Amber at double for Long Sutton
Three first-half strikes earned maximum points for Long Sutton ladies first team.
Amber Jones (2) and Jemima Dodd were on target at St Ives 2nd.
Without Gemma Parr and Charlie Leuty, Sutton decided to be aggressive in their plan against a team in the lower half of the table.
The opening minutes were played out mostly in the St Ives half and a few early opportunities were signs of what was to come.
With the ball moving quickly around the midfield, Connie Gittins and Jones found space up front to worry the home defence.
This created space for Sutton’s rapid wide midfielders to exploit and created the opening two goals.
It took only eight minutes to take the lead through the wide right channel with a slick move which started with Hannah Baker finding Gittins, who drove the baseline before feeding the ball across to Jones to push home from close range.
The second goal came from the same area but the move started deeper, with Jess Burton driving forward into space. She moved the ball inside and after three very quick passes, Gittins was in the D. She again found Jones and this time she slapped high into the goal and past the keeper.
In between these goals, Gittins went one-on-one with the keeper who made a good save, while both forwards had shots just wide and several short corners were not converted.
Two minutes before half-time, another short corner was won and a sharp routine found Dodd on the far post to deflect the ball through the legs of the keeper.
St Ives changed formation and tried to come back at Sutton but again the midfield stopped many attacks in their tracks.
As conditions deteriorated, St Ives started to have some success and penetrated the Long Sutton D, but Lorraine Wallis was determined to keep a clean sheet along with the defensive line of Lisa Baker, Lauren Cooper, Maisie Sullivan, Jess Burton and Tania White.
A short corner deflection was cleared knee height off the line by Tania White despite protests from the opposition that the ball had crossed over.
Sutton kept creating chances, with Dodd, Burton, Gittins and Jo Bland all having shots without success.
Evie Maltby earned a point for Spalding ladies first team at second-placed Saffron Walden.
The home side took the lead when an unfortunate sequence of events allowed the ball to be squeezed over the line.
Spalding then took the initiative as great link-up play through the midfield created chances.
Jess Ball held back Saffron Walden with several interceptions which kept the home attacks at bay.
Spalding continued to dominate for large parts of the second half.
Cally Priestly and Maddie Haunch created more chances while great forward movement from Charlotte Maplethorpe and Maltby led to a barrage of short corners.
Spalding’s efforts were rewarded with a stunning strike from player of the match Maltby which brought a late leveller for a well-deserved point – even though it felt like two were lost.
Jacob Baker scored in a 3-1 defeat for the men’s first team against Waltham Forest.
Hennie Boekestyn (5), Hannah Baker (3), Amy Naylor, Georgia Smith and Hollie McDonell netted for the under-16s, who beat Wellingborough 11-0 at Market Harborough in their first cup game.
Premier B: St Albans 2nd 4 Bourne Deeping 1, Havering 1 Broxbourne 8, Upminster 2 Cambridge University 2nd 1, Sudbury 3 Blueharts 4, Waltham Forest 3 Spalding 1, Shefford & Sandy 0 Old Southendian 3.
Division Two North: Kettering 6 Dereham 2nd 0, University of East Anglia 2 City of Peterborough 3rd 3, Pelicans 5 Norwich Dragons 2, Norwich City 2nd 10 St Ives 6, Harleston Magpies 3rd 0 Harleston Magpies 2nd 7.
Division Three NW: St Ives 2nd 3 St Neots 1, Cambridge City Vets 5 Spalding 2nd 5, Bourne Deeping 2nd 0 Long Sutton 2nd 5, Ely City 0 Cambridge University 3rd 7, March 9 Leadenham 2.
Division Four NW: Spalding 3rd 2 Cambridge City 5th 1, Cambridge Nomads 2nd 4 Bourne Deeping 3rd 1, St Ives 3rd 3 Kettering 2nd 7, Wellingborough 3 Cambridge South 3rd 2.
Division Five NW: City of Peterborough 6th 2 St Neots 2nd 2, Cambridge City 6th 5 Spalding 4th 0, Cambridge South 4th 7 Louth 2nd 1, Kettering 3rd 2 Wisbech 3rd 3, March 2nd 5 Ely City 2nd 2, Bourne Deeping 5th 0 Bourne Deeping 4th 3.
Division Six NW (N): City of Peterborough 8th 1 Long Sutton 3rd 2, Bourne Deeping 6th 0 Leadenham 2nd 2, Leadenham 3rd 4 Alford & District 2nd 1.
Division Two NW: Cambridge University 3rd 1 Bourne Deeping 1, Bury St Edmunds 2nd 1 Dereham 2nd 1, Cambridge City 4th 2 Cambridge Nomads 1, Pelicans 0 Cambridge South 3, St Ives 2nd 0 Long Sutton 3, Saffron Walden 1 Spalding 1.
Division Three NW: Ely City 3 City of Peterborough 3rd 3, Cambridge City 5th 4 Bourne Deeping 2nd 1.
Division Four NW (N): City of Peterborough 4th 0 Long Sutton 2nd 0, Horncastle 2nd 0 Spalding 3rd 0, March 0 Wisbech 2nd 3, Leadenham 4 Louth 2nd 0, Bourne Deeping 3rd 2 Spilsby 1.
Premier B: Cambridge University 2nd v Waltham Forest, Bourne Deeping v Havering, Broxbourne v Upminster, Letchworth v Old Southendian, Shefford & Sandy v Sudbury, Blueharts v St Albans 2nd.
Division Two North: Horncastle v Norwich City 2nd, Norwich Dragons v Long Sutton, Harleston Magpies 2nd v Pelicans, St Ives v University of East Anglia, Dereham 2nd v Harleston Magpies 3rd, City of Peterborough 3rd v Kettering.
Division Three NW: Cambridge University 3rd v Bourne Deeping 2nd, Leadenham v City of Peterborough 4th, St Neots v March Town, Cambridge South 2nd v Ely City, Spalding 2nd v St Ives 2nd, Long Sutton 2nd v Cambridge City Vets.
Division Four NW: City of Peterborough 5th v Louth, Cambridge South 3rd v Wisbech Town 2nd, Cambridge City 5th v Cambridge Nomads 2nd, Kettering 2nd v Wellingborough, Alford & District v Spalding 3rd, Bourne Deeping 3rd v St Ives 3rd.
Division Five NW: Bourne Deeping 4th v Cambridge South 4th, Spalding 4th v Bourne Deeping 5th, St Neots 2nd v Kettering 3rd, Wisbech Town 3rd v Cambridge City 6th, Louth 2nd v March Town 2nd, Ely City 2nd v City of Peterborough 6th.
Division Six NW (N): Long Sutton 3rd v Bourne Deeping 6th, Leadenham 2nd v City of Peterborough 8th, Spalding 5th v Leadenham 3rd, Alford & District 2nd v Horncastle 2nd.
Division Two NW: Cambridge Nomads v Cambridge University 3rd, Dereham 2nd v Pelicans, Spalding v St Ives 2nd, Long Sutton v Cambridge City 4th, Bourne Deeping v Bury St Edmunds 2nd, Cambridge South v Saffron Walden.
Division Three NW: Huntingdon v Cambridge City 5th, Horncastle v Spalding 2nd, St Neots 2nd v Alford & District.
Division Four NW (N): Wisbech Town 2nd v City of Peterborough 4th, Spilsby v Leadenham, Louth 2nd v March Town, Alford & District 2nd v Bourne Deeping 3rd, Long Sutton 2nd v Horncastle 2nd.
More by this authorMark Lea