HOCKEY: Chard A deserve better

HOCKEY: Chard A deserve better

HOCKEY: Chard A deserve better

First published in Sport

CHARD A came up against a keeper in superb form for a second successive game as they lost 4-0 at East Devon B in South East 2 of the Davis Wood league yesterday.

Seven days earlier they had to settle for a point at home to Bridgwater.

Against East Devon, they suffered a lopsided result, having created enough clear chances for a draw.

For significant periods of the game Chard had the home side on the back foot.

East Devon frequently had their whole team in their own half when defending and at times all 11 inside their own 25 metre line.

Particularly in the first half, Chard hit too many diagonal crosses into the D and the packed defence comfortably dealt with most of these.

It was while Chard were in the ascendancy that East Devon broke out to take the lead and they doubled their lead with a powerful shot from the top of the D from a penalty corner.

Despite the smothering home defence, Chard forced the keeper into two excellent saves and had three penalty corners of their own before the break.

And at half time they felt they still had a chance of retrieving the game.

George Retter and Simon Bidgood on the right and Max Beale and Olavo Ribeiro on the left worked hard throughout the second half to supply ball from more threatening angles.

Meanwhile Gary Wheaton and Dan Stone alternated as strikers, supported by Gareth Eggle and James Spurdle surging from the centre of midfield. East Devon’s defence was stretched but their keeper again beat out everything on target. At the other end, Dave Lury and Steve Mahoney both kept out goal-bound shots manning the posts during a sustained spell of penalty corners.

In the final quarter, the home side got a lucky break when a speculative shot from a tight angle took a deflection off Ribeiro and looped into the net off the wrong-footed keeper Callum Bailliy.

From the restart Chard went straight down the East Devon end to create another chance.

The keeper’s point blank save stopped the initial shot and scrambled defence somehow kept out the follow up, summing up Chard’s total lack of luck in front of goal.

With ten minutes to go one of East Devon’s most influential players split Chard’s defence with a slide rule pass for their right wing to steer past the advancing Bailliy and wrap up the points.

Chard: C Bailliy, E Ireland-Jones, D Lury, P Tratt, S Mahoney, O Ribeiro, G Eggle, J Spurdle, G Retter, S Bidgood, D Stone. Subs: M Beale and G Wheaton.

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