Round-up of the action from Long Sutton Hockey Club
Long Sutton picked up their first away point of the season as a depleted side produced a determined display at City of Peterborough 4ths.
They travelled with the bare 11 players but undeterred Sutton were looking to take the game to the hosts and started brightly.
It wouldn't be long until the point had been made with a neat finish from a tight angle by Josh Fyson.
Two minutes later and not to be outdone from a similarly tight angle Josh Baker added his goal of the game with a neat reverse.
The half would continue mostly in Sutton’s favour with Luke Proctor, Brad Sargeant and Baker all coming close.
Peterborough then reclaimed a goal late in the first half after picking up a loose ball and finishing high into the roof of the goal.
The second half was a disjointed affair as, like in the first period, decisions that perhaps should have gone Sutton's way didn’t and tempers frayed.
Sargeant and Baker both spent time off the pitch for this on separate ocassions and the pressure mounted for Sutton as legs tired.
They were now spending more time defending than attacking and in unfortunate circumstances Peterborough would not only equalise but also take the lead.
This seemed to spark a sense of urgency with Sutton and a high press from the side soon started to see outcomes.
With a short corner at end of play, the first was placed on the first runners foot and so a retake was to follow and then, with a neat move, Fyson calmly flicked the ball into the backboard to deny the home side the three points and a bitter-sweet draw for the men in green.
It was a game of what ifs for Sutton as they showed true fight with the players on their last legs towards the end of the game.
They now look to end the first half of the season on a high as they travel to Spalding this weekend.
Long Sutton 2nds produced another good performance on their travels as they scored seven goals without reply against Cambridge South 5ths.
Numbers were thin on the ground this week so the side were pleased that Gary Hales could add his experience and proven ability to the 12-player squad.
Sutton started the game well with Will White, fresh from his commute from Eastbourne during the morning, liking well with Daniel Batten and Tyler Hagen to provide opportunities to test the South keeper.
Frazer Watt, Alex Canham, Ben Hales and Ed White all had chances which the keeper was equal to as Sutton applied intense pressure.
Adam Sisson in the Sutton goal was almost a spectator during the half as any form of attack that approached was snuffed out by the majestic Tom Baguley and Adam Taylor.
Ed White and the ever-consistent Stef Fox took control of the midfield and provided possession consistently for the forwards.
In the end the breakthrough came and it was no surprise when it was the experienced Gary Hales who finished well after work from Ed White.
The combination worked so well that they repeated it to make the score 2-0.
Sutton pushed on again and it was soon 3-0 as Hagan provided a good pass for Canham to finish.
Hagan then set up Watt to supply the best finish of the day as he made it 4-0 to Sutton who threatened to run riot.
South to be fair battled well but could not find a way around Fox, White and Baguley, though it was Watt who stood out the most at the back having been given a new role to cover for Clarke.
Half-time looked like it would provide some respite for South, but Hagan gave the assist for Gary Hales to hit his third and claim his hat-trick at 5-0.
The second half started well for South who clearly felt they were still in it as their flurry of attacking play showed, however, Sutton's defensive resolve was still there though and these attacks were repelled.
Meanwhile the forwards continued to attack and soon the score was 6-0 after Hagan set Canham up to lift the ball into the net.
Sutton still pushed for more and with the last hit of the game Ben Hales scored his first goal with a disguised finished following good work from Baguley.
Gary Hales was also on target for Long Sutton 3rds who went down to a 3-1 defeat away at St Ives 4ths.
Long Sutton Ladies 2nds were triumphant in their final game before Christmas after a two-goal victory at Ely.
Sutton were forced into a shuffle of the pack with Lucy Smith being called up to the firsts and George Synnott stepped into the void at right back with Gemma Parr dropping into centre back and Esme Whitelam making a further appearance just in front of the defence.
Sutton started brightly and the game was being played predominantly in the opposition half.
George Synott had the left forward of Ely in her pocket, seeing any attack that they tried to muster, snuffed out.
Lottie Dack combined well with Amelia Norey down the right, however, a combination of good goalkeeping and last ditch defending meant that Wendy Canham was not able to find the elusive finish.
Sutton continued to attack with the ball being played down both flanks, with great work from Esme Whitelam and Jasmine Smith in the middle switching play to both Penny Perowne and Florence Perowne down the left, but the goal would not come.
With a squad of 13, Sutton were able to bring on fresh legs and Aimee Betts and Lynne Braginton bought fresh impetus.
Ely barely found possession in the Sutton 23 with Julie Skate defending the left flank as well as player-of-the-match Synnott on the right, orchestrated by the experience of Gemma Parr.
Half time came with no goals, although Sutton had come close from a short corner strike from Parr which went narrowly beyond the right-hand post.
Sutton continued in the same vein in the second half.
Dack went close after a fine solo run down the right and her excellent strike going within a whisker of finding the left-hand corner of the goal.
Lynne Braginton also went close, with Wendy Canham poised on the right post to slot in but the ball not quite reaching her.
Sutton did however take the lead that their dominance deserved from a short corner.
A slightly mis-hit shot this time from Parr eluding the Ely goalkeeper who was obviously expecting a much better strike.
With time running out Ely did come into the game a little more but again the defence were equal to it ensuring that they were not able to muster any opportunities or short corners.
Norey ensured that there was no way back for Ely on the stroke of full time as a fine run down the left and a super strike from the top of the D saw Sutton leave with all three points and a lofty spot near the top of the table.
This team have excelled this half of the season with the blend of youth and experience combining well.
The ladies' first team went down to a four-goal defeat against Kettering despite a strong first half showing.