HOCKEY: Festive cheer for slick Sutton

LONG SUTTON LADIES’ 1st 7 SUDBURY LADIES’ 2nd 1: TABLE-TOPPING Sutton gave themselves seven reasons to be happy over the winter break.

Slick passing flowed between the team and Sutton soon found themselves 4-0 up in the 2NW clash.

All four goals were scored from balls into the ‘D’ from the right, which allowed player-of-the-match Rebecca Kierman to bury a hat-trick and Melissa Ludlam to notch a goal.

However, Sutton’s marking slipped slightly and this allowed Sudbury to steal a goal back to make the score 4-1 at half time.

After the break Sutton stepped up their game again, putting a lot of pressure on the Sudbury defence. This allowed them to score their fifth, as Ludlam dribbled round the defence before slotting the ball home.

Number six came from a drag flick on a short corner from Bryony Normanton, which a Sudbury defender deflected past her own keeper.

Jess Hudson then bagged her first goal of the season, rounding off the scoring with a fantastic strike from the top of the D.

East Men’s League

SPALDING 1st 6

ST NEOTS 1st 2

SPALDING signed off for the winter break with an excellent win.

In an electric start, Hills-sponsored Spalding created three great chances in the opening minutes, but it was the visitors who took the lead with a deflected shot.

But the hosts continued to look dangerous when going forward and it was no surprise when Danny Shardlow equalised from a well-taken short corner.

Glen Perkins then put the home side ahead after 20 minutes, before Pete Wright finished off a couple of flowing moves to put Spalding 4-1 up. And there was still time for Shardlow to notch again before half time.

St Neots pulled a goal back early in the second half, but Russell Watts converted a penalty stroke to restore the four-goal advantage.

Spalding now have a month’s break before resuming the promotion chase in mid-January.

CITY OF PETERBOROUGH 6th 2

LONG SUTTON 2nd 4

SUTTON finished the first half of the season on a high with a gritty performance.

With the loss of several key players through illness and deserved promotion to the first team, Sutton were immediately on the back foot.

But, against the run of play, Sutton took an undeserved lead with a fine finish from Michael Donagy.

Peterborough continued to press though, and shortly after scored two quick goals to go in ahead at the break.

At half time Sutton regrouped, with man-of-the-match Connor Allen and Will Cook taking charge in the centre of the park. They soon found themselves creating chances and levelled when Cook skilfully deflected in a Nick Bailey cross.

With the game now becoming stretched, a double from goal-machine Ben Shore sealed the points. His first came from a short corner, before a superb drag flick sealed the points.

SPALDING 3rd 2

WISBECH 4th 4

AN improved Wisbech side ended Spalding’s three-match winning streak.

The home side created more chances in a closely-contested first half, but it was the visitors who took the lead just before the interval. A neat deflection increased the lead for Wisbech, leaving Spalding with an uphill battle to get back into the game.

It got worse too, as Wisbech added a third after 15 minutes and then went 4-0 up from the penalty spot.

With just ten minutes remaining, Spalding found their attacking form and Shaun Dewing made it 4-1 before Stuart Perkins added a second just two minutes later.

Dewing was denied a second by a superb save late on, as the visitors took the spoils.

LONG SUTTON 4th 0

ALFORD 2nd 2

THEY may have beaten the weather, but Sutton were unlucky to suffer a home reverse.

Sutton took the game to Alford from the off, with man-of-the-match Steff Fox and Ian White controlling the midfield. Excellent work in defence by Ed Munson and Matt King ensured any early Alford threat was snuffed out.

Up front Ed White, Alex Canham and Dan Fisher worked hard to create openings, but a combination of bad luck, disallowed goals and great Alford goalkeeping kept the score goalless at half time.

The visitors came into the game more in the second half, and, while Sutton still had the lion’s share of possession, they fell behind after a goalmouth scramble.

Sutton pushed on in search of an equaliser and were unlucky not to be level when a goal-bound Canham effort struck a defender on the shoulder.

Pushing forward left gaps at the back for Sutton and Alford exploited them to score a second just before the final whistle to give a very cruel look to the final result.