REPORT | Chelmsford at home
Oxford City Stars 3 – 4 Chelmsford Chieftains
Sunday 17 January | Report by Ian Dibley
The Oxford City Stars went looking for a home double against league leaders Chelmsford Chieftains on Sunday evening, in front of a bumper crowd of over 450, eventually losing by the odd goal in seven. Stars were without the injured Tom Avery and Josh Oliver, but were otherwise at full strength.
The first period started brightly for the Stars with Chieftains netminder Euan King called into early action. The game settled into a clash of two heavyweights probing and looking for any weakness in the other teams defence. There were long periods of action, uninterrupted by the referees whistle as the defensive systems of both teams, held what the opposition could throw at them. It was not until the seventeenth minute that the deadlock was broken when the visitorâ€™s player of the match Danny Hammond fired home with the assists going to Ross Brears and the recently signed Olegs Lascenko.
The second period in the best way for the Stars when Ondrej Pekarik latched onto a sublime Joe Oliver pass, after only twenty seven seconds, and beat King in the visitors goal to tie the game at 1-1. Shane Moore getting the second assist. The visitors reply was swift as first Hammond, notched his second in a similar manner to his first with Brears, again getting the assist. The impressive Matt Turner extended the Chieftains lead about 90 second s latter with Hammond this time the provider. Stars, once again dug deep into their reserves and Pekarik notched his second goal after good work from Josh Florey. The period was then played out with the teams both probing again, creating good chances. Stars best chance fell to Mike Whillock whose shot, from distance grazed the outside of the visitorâ€™s goal post, with netminder King beaten.
Stars started the third much as they started the second by finding the back of the Chieftains goal. This time it was Ben Ealey-Newman who scored after determined work by Alan Green and Boris Ruzicka. Stars Pekarik then took a two minute penalty for tripping and whilst he was in the penalty box, Turner was able to latch onto a Juraj Huska pass, just in front of the Stars goal to score what turned out to be the winning goal. Stars pushed hard for an equaliser, but despite removing netminder Tom Annetts for an extra forward were unable to force the goal to tie the game up.
This was another good performance by the Oxford City Stars against the Champions elect, and showed just how far the team has progressed this season.