keepers being forced to make strong saves. Mid way through the half an attack by Colchester was cut out by Declan Salmon and the ball moved rapidly up the field to Jimmy Venus who dribbled through the defence before passing for Ricky Smith to slip the ball inside the post.

Despite heavy pressure, the Thurrock defence held strong to maintain the lead up to half time. A reorganisation by the home side led to them attacking strongly and equalising after 10 minutes. Buoyed by their success, Colchester dominated the game and Thurrock were forced to defend in numbers with Danny Hick having to pull off a number of athletic saves. Thurrock gradually worked their way back into the game and Josh Brody made a break on the left before crossing into the D to Venus whose shot went inches wide.

A strong run from half way by Michael Fleming led to a shot which the keeper had to dive full length to push around the post. When Venus received was dismissed for decent, Thurrock were slow to reorganise and Colchester took full advantage to take the lead. Thurrock were then reduced to 9 men as Fleming received a yellow card for aggression and had to pull everyone back to try to repel the incessant Colchester attacks. Although Thurrock worked hard with Salmon making a string of outstanding clearances, the task proved too much and with 5 minutes to go, Colchester added a 3rd goal.

Ladies 3

Redbridge 2 – 2 Thurrock Ladies 3rds

The ladies started the game with 10 players and very quickly showed immense determination and skill that caused an experienced Redbridge team to call upon all of their reserves to keep a clean sheet. Emma Grant and Sue Beardwell worked excellently together and caused ‘mayhem’ for the opposition. Nicky Smith supported the attack well and was unlucky not to score.

Thurrock regained one player and then after reshuffling were so unlucky to go one goal down from a well worked short corner. Just before half time T’s numbers swelled to 12. This timely arrival spurred on the team and a well won ball by Grace Millane put Amy Beadle into an excellent position to deftly pass to captain Jackie Simmonds who fired in a shot only to see it saved but Simmonds picked up the clearance and fired home to bring the score to 1-1.

The second half was equally thrilling and end to end hockey was played in good spirits. The ladies found themseleves a goal behind again but to their credit the defence was solid with player of the match Abbie Pollock thwarting so many of the Redbridge attacks. T’s were rewarded when Simmonds took a free hit quickly catching the defence ’napping’ and slipped the ball through to Chloe Brady who neatly placed the ball past the stranded keeper.

Ladies are looking strong and the team spirit is exceptional !

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