Spalding 2nd 5 COP 5th 1: THE form book went out the window as mid-table Spalding crushed the East League 4NW league leaders in scintillating fashion.
Towards the end of an even first half the home side trailed by a solitary goal when a counter attack led by the pace of Luke Jackson down the line saw Chris McKenna slip the ball past the keeper.
From then on there was no looking back as the pace and determination to be first to every ball resulted in Spalding dominating possession and territory for the remainder of the game.
They took the lead through Mark Smith on the stroke of half time and the second half was all one-way traffic.
Pete Wright found the corner of the goal with a neat finish, while Smith lashed home his second of the game from the top of D.
Spalding were reduced to ten but once Marcus Drury returned to the field the rout was completed with Graham Doades adding a fifth.
CAMBRIDGE UNI 2nd 7
LONG SUTTON 1st 1
SUTTON slumped to a heavy Premier B defeat against a well-drilled University side on Saturday.
Having found some form and a system that worked the previous week, Sutton were blighted by unavailability.
They got a dream start as a break down the right presented Gary Hales with the simple task of tapping in.
The visiting defence worked hard to keep the lead, with good work by Andy Shore and Josh Fyson backed up by the midfield.
But the hosts equalised just before half time as a completely mis-hit shot deceived Jake Loweth.
After the break Cambridge launched wave upon wave of attacks. The midfield began to tire and were unable to get the ball up the field, meaning the the relentless pressure eventually saw Cambridge take the lead.
The students suddenly discovered the quality finishing they had been lacking earlier as a number of fine shots crashed by keeper Loweth. Despite the loss, Danny Sisson again worked hard despite being asked to play out of position.
CAMBS CITY 3rd 6
SPALDING 1st 1
ANOTHER heavy loss did nothing for the survival hopes of Hills-sponsored Spalding.
They did not play like a team that needed to win, lacking any spark. Cambs opened their account early on, only for Matt Sanders to cancel it out with a fine strike.
This was Spalding’s only real threat on goal and Cambs went on to net a further five.
WISBECH 4th 0
SPALDING 3rd 6
SIX-STAR Spalding picked up a much-needed three points as their bid to chase down Newmarket and Alford continued.
The away side opened their account when skipper Tom Shinkins managed to cover drive a waist-high ball into the back of the net from close range.
Minutes later Spalding scored again when centre back Graham Allen slotted home after picking the ball in his own 25 and worked it all the way down the pitch.
Wisbech fought back and put the strong Spalding defence under pressure. But an aerial ball out the back from Lawrence Smith-Hughes allowed Shinkins to round the keeper and make it 3-0 at the break.
Young Conner Allen converted another penalty stroke to make it father and son double on the score sheet.
Spalding dominated the remainder of the game, with Stuart Perkins and Herbert Uzhewakunze rounding off the scoring.
SPALDING 4th 6
SPALDING 5th 2
THE fourth team completed a double over their cup rivals.
Returning from his hockey sabbatical, the experience of Deane Baker shone through with a brace of goals in his fourth team debut.
Youngster Reggie Reeves was also on the scoresheet twice along with goals from Darren Willson and a penalty flick by Matthew Thorley.
Fresh from a two-week break, Spalding 4th dominated much of the early play and opened up a three-goal lead by half time.
The fifth team were able to exert more attacking pressure after the break and were rewarded with two well-taken goals from Andy Pears and Ryan Mountney.
LONG SUTTON LADIES 1st 2
COP LADIES 1st 0
SECOND-HALF goals from Gemma Gribble and Mel Ludlam earned Sutton a cracking derby win.
Sutton started well, putting a lot of pressure on the Peterborough defence. They won an early penalty flick, but failed to take advantage. COP came back into the game before the break and were the stronger team, gaining a number of short corners.
But some excellent defending prevented them from taking the lead, with goalkeeper Lorraine Wallis making some superb clearances.
The second half saw Sutton playing some excellent hockey and, after a string of short corners, they took the lead courtesy of Gribble’s lovely strike.
Minutes later they scored again from another short corner that was slipped wide for Ludlam to slot in.
Some excellent defending from player of the match Sally Cade prevented COP pulling back any goals.
LINCOLN 2nds 6
SPALDING LADIES 3rd 1
STRONGER and more experienced Lincoln had too much for a youthful Spalding team.
The game was played in excellent spirit and the scoreline failed to not reflect the excellent hockey the Spalding girls played. Rachel Perkins hit Spalding’s only goal from a powerful short corner.