Defeat and a win for Long Sutton men and ladies against St Ives
In their penultimate away game of the season, Long Sutton travelled to St Ives, a venue where they have historically come away with very little; Saturday was no different.
The game started at a low key end of season pace, with both defences dealing with anything thrown at them and the game meandered through the first half.
St Ives were given some good short corner training by Sutton following some misplaced feet, back sticks and even argumentative play but the hosts failed to convert any of them due to the organisation of the defence and some excellent work by Whitmore in goal.
Fox and Baguley worked hard organising the defence, with Batten and Ellis working intelligently in midfield, Taylor and Oldfield came off the bench and fitted in with the team formation and half-time arrived with the score 0-0.
The temperature dropped at half-time and this appeared to make Sutton raise their game, Baker made runs from midfield and created a chance for Batten, which he deflected wide.
However, any hope of Sutton building the pressure was thwarted when the double act of Baguley and Fox became Morecambe and not so Wise for a while, as Captain Fox spent some time on the naughty step.
Sutton remained resolute and did not concede. Batten worked hard and ran down a lost cause to create a chance for Canham, who with great precision managed to pick out the covering defender rather than the much easier option of the back of the net! Still 0-0.
Markillie replaced Fox on the naughty step and then after good work from Ellis, Josh Baker finished well to give Sutton the lead. Sadly, they held the lead like a wet eel and a speculative pass through the centre eluded Harry Synott and the scores were level again.
St Ives pressed forward and after a further string of short corners, the law of averages finally had its say and Sutton concede from a well-worked slip routine to give the home side a 2-1 lead with two minutes to go.
All that was left to do was shake hands, eat teas and go home empty-handed. No points, but a far closer game than first time round, as the improvement over the season was evident. However, the usual return from an away game at St Ives was achieved.
Long Sutton ladies 1s started well on the back of three positive performances.
The early possession was all theirs; however, against the run of play, St Ives scored from a reverse shot.
This did not deter a determined Long Sutton team and a goal came soon after - man of the match Emmy Gittins found Sarah Walker, who wrong-footed the keeper before passing the ball to Charlie Leuty, who slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Towards the end of half, Sutton had more great chances and Amber Jones came very close to scoring the second goal. However, Sutton went into the interval all square.
St Ives set the pace at the start of the second half but the defence of Lauren Cooper, Jess Burton, Tania White and Maisie Sullivan held strong.
Advantage was played well by the umpires and following lots of activity in the D, the chance fell to Connie Gittins, who confidently delivered the second goal.
Lots of pressure from St Ives followed, with a further reverse strike hitting the bar before being batted away by Sarah Walker. However, confidence grew and a fantastic sequence of passing resulted in Sutton's third goal, from Walker.
A great team performance which has kept alive Sutton's hope of remaining in the division.