HOCKEY: Kelly’s double in derby win for Spalding

Long Sutton v Spalding
Long Sutton v Spalding
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  • East Women’s League Division Two NW - Long Sutton 2 Spalding 3
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Clinical finishing made the difference as Spalding ladies first team won Saturday’s derby at Long Sutton.

Kelly Slater (2) and Lottie Boreham were on target as they made amends for a home defeat to their neighbours last October and also ended a six-match unbeaten run.

Derby day at Peele Leisure Centre

Derby day at Peele Leisure Centre

Both sides contributed to an exciting and competitive games with Spalding coming through winners despite Long Sutton controlling large parts of the derby.

Spalding’s well-executed short corner routines did the damage, supported by a strong defence and a superb goalkeeping performance that kept Sutton’s strikeforce at bay.

Spalding started well by showing their pace and intentions right from the off, placing strikers high up in the Sutton half to create a couple of quick attempts which went wide of the home goal.

On eight minutes Spalding got the reward for their early endeavours with Sutton conceding a short corner to be followed by a second soon after.

Spalding on the attack

Spalding on the attack

The second attempt was collected by Boreham whose sharp strike was deflected off a Sutton stick high into the roof of the goal.

Spalding’s early success stung Sutton into action and the home side – supported well from a good crowd on the sidelines – started to pose a threat, passing fluently from the defensive pairings of Jo Bland, Tania White, Leah Goodley and Lisa Baker.

Leanne Woodhead went close with a great strike which went just wide.

But following a period of sustained pressure, Sutton earned a penalty flick and White executed the spot hit perfectly to draw them level.

Emmy Gittins caused the Spalding defence a lot of trouble with her pace and it increasingly looked like Sutton had the edge.

Jess Hudson and Charlee Leuty pressed in midfield and Hudson found Woodhead whose powerful effort was met by a stunning double save from Donna Chester-O’Neill.

Sutton started the second half with authority, much as they ended the first period.

Woodhead forced another block from O’Neill before Sutton earned a short which again was beaten away by the Spalding keeper.

In this phase, Spalding were limited to breaks but their pace up front caused Sutton problems.

Ten minutes into the second half and Spalding won a short corner which Slater slotted home from close range.

Sutton needed to respond again and Connie Gittins had a run which was disrupted by a well-timed tackle.

Emmy Gittins found Woodhead who again fired narrowly wide.

Sutton continued to find players from patient and accurate passing.

Lyn Tancred ran good lines and worked hard, on several occasions being denied by staunch defending.

Louise Southgate had similar attempts on the opposite side of the pitch.

Inevitably it increasingly felt like a second equaliser for Sutton was on the cards and it soon came through Baker who followed in a short corner attempt by reacting first to a rebound off the keeper.

Spalding responded by winning a short corner and again Slater was on hand to score her second goal of the game.

Lorraine Wallis saved well for Sutton soon after to keep a lifeline.

The hosts attacked well right to the end but continued to meet determined intervention from the Spalding defence and keeper.

On her debut for Sutton’s first team, Lauren Copper made a very positive impact.

Player of the match for Sutton was Emmy Gittins who worked with pace and accuracy throughout.

Meanwhile, Spalding men’s first team held on for a hard-fought victory to stay in the promotion hunt.

The home side moved the ball around well and were rewarded when Stuart Cunnington slotted home a trademark short corner on 10 minutes.

But a swift break caught them napping and the scores were levelled with an well-taken individual goal after 20 minutes.

Spalding went ahead just before the break when Glenn Richardson turned home a pinpoint pass from skipper Josh Rowbottom.

Waltham Forest equalised again and Spalding were reduced to nine men with Connor Allen and Richardson sin-binned.

Back to full strength, they made it 3-2 as Cunnington put home another short corner.