HOCKEY: Teamwork behind Sutton’s super run

KITTED OUT: Spalding Poachers 1st are pictured in their new kit, which is sponsored by Univeg. Dick Baker was at Surfleet to hand over the strip. Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG271012-226NG (to order call 01775 765433 or visit www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto)
KITTED OUT: Spalding Poachers 1st are pictured in their new kit, which is sponsored by Univeg. Dick Baker was at Surfleet to hand over the strip. Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG271012-226NG (to order call 01775 765433 or visit www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto)
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Long Sutton 3rd continued their impressive start to the Division 6NW (N) campaign as a 5-2 victory over Alford sent them second in the table.

The secret to their success is built on an excellent team unit rather than individual performances – and it’s paying dividends in a league that houses four South Holland sides.

It was Alford who opened the scoring, but a fine individual effort from Ed White and then an Alex Canham effort put Sutton 2-1 up at the break.

Sutton began to control the game in the second half and their dominance paid off when Jack Smith fed Canham for his second of the game.

Alford reduced the deficit, but player-of-the-match Canham completed his hat-trick and White notched his second to wrap up the points.

It wasn’t such a great weekend for Long Sutton 1st, though. They kicked off their double-header with a 6-0 loss at unbeaten Premier B leaders Wisbech 1st, before being handed a 3-0 reverse by North Premier Division outfit Oxton 1st in the HA Cup 24 hours later.

In Division 2NW, Spalding 1st picked up a handy 1-1 draw against a solid Cambridge University 3rd outfit.

Danny Shardlow blazed a cracking chance over for Spalding, before the fell behind to a penalty corner on the stroke of half time. That was eventually cancelled out when Glenn Perkins’ persistent pressure in the Cambridge half was rewarded when his cross was cleverly deflected home by Russell Watts.

Meanwhile, Spalding 2nd suffered their first Division 4NW loss of the campaign on a horrible day at Horncastle 1st.

The hosts grabbed a half-time lead with a scruffy goal that ended up going in off Chris McKenna’s foot. Spalding gained a foothold in the second half and equalised when a Pete Wright strike was brutally put into the top corner by a home player. But a quick breakaway secured the points for Horncastle soon after.

That loss allowed Long Sutton 2nd to move within a point of Spalding, after they beat March Town 2nd 3-0.

Two of their goals were scored by Luke Lovegrove. The teams meet at Glen Park this Saturday (2pm).

• Spalding Poachers 1st returned to the top of East Women’s League Division 2NW with a vital 2-0 win over title rivals Alford on Saturday.

Roz Dennis scored Spalding’s first goal after great link-up play with Kelly Slater and Jacqui Hunter. Alford piled on the pressure at the other end, but player-of-the-match Becky Warr made a string of brilliant saves, ensuring Sally Pilgrim’s strike before the break settled a sixth win from seven games.

Up in East Women’s League Division 1N, Long Sutton Ladies’ 1st were on top form too.

They smashed Cambs Nomads 1st 6-2, as Leanne Woodhead helped herself to four goals. She shot a quick-fire treble to put Sutton 3-0 up early on, before Cambs pulled one back.

Woodhead, Rebecca Kierman and Robyn Gribble added further goals after the break, sealing the points despite a late breakaway Nomads strike.

In Cambs Ladies League Division Two, Spalding Poachers 3rd kept their 100 per cent record alive with a 2-1 win over Bourne/Deeping 3rd. Alex Allwright and Elaine Allen got the goals in a game that saw keeper Karen Barkworth named player of the match.

But Long Sutton Ladies’ 2nd lost 4-1 to Lincoln 2nd in Lincolnshire Green League, Lisa Baker getting their goal.