HOCKEY: Spalding knocked off top of the table

Norwich City denied this time at Spalding
Norwich City denied this time at Spalding
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Two home games produced eight goals for Spalding men’s first team last weekend – but they only picked up one point to lose top spot.

They lost 4-3 to Norwich City on Saturday and then drew 5-5 with Cambridge University 2nd in a rearranged game on Sunday.

Spalding v Norwich City

Spalding v Norwich City

Boosted by their 6-2 win over City of Peterborough the previous week, Spalding started strongly but were denied an early lead by tidy defending from Norwich.

The visitors went ahead with a crisp short corner strike but Spalding were soon back on level terms thanks to a trademark Stuart Cunnington short corner.

Norwich opened the second half strongly and were back in the lead.

But once again Spalding bounced back and Michael Morris tucked home the equaliser from close range.

Action at Glen Park. Photos by Tim Wilson

Action at Glen Park. Photos by Tim Wilson

In a purple patch for the home side, more chances were created and it was no surprise when they took the lead through Tom Everton.

With just five minutes remaining, a home win looked on the cards as the visitors tired but they broke quickly following a Spalding short corner and equalised with an outstanding finish.

Refreshed again, Norwich threw everything at Spalding and were rewarded with a winner inside the final two minutes of the match.

On Sunday, Cambridge University belied their mid-table position.

A strong opening period from Spalding may have brought them a brace of goals but the chances were wasted.

The university boys went 2-0 up before the break.

A second-half goal for Spalding captain Josh Rowbottom heralded a brilliant passage of play from the home team.

Cunnington equalised with a short corner and Spalding looked a different team.

There was movement and energy all round as Spalding made the university boys work hard to keep in the game.

James Grant and Brendan Morris created space down the right and set up Glenn Richardson to strike home to put Spalding in the lead.

Another Richardson strike in the following minute made it 4-2 with the home side rampant.

But the visitors bounced back and in the space of 10 minutes added three short corner goals to give them a 5-4 lead.

Cunnington, returning to the pitch following a yellow card, fiercely dragged home the equaliser.

On the stroke of full-time Spalding earned yet another short corner but a dramatic finish was not to be as the shot was well saved.

Spalding ladies first team went down 2-1 at Cambridge Nomads on a misty morning.

The visitors won the toss and settled in slowly before the game flowed evenly.

With half-time approaching, Nomads gained the upper hand but player of the match Claire Pateman and a couple of others dug in with some stout defending.

Spalding always looked dangerous on the break with pace from the Maplethorpe sisters Charlotte and Georgina but it was Nomads who struck first.

Spalding started the second half with a short corner which came to nothing but they were on top and looking to make the pressure count.

Good work by Ellie Pybus released the Maplethorpe girls down the right and Charlotte was put in one on one with the keeper to coolly slot home.

Into the last 15 minutes this was anyone’s game with chances at both ends but Nomads got another goal and there was no way back for Spalding.