Ladies 2nd Team v Chelmsford D 2-2

After last weeks fine derby day win, the Nest was the venue for our next league outing against table topping Chelmsford ( Featuring on loan Magpie Bryony Lund ). The weather had closed in prior to the start of the game and it began in heavy drizzle.
Magpies started the game in slick fashion, moving the ball around sweetly and making early inroads into the Chelmsford D. With only 6 minutes on the clock, we went one up. A quickly taken free hit by Cat Maciver caught the away defence on the hop as she drove into the D and after a melee in front of goal Laura Tibbenham scrambled the ball home. This gave the team the belief to impose themselves further as our impressive start to the game continued.
On 18 minutes a fast break out of defence down the right flank saw Anouska Stott make a great run into the D before crossing the ball for Laura Tibbenham to apply a calm composed finish as we bagged a second.
With the leaders on the ropes at this time and the Magpies being roared on by the hardy Nest faithful it was important to get to half time unscathed. Chelmsford showed their mettle as they pushed hard upto the break as the game became a battle of wills. A flurry of penalty corners right on half time were kept out by some super reflex saves from Alice Wells as the defence stood firm to go in two up at the break.
The half time talk was about keeping up our intensity and maintaining discipline as we knew the leaders would come out strong looking for a way back into the game. Right from the start of the half we were pushed back as Chelmsford we’re making hard running breaks into our defensive areas and creating a number of opportunities but we were standing tall and tackling everything that was being thrown at us.. Alice Wells once again made some smart saves when they gained a sight of goal.
With the intensity and desire of both teams to the fore, green and yellow cards were shown as the game entered its final quarter. Magpies had an escape when a shot glanced off the post but we then began to look a threat on the break as the away side committed bodies forward.
Chelmsford found their route back into the game after yet another penalty corner was worked towards the goal and the shot was stopped by a head of a Pies defender. The resulting Penalty Stroke was converted to leave us with a grandstand finish.
The game was now end to end and a swift break saw us isolate the goal keeper only for the shot on goal to scrape the post of the empty net.
Chelmsford kept driving for the equaliser and duly obliged with a under a minute left on the clock as they forced the ball home from close range to break Magpies hearts and pick up a hard earned draw.
Full credit to both teams after an epic match where fortunes swayed one way and then the other. The whole team showed great heart, determination and no little skill in all parts of the field and duly got a point but so nearly bagged all 3.
This was our best display of the season against a side who although still top, knew we had run them oh so close. Next week, yet another stern test as a strong Canterbury side visit the Nest in the last game before the Mid season break