HOCKEY: Three early goals send Spalding to defeat

Spalding concede in the first half

A heavy defeat in Spalding’s first home game was a harsh welcome to the East Premier A league.

Spalding were under the cosh from the start as Bedford showed great pace.

The visitors, who are fancied to finish among the top few teams in this league, played outstanding hockey throughout the game by turning defence into attack in an instant.

Spalding found themselves 3-0 down after just 15 minutes.

Skipper Josh Rowbottom led by example as they tried to develop their game through the midfield but found no way through a well organised defence.

Two more goals before the interval meant that Spalding were playing for pride in the second half.

Bedford added a sixth from the penalty spot early in the second half following a robust challenge from Brendan Morris which earned him a yellow card.

Stuart Cunnington pulled a goal back with a trademark short corner.

The Bedford keeper and another defender were sent to the sin bin and for a while Spalding took advantage of the visitors’ ill-discipline.

Back to full strength, Bedford rounded off a great display with another couple of neatly taken goals.

Long Sutton’s first home game of the season resulted in a 7-4 loss to Bishop’s Stortford.

Matt Goodley put them 1-0 ahead but Bishop’s Storford were soon 3-1 up.

Ben Shore pulled a goal back but Stortford made it 5-2 at the break.

Goodley got his second goal in the first attack of the second half.

However once again, Stortford replied within a couple of minutes and Sutton were 7-3 down. Josh Fyson replied towards the end of the game.

Spalding ladies were denied by a late leveller as they shared four goals with Alford at Glen Park.

Against an experienced side, they went out in full force with a strong warm-up showing that they meant business.

From the start, Spalding were in front with strong passes and runs but following an unfortunate accident in the first two minutes Claire Hindmarch was led off the pitch.

This rallied the girls to up their game and they gained a swift short corner. The ball was played quickly with Jessica Ball gaining her first goal for the team.

However, the lead was short-lived as intense play brought Alford’s equaliser just before half-time.

After 10 short corners, Amy Wells’ goal was disallowed and tempers were running high.

After an unfortunate call, Spalding’s captain Jodie Abraham was given a green card and the team had to step up.

With skilful play from vice-captain Ellie Pybus and Macy Carr, Zoe Moore set up Wells who put Spalding 2-1 up.

They kept on the attack but a high shot from Karen Timby on a short corner was disallowed.

In the last few minutes Alford’s Kelly Tuplin took the ball into the D and scored to leave the final score at 2-2.

Meanwhile, Lyn Tancred got the only goal of the game as Long Sutton claimed their second win of the season at Pelicans.

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