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HOCKEY: Stone fires Chard 2nds to opening victory
12:31pm Sunday 29th September 2013 in Sport
DAN Stone scored a hat-trick at Chard came from a goal behind to get their season off to a flier with a 4-2 win at Sidmouth and Ottery D yesterday.
Chard – a blend of youth and experience under the captaincy of Kyle Wheaton – started tentatively but restricted the home side to little in the way of a clear sight of goal.
However Sidmouth took the lead against the run of play following a defensive lapse.
Wheaton attempted to make a last-ditch tackle but only succeeded in bringing down a Sidmouth forward. There was no argument about the resulting penalty flick.
Chard were still seeking a potent attacking threat of their own but the equaliser and breakthrough came from a penalty corner.
Sidmouth’s keeper blocked initial shots but Stone beat him with a follo- up once his first effort rebounded from the keeper’s pads.
Now Chard had their tails up and it wasn’t long before they were ahead thanks to a goal from Jake Whitefield.
Gareth Eggle was the pick of the engine room in midfield as the balance of play noticeably shifted.
Penned back in their own half, Sidmouth were no doubt pleased to get to half time without conceding more.
Chard started the second half looking comfortable but an intercepted ambitious pass across the D gave the home side an equaliser out of nothing.
After Olavo Ribeiro went agonisingly close to restoring the lead, Stone’s second goal – finishing a raid down the right wing – was just the tonic Chard needed.
However the back four and keeper Jon Stone were soon put under intense pressure with Sidmouth being awarded a series of penalty corners.
Unable to turn this into a third goal themselves, they were sucker punched with three minutes left when a route one clearance from within Chard’s 25 metre area gave Stone a one on one run at the keeper.
With great composure he picked his spot with a deft flick for the goal that sealed the win and the points.
This Saturday Chard are at home to Taunton Vale D, push back at 2pm.
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