Winchester Ladies Hockey started the second half of the season with a tight performance against Amersham & Chalfont.

Having lost 7-0 to mid-table Amersham & Chalfont at the start of the season the young Winchester home side were looking to redress the balance this Saturday at Kings.

Winchester started well playing with intensity, putting Amersham under pressure and forcing some basic errors from their opposition. Within the first five minutes Winchester were creating chances, and after a brief period of patient possessional play superbly found centre forward Sarah Johns picking up the ball in space at the top of the D; she wasted no time sending the ball rocketing towards the goalkeepers’ right post at such a speed there was nothing the Amersham keeper could do. The sound of the ball resounding off the backboard brought cheers from the Winchester team and their supporters, ahead at 1-0 up.

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Good disciplined fast passing possessional play by Winchester kept the pressure on for the next 10 minutes, with Amersham unable to wrest control back, and although the Winchester side created a further four goal scoring opportunities, failed to capitalise on this dominant period. With 10 minutes of first half remaining, Amersham climbed back into the game, with some excellent off ball movement and slick passing eventually earning them their first short corner, which proved to be the first of many. A lovely save by Winchester goalkeeper Shelley Mott on the right post kept the score at 1-0, but the pressure was now on Winchester

A stick tackle gave Amersham a free hit on the five metre line outside the D. Without waiting Amersham took the free hit from a moving ball, drove straight into the D leaving the Winchester defence unprepared and slotted the ball in on the post. A controversial goal taken from a moving ball bringing the score to 1–1. With a slight loss of concentration Winchester performance dipped a bit, and the revitalised Amersham side created several opportunities forcing Winchester keeper Shelley Mott to make numerous excellent saves before another penalty corner was slotted in by Amersham to give them the half time lead 2-1.

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A more even second half saw good play from both sides, but increasing pressure from Amersham forced some defensive errors, and Amersham scored their third goal from a series of penalty corners. Although Winchester rallied back in the last 10 minutes, creating several very good chances, one of which forced the Amersham Keeper to scythe through their own defence, Winchester were unable to convert the chances, leaving Amersham & Chalfont the 3-1 winners in a much more even and competitive match.

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Kimberley Barber