HOCKEY: Mel denied a late Sutton winner

Clos call: Long Sutton Ladies' 1st were denied a comeback win against Cambs Nomads on Saturday.
Clos call: Long Sutton Ladies' 1st were denied a comeback win against Cambs Nomads on Saturday.
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LONG SUTTON LADIES’ 1st 2 CAMBRIDGE NOMADS LADIES’ 1st 2: SUTTON lost their grip on top spot in East Women’s League Division 2NW after being held to a frustrating draw.

Having gone into the Christmas break as table toppers, confidence was high ahead of the ladies’ first 2012 fixture.

Hockey action Long Sutton Ladies 1st v Cambridge Uni 2nds. at Peele Liesure Centre, Long Sutton.'Photo (TIM WILSON):

Hockey action Long Sutton Ladies 1st v Cambridge Uni 2nds. at Peele Liesure Centre, Long Sutton.'Photo (TIM WILSON):

However, they started the game very slowly, letting Nomads put too much pressure on the defence.

They were eventually punished for a lethargic showing and finished the first half 1-0 down.

After a very enthusing half time team talk, Sutton started the second half much stronger – but Nomads scored again against the run of play to make it 2-0.

This seemed to make the hosts more determined and Robyn Gribble soon grabbed a goal back after dribbling the ball around the last defender and keeper.

Not done there, Gribble again dribbled across the D and slotted the ball across the face of the goal for Charlene Leuty to level the scores.

From then on it was one-way traffic, as Sutton made all the running and fashioned numerous goalscoring opportunities to take the lead.

The title hopefuls thought they had grabbed a deserved winner in the latter stages of the second half, after Melissa Ludlam went on a solo run before hitting the ball home from the top of the D.

But it was disallowed, because neither umpire saw that it was inside the D.

Sutton were very unlucky not to take the three points, with the draw seeing them drop to second in the standings.

Player of the match was shared between Tania White and Sally Cade.

LONG SUTTON 2nd 6

ST NEOTS 2nd 1

FREE-SCORING Sutton enjoyed a great start to the second half of the season as they hit the Saints for six.

Having lost the reverse fixture away at St Neots with the team ravaged by injury and sickness, Sutton showed their true strength with a fully-fit squad.

They eased to victory by notching three goals in each half, only conceding a single goal in the later minutes of the match.

Sutton were disappointed to concede the goal having lost their shape after several stoppages.

Stand-out performances came from Michael Carter, Conner Allan and man-of-the-match Nic Bailey.

Other men’s results: Division 3NW - St Ives 2nd 0 Spalding 1st 3. Division 4NW - Spalding 2nd 3 St Ives 3rd 2. Division 5NW - Cambs Nomads 3rd 2 Spalding 3rd 4. Division 6NW (N) - Spalding 4th 3 Boston 2nd 0; Grantham 1st 8 Spalding 5th 0.

• Cambs Ladies’ League: Premier Division - Spalding Poachers 1st 2 Wisbech 2nd 1.