Firsts’ unbeaten home run ended

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Spalding Hockey Club Men’s First team lost the lead in the East Hockey League Premier Division after a shock home defeat to lowly Havering on Saturday.

They lost by the odd goal in seven to suffer their first reversal of the season at Glen Park.

The visitors started strongly and went ahead after seven minutes from a short corner.

Spalding gradually worked their way back into the game and Stuart Cunnington was on target with a strong short corner flick to level the scores.

But Havering bounced back and regained the lead with another short corner strike, before adding a further goal to go 3-1 ahead at the break.

A determined Spalding side came out strongly in the second period and had soon reduced the arrears with a neatly taken Glen Richardson goal.

Just when the home team were expecting to equalise, Havering broke away and somehow managed to squeeze the ball into the net.

Trailing 2-4, Spalding camped in the Havering half and spent the rest of the game battering the visiting defence.

They won several short corners and Stuart Cunnington once again was on target to make it 3-4 with almost 20 minutes remaining, but, try as they might, they could not breach the Havering defence again, denied by a combination of rugged defending and some outstanding goalkeeping.

The visitors clung on to take all three points.

Spalding’s Third team entertained Wisbech Seconds in a crucial bottom of the table clash.

Wisbech pushed Spalding back into their own half, forcing a few short corners which they were unable to convert into goals.

With Spalding struggling to retain possession, the first half was a scrappy affair.

But the hosts did manage to make a breakthrough with Steve Rogers finding the net to put Spalding in the lead.

They held onto this slender advantage to half-time, although fortunate to be ahead.

Spalding started the second half the stronger team and began to find more width, with Tim Maltby and Ryan Davy causing problems for the Wisbech defence.

Wisbech were restricted to the occasional break and these were comfortably repelled by the Spalding backline of Willam Borst, Paul Pearson and Stuart Ruskin.

The home side were now dominating the game and carving out openings for forwards Tom Shinkins and Steve Rogers.

In the final 15 minutes Maltby missed a couple of chances to increase Spalding’s lead but the score remained 1-0.

For Spalding Thirds it was a well earned, valuable three points after another hard working team performance.