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Round-up of the weekend action from Spalding Hockey Club



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Stu Cunnington cracked four goals as Spalding scored seven times without reply in Saturday's East League Division One North victory over Bourne Deeping.

The match pitted the league leaders against a Dragons side who are second-from-bottom in the 12-team table.

With a number of tense and tight battles in recent weeks, Spalding were guilty of working in third gear for the opening passages of the game, for which the home side didn’t offer attacking-wise but it remained level until midway through the first half.

Spalding team group. Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712211)
Spalding team group. Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712211)

This parity kick-started the leaders' urgency to break the deadlock and, through open play on the right-hand side, the visitors earned a short corner that was duly converted by Cunnington to the keeper’s left-hand side.

The latter stages of the first half saw Spalding dominate both in terms of possession and territory to secure three further goals through Cunnington (two) and James Mayhew.

The half-term whistle blew with Bourne Deeping well and truly on the ropes.

Will Baker (S) James Watkins (BD) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712216)
Will Baker (S) James Watkins (BD) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712216)

After a rather one-sided first half, Bourne Deeping dug in at the start of the second period and, through a couple of mistakes at the rear of the Spalding lines, they created a couple of top D chances which they failed to convert.

The majority of the second half possession was with Spalding, however, with chances going over the bar or short corners flying past the past.

Midway through the second half, the breakthrough came with a terrific pass from Cunnington finding Joe Rogers on the penalty sport for a deflection.

This breakthrough led to two quick further goals from Rogers and Cunnington before the final whistle.

The last game before the Christmas break drew to an end with the distinct impression that this could be the last south Lincolnshire derby for a while with Spalding leading the charge for promotion into the East Premier League and Bourne Deeping readying themselves for a relegation dogfight starting in January.

Ryan Matthews (BD) on the attack. Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712220)
Ryan Matthews (BD) on the attack. Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712220)

Spalding 2nds left empty-handed after a close local derby with Long Sutton on Saturday.

The result was in doubt until the final minutes when Sutton took the lead for the first time with what proved to be the decisive goal.

Spalding started strongly and took the lead, doubling it shortly afterwards with goals from Harry Naylor and Steve Rogers.

Ryan Matthews (BD) and Number 5 Spalding. Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712222)
Ryan Matthews (BD) and Number 5 Spalding. Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712222)

This spurred the opposition into action and two away goals followed to leave the score level at 2-2 at half-time.

In the second half, it was Spalding who again took the lead with a Pete Wright goal before Sutton fought back to level before a goal towards the end of the game sealed the three points.

Spalding were kept in the game throughout by some outstanding saves by captain Rob Callaby in goal, without whom the scoreline could have been much different.

James Mayhew (S) Ben Brittain (BD) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712224)
James Mayhew (S) Ben Brittain (BD) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712224)

Spalding 4ths went down to a narrow one-goal away defeat at Cambridge City 6ths.

The match started evenly with neither team creating any clear-cut chances.

After the opening 15 minutes, Spalding had their best opportunity with a good spell of play down the right wing with the ball falling to Matthew McManamon-Cookson who struck it towards the far post, but the Cambridge keeper just got enough on it to keep it out.

Joe Higgins (S) Ben Saunders (DB) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712228)
Joe Higgins (S) Ben Saunders (DB) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712228)

With the play continuing in the middle of the park, Spalding struggled to string passes together and were holding on to the ball too long and this eventually took its toll with one minute left of the first half.

Cambridge won a short corner and, after the initial shot was saved, they managed to slot the second effort into the near post to make it 1-0 at half-time.

The second half was much the same as the first, with both sides’ defences managing to fend off the opposing team’s attacks.

Joe Higgins (S) Ben Saunders (DB) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712232)
Joe Higgins (S) Ben Saunders (DB) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712232)

Spalding grew stronger through the half and, with David Dorey covering centre back for an injured Martin Perkins, they were able to apply pressure to the Cambridge defence but could not find the final ball.

Even the Spalding Hockey Club men’s top scorer Ben Scholes couldn’t find the back of the net as the equaliser proved elusive.

The men's fifth team game against Cambridge Nomads was postponed.

Stuart Cunnington (S) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712236)
Stuart Cunnington (S) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712236)

Karen Timby hit a hat-trick to help Spalding Ladies 2nds to a 3-1 away win at City of Peterborough 4ths on Saturday.

They attacked strongly from the whistle but the Peterborough defence was solid and, as many balls as Spalding kept firing or rolling into the D, they were shut down and bounced back out.

Both teams fought to intercept every ball and it was down to individual skill to move around the players in all directions.

Robin Edlington, (??) Spalding No 12 Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712240)
Robin Edlington, (??) Spalding No 12 Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712240)

Spalding did this well and kept Peterborough guessing where their next move would be as they were making full use of all players and often making excellent transfers.

Abby Hodgett made a few great saves when needed but the defence of Sophie Smith, Samantha Maltby and Pippa Bembridge were able to push up often and assist the attacking play.

In the midfield, Zoe Moore and Roz Dennis switched around and made lots of space for the ball to come and travel to well selected spots found by forwards Erin McMurray, Kate Amess and Lauren Spenceley.

Joe Higgins (S) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712245)
Joe Higgins (S) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712245)

Amy Naylor and Ellie Holland also had great movement and gave the Peterborough defence cause for concern on several occasions.

The first goal came for a one-two from Timby to Kelly Tizzano and back to the scorer, calling for the ball at the top of the D, and striking a thunderbolt into the back of the net!

The game continued with some feisty battles and excellent hockey play with Peterborough equalising with a goal from a penalty corner rebound shot.

Joe Higgins (S) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712253)
Joe Higgins (S) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712253)

Timby worked another opening from a slip to Roz Dennis and then into the goal from a penalty corner to restore Spalding's lead.

Yet another penalty corner goal from a Timby thunderbolt secured her triple and the win for Spalding.

Spalding’s fitness really shone in the last 10 minutes of the game as they maintained their lead and continued to attack for more goals.

Stuart Cunnington (S) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712255)
Stuart Cunnington (S) Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712255)

Despite several nominations for different players this week, player of the natch went to Sophie Smith.

The first team were handed a 5-0 walkover win after Kettering conceded their game while ladies third team match against Wisbech 2nds was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Bourne Deeping dejection after a Spalding goal. Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712257)
Bourne Deeping dejection after a Spalding goal. Bourne Deeping v Spalding mens hockey, Glinton, Cambridgeshire, UK, on December 11, 2021 (53712257)


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