Long Sutton 1st 5 Harleston Magpies 2nd 4: SUTTON secured three vital Premier B points in a remarkable clash on Saturday.
They almost contrived to throw away a three-goal lead, but held on to recover well from last week’s mauling.
The home team opened the scoring with a fine goal created by Ashley Taylor and Nick Ellis and finished by an unstoppable Nick Bailey deflection.
After the interval the visitors started strongly and they drew level from a penalty.
Sutton promptly went ahead again when good work from Josh Fyson allowed Ellis to cross for Gary Hales to provide the deftest of finishes.
Harleston pulled level again, but Sutton found another gear as they scored three quick-fire goals.
Hales tapped in the first, before Danny Sisson then turned provider from the left with a fabulous reverse stick cross to find Bailey who finished well.
The fifth goal came from another good move down the left and again it was Bailey on hand to complete an excellent hat-trick.
Harleston set up a grandstand finish by pulling two back – and they almost snatched a point late on when an effort hit the post.
SPALDING 3rd 3
NORWICH CITY 2nd 4
SPALDING look to be on borrowed time in 2N after this defeat.
The Hills-sponsored side started the game strongly and went into the break 2-1 to the good, thanks to a great solo run and finish from Dan Shardlow and a silky deflection from Glenn Perkins.
Norwich started the better of the two in the second half and raced into a 3-2 lead.
This sparked a positive reaction from Spalding and on his home debut Ross Gavaghan calmly finished a well-worked move to draw level.
But, with less than a minute to go Norwich were awarded a short corner and they snatched the win.
ST NEOTS 2nds 2
SPALDING 2nd 2
A SLOPPY second-half display saw Spalding throw away a two-goal lead.
A good start by Spalding saw Rob Tilbrook send an early flying past the keeper.
The away side now looked unstoppable and a flick penalty from Keith Stennett made it two.
It was a different story after the break, with Spalding fighting among themselves and shipping two goals to level the scores up.
LOUTH 1st 9
SPALDING 4th 3
THIS was always going to be a tough test for Spalding – and so it proved.
After some early pressure from Spalding, Louth were soon 2-0 up. But in true Spalding style they hauled themselves level, with Darren Willson and Matt Thorley on target.
Spalding started the second half brightly and, after a string of good passing, Reggie Reeves was on hand to finish off a great move.
Louth then dominated the rest of the half and, with Spalding pushing for another goal, they thumped in a further seven goals themselves.
SPALDING 5th 2
ST IVES 4th 3
SPALDING were edged out by 6NW (S) leaders St Ives in this friendly fixture.
In an end to end first period, some late St Ives pressure paid off as they took the lead towards the end of the first half.
Changes at half time for Spalding brought more pressure, but a breakaway attack saw St Ives go 2-0 up.
Spalding continued their good play and where rewarded with a goal from Ross Gavaghan, but the Saints soon made it 3-1.
Spalding didn’t give up with Jack Martin making it 3-2, but, despite the best efforts of Ryan Mountney, they couldn’t force a leveller.
CAMBS UNI 3rd 1
SPALDING POACHERS 1st 1
POACHERS picked up their second draw in as many games amid cold and rainy conditions.
Playing without their injured skipper and vice captain, Spalding fought hard to take the lead before half time.
Picking up a loose ball, Naomi Smith fed the ball to Kelly Slater on the right wing, who drove down the back line and crossed to Jacqui Hunter to slot home from three yards.
The second half saw Cambridge have an attacking short corner which they lifted in over a defender’s stick to equalise the match.
Player of the match: Kelly Slater.
l Spalding were beaten 3-1 by Bloxwich Ladies 1st at Glen Park in the last 16 of the National Vase Competition.
Bloxwich took an early lead, before doubling their money with a driven finish.
Poachers replied when Annie Dalton and Kelly Slater combined to set up Steph Wilson, who smashed the ball into the back of the net.
They came close to a leveller too, but the away side wrapped up the win with a late third.
SPALDING POACHERS 3rd 0
LINCS ROSES 2nd 3
ROSES eventually over-powered the Poachers.
Spalding started off very well against a more experienced side, but fell behind after a breakaway goal.
A controversial moment followed before the break, as Spalding were not given a penalty flick when the opposition kicked the ball to stop it going in the goal.
In the second half a couple of players were injured and Lincoln added two more goals to their tally.
Despite the loss, Amy Smith put in a tremendous display.