East Women's League division one north

COLCHESTER Hockey Club's ladies are the early leaders of division one north after winning their first home game of the season.

Colchester vice-captain Karen Harris said: "It was a good game with many positives to take.

"We're creating lots of goalscoring opportunities which is fantastic and we need to work on not giving the ball away from defence to midfield when under pressure, which is something to work on in training."

After winning their opening game, the hosts were confident going into this game and were fast out of the traps.

Colchester launched several attacks on St Ives, who struggled to cope with their hosts' quick one twos.

The home side took the lead inside the first 10 minutes after Helen Scott polished off a well-worked goal, before Pippa Garbutt added a second.

Forwards Scott, Libby Knifton and Frankie Harley put some sustained pressure on the St Ives defence.

St Ives had a chance to reduce the deficit when they won a penalty flick, after a Colchester defender stopped a goalbound effort.

But Colchester's player of the match and keeper Lucy Stutchfield made an outstanding diving save, to ensure her side went into the break with a two-goal lead.

After player-coach Knifton's positive team-talk and and a few tactical points, Colchester went out for the second half fired up to maintain their lead.

Knifton's fantastic dribbling and passing skills won Colchester several short corners.

And some effective short passes from Harley, captain Jemma Rix and Karen Harris up the right hand side helped Colchester feed attackers Knifton, Scott and Verity Farr.

However, Colchester started to panic after that, with passes going astray under pressure from the St Ives' midfield and forwards.

Liz Pope, Katie Irwin and Ellie Benfield stayed solid in defence with some lovely tackles but could not prevent St Ives from scoring a well-worked goal.

But Colchester continued to press and Scott polished off a fine passing display involving Harris, Knifton and Garbutt to make it 3-1.

St Ives did not give up and and Stuchfield commanded the Colchester defence, making some good saves, while Benfield made some great tackles and linked up well with the midfield players.

Colchester travel to play Newmarket this weekend and will be looking for another win to stay undefeated.