The match was arranged to celebrate the start of Colchester Hockey Club’s Centenary season and was a suitably entertaining match.
Colchester applied considerable early pressure to LX, who started nervously. Despite midfield working hard, LX conceded an early short corner after five minutes. Colchester switched the ball left and their player had a powerful shot to the centre of the goal, which he scored. LX responded positively with clever short passing which resulted in a series of short corners. Ken Wilcock hit a powerful shot into the bottom right to score. Colchester reapplied the pressure especially on LX 16s, which resulted in a short corner. Colchester scored with a powerful shot into the bottom right. England continued to work hard with Neil Major providing some driving runs from right back. With 15 minutes to go in the first half, Colchester scored again. A hopeful ball driven into the D was picked up by a man at the back post, who sent the ball under a diving Nigel Dixon. England kept their heads up and great work from Peter Sharpe and Imtiaz Mahmood-Sheikh resulted in a number of short corners, unfortunately with no goals.
The second half started with end to end action. Unfortunately within a few minutes Colchester added a fourth. A shot from seven yards out after a great save from Nigel Dixon resulted in the goal. England kept working hard especially in midfield against the considerably more youthful Colchester side. England began to find their rhythm again. Rod Cochrane forced the Colchester keeper into a great save. Imitiaz , playing a midfield role, combined well with Peter Sharpe to create pressure on the right, which resulted in an opportunity for Norman Ballard. England’s defence were under threat constantly with Neil Major making a great tackle on a Colchester forward in a quick counter attack. Adrian Robertson also made an excellent tackle at the top of the D to break up one of the many Colchester attacks. In the last ten minutes, Colchester continued to apply the pressure helped by a large number of substitutes, which ensured more fresh legs. Terry Howlett made a great tackle to break up an attack down the left. LX rallied and the last five minutes provided more end to end action for the spectators.
The final score was 4 – 1 to Colchester. Terry Howlett, the honorary captain for the day said: ‘Young legs and set pieces were the differences in the end. It was a good start to the LX season and a great get-together for the Grand Masters Canterbury squad’. Colchester voted Neil Major the man of the match in the clubhouse after the game. They supplied pin badges for the whole team, which commemorated their centenary.
Team: Nigel Dixon, Adrian Robertson, Neil Major, Peter Crayford, Ken Wilcock, Terry Howlett, Mike Surridge, John Land, Peter Sharpe, Norman Ballard, Rod Cochrane, John Maylam, Imtiaz Mahmood-Sheikh