Spalding ladies 1sts keep title bid on course

Spalding men's 2nds v City of Ely 2nds at Glen Park, Surfleet.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Spalding men's 2nds v City of Ely 2nds at Glen Park, Surfleet. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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Leaders Spalding ladies 1sts kept their assault on the East Women’s League Division 2NW title on track with a 5-1 win at St Neots 1sts.

Town achieved their win without captain and league top scorer Kelly Tuplin against a side that has proven hard to beat this season.

Spalding started well and had St Neots chasing the ball from the off, with some fine passing around the back.

Karen Timby opened the scoring from a penalty corner and made it 2-0 with the same method inside 10 minutes.

It was no surprise when a well-worked penalty corner was deflected in for 3-0 on 15 minutes as Spalding played some of their best hockey this season.

At the other end, Spalding’s back line held firm until a penalty corner awarded against them was finished well after 25 minutes, but the visitors were keen to continue where they left off.

On 43 minutes, a close-range finish made it 4-1 to Spalding and Kelly Slater made it 5-1 with a well-worked penalty corner on 67 minutes.

Meanwhile, Spalding men’s 2nds drew their vital Division 3NW relegation battle with City of Ely 2nds 2-2, despite them being slow out of the blocks and allowing their opponents to get an early foothold.

But Spalding slowly worked their way back into the contest after conceding two goals in quick succession, the first from a short corner and the second when veteran defender Glenn Perkins was eased out to leave the Ely striker through on goal.

The arrival of Claude Smith-Hughes led to Spalding halving the deficit and after a couple of early short corners, Spalding drew level when Perkins slotted home.

But in spite of dominating the closing stages and no matter how hard they tried, Spalding couldn’t find the winning goal.

On Sunday, Spalding 1sts lost a tight Division 1 match to St Ives 1sts 2-1.