HOCKEY: Spalding set for basement battle

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Spalding face a crucial clash at home to bottom-of-the-table Ipswich on Saturday.

They need to get points on the board after five successive defeats – having played four teams in the top six.

Spalding need to improve before Christmas to give them optimism going into the second half of the season.

But they had a familiar story last weekend against former National League side City of Peterborough.

Honours were even with both sides battling throughout the first half.

The home side broke the deadlock with a well-taken goal but Stuart Cunnington levelled with a trademark short corner.

With only five minutes to go until the interval, CoP went ahead again.

Spalding immediately went on the counter-attack and levelled again with a well-worked goal resulting in a tap-in from Robert Dalton.

Spalding had to reorganise the midfield following head injuries to Steve Rogers and Liam Brazier and in that time period Peterborough scored two quick goals to take the game away from the visitors.

It was pretty much one-way traffic for the remainder of the game with Spalding finding it difficult to push the advantage and Peterborough showing their experience and overall dominance.

Two more goals provided a comfortable result in the end, leaving Spalding once again to ponder how they managed to let slip a tight first-half performance.

Meanwhile, a single strike early on proved enough for City of Peterborough Ladies 2nd against Spalding’s first team.