HOCKEY: Cunnington hat-trick puts Spalding on top

Spalding won at City of Peterborough 2nd
Spalding won at City of Peterborough 2nd

The scene was set as City of Peterborough 2nd and Spalding men’s first team battled it out for top spot.

The home team enjoyed the majority of the play for the first five minutes or so but Spalding held strong and defended well.

Glenn Richardson and the rest of the front line worked tirelessly and had the home defence running after them for the majority of the game.

Midway through the first half Spalding took the lead thanks to a short corner by Stuart Cunnington which was won by Richardson and Michael Morris.

Spalding controlled the rest of the first half and created opportunities which Luke Barkworth kept out.

Excellent defending from Spalding kept CoP at bay for the first 15 minutes of the second half but eventually the pressure told as Manny Patel levelled.

A quick break saw the impressive Richardson beat two defenders and round the keeper to finish into an empty net to make it 2-1.

Richardson completed his brace with a similar goal soon afterwards.

Rob Dalton made it 4-1 with a strike from the top of the circle after a short corner was initially saved.

Paul Hillsdon pulled one back but then Cunnington completed his hat-trick.

Spalding sit top of the table on goal-difference and face third-placed Norwich City on Saturday.