Despite another defeat on Saturday, Spalding men’s first team have achieved the aim of a top-five finish in their first-ever season in Premier B and are looking to build on this experience for next term.
They threw away a two-goal lead to lose 5-3 at home to City of Peterborough 2nd.
With nothing resting on this game in terms of league positions, it had the makings of an open match with plenty of goals.
The city side started brightly and Spalding had to defend well in the opening five minutes to keep them out.
Having weathered this early storm, Spalding started to get their game going and they put the visitors under great pressure with Josh
Rowbottom inspirational in midfield.
Dan Needham put the hosts ahead with a strong short corner flick and soon Spalding were playing in their pre-Christmas fashion.
They moved the ball around well and dominated for long periods.
It was no surprise when Stuart Cunnington found the net with a trademark short corner strike and Spalding were looking to go into the break with a comfortable advantage.
On the stroke of half-time, Peterborough pulled a goal back with a neat deflection.
The second half took on a different pattern with Peterborough equalising and then taking the lead from the penalty spot.
They moved up a gear and added two more goals before Cunnington pulled one back in the closing stages.
Spalding 2nd celebrated becoming league champions with a 6-4 victory over St Ives 3rd.
The title had earlier been won following a 1-1 draw for Spalding 3rd at Cambridge South 2nd.
Goals from vice-captain Glenn Perkins (2), Tom Mayhew, Dave Burrell, Lawrence Smith-Hughes and Keith Stennett secured their 14th consecutive win.
Captain Rob Callaby’s side have come a long way this season having dropped their only eight points in the first six games.
The ladies first team drew 1-1 at Bedford 2nd after taking the lead through a sweetly-struck short corner from Claire Hindmarsh.
Meanwhile, Long Sutton ladies first team dropped their standards in a 2-1 defeat at Newmarket.
Having performed well against league leaders St Ives and second-placed Cambridge University, they felt confident of achieving the fourth-place target.
However, right from the off Sutton didn’t seem to be at the races as Newmarket flooded forward with a must-win formation.
The Suffolk side took the lead midway through the first period when Sutton failed to clear the ball in the D.
Just a few minutes later Newmarket doubled their lead.
Finding a great deal of space on the right wing, the ball was crossed into the D and a block tackle between Lorraine Wallis in the Sutton goal and a forward led to the ball ricocheting into the goal.
Before the interval, skipper Leanne Woodhead moved the ball forward where fellow striker Lyn Tancred managed to steer it past the keeper.
Despite a much-improved second-half performance, Sutton could not produce an equaliser.
They drop to fifth on goal-difference but have a chance to address things and achieve their top-four finish at home on Saturday against City of Peterborough 2nd with a point to prove.
Men’s Premier B: Long Sutton 2 Harleston Magpies 2nd 3, Wisbech Town 2 Felixstowe 4, Norwich City 3 Cambridge Uni 2nd 1, Saffron Walden 3 I-ES 1, Spalding 3 CoP 2nd 5, Waltham Forest 1 Letchworth 5.
Men’s Division One: CoP 3rd 1 Bourne Deeping 5, March Town 2 Cambridge City 3rd 8, Pelicans 6 East London 7, Bishop’s Stortford 7 Chelmsford 2nd 0, West Herts 2nd 1 Old Southendian 0, Wapping 2nd 6 Ford 2.
Men’s Division Three North West: CoP 5th 0 Horncastle 5, Ely City 2 St Neots 3, Louth 0 Cambridge South 2, Cambridge Uni 3rd 9 St Ives 2nd 3, Cambridge City Vets 6 Long Sutton 2nd 0, Bourne Deeping 2nd 3 Wisbech Town 2nd 0.
Men’s Division Four North West: CoP 7th 0 Bourne Deeping 3rd 2, Wisbech Town 3rd 1 Cambridge City 5th 4, Spalding 2nd 6 St Ives 3rd 4, Cambridge South 2nd 1 Spalding 3rd 1, Leadenham 3 CoP 6th 1, Cambridge Nomads 2nd 5 Ely City 2nd 0.
Men’s Division Five North West: Long Sutton 3rd 10 Bourne Deeping 5th 2, March Town 2nd 9 Cambridge City 6th 2, Spalding 4th 0 Cambridge South 3rd 2, Cambridge South 4th 1 St Ives 4th 1, St Neots 2nd 1 Alford & District 0, Bourne Deeping 4th 6 Wisbech Town 4th 0.
Men’s Division Six North West (N): Alford & District 2nd 0 Grantham 3, Leadenham 2nd 1 Bourne Deeping 6th 1, Long Sutton 4th 7 Horncastle 2nd 4, Louth 2nd 3 Spalding 5th 2.
Women’s Division One North: Norwich City 2 CoP 0, Bedford 2nd 1 Spalding 1, Norwich Dragons 2nd 3 Saffron Walden 1, Cambridge City 2nd 1 Blueharts 0, Wisbech Town 8 Letchworth 0, Royston 0 Lindum 1.
Women’s Division Two North West: Alford & District 4 Cambridge Nomads 2, Lindum 2nd 0 Wisbech Town 2nd 5, St Ives 6 Cambridge City 3rd 1, Cambridge Uni 2nd 8 Pelicans 1, Newmarket 2 Long Sutton 1, CoP 2nd 5 St Neots 2.
Women’s Division Three North West: Huntingdon 5 Newmarket 2nd 0, Cambridge South 4 CoP 3rd 0, St Ives 2nd 4 Spalding 3rd 0, Spalding 2nd 3 Haverhill 2, Ely City 1 Cambridge Uni 3rd 2, March Town 1 Leadenham 2.
Men’s Premier B: Harleston Magpies 2nd 3 Waltham Forest 0.
Men’s Division One: Ford 7 Pelicans 5.
Men’s Premier B: Harleston Magpies 2nd v Wisbech Town, Letchworth v Long Sutton, Felixstowe v Norwich City, Cambridge Uni 2nd v Saffron Walden, I-ES v Spalding, CoP 2nd v Waltham Forest.
Men’s Division One: Bourne Deeping v March Town, Ford v CoP 3rd, Cambridge City 3rd v Pelicans, East London v Bishop’s Stortford, Chelmsford 2nd v West Herts 2nd, Old Southendian v Wapping 2nd.
Men’s Division Three North West: Wisbech Town 2nd v CoP 5th, St Neots v Louth, Cambridge South v Cambridge Uni 3rd, St Ives 2nd v Cambridge City Vets, Long Sutton 2nd v Bourne Deeping 2nd.
Men’s Division Four North West: Bourne Deeping 3rd v Wisbech Town 3rd, Ely City 2nd v CoP 7th, Cambridge City 5th v Spalding 2nd, St Ives 3rd v Cambridge South 2nd, Spalding 3rd v Leadenham, CoP 6th v Cambridge Nomads 2nd.
Men’s Division Five North West: Bourne Deeping 5th v March Town 2nd, Wisbech Town 4th v Long Sutton 3rd, Cambridge City 6th v Spalding 4th, Cambridge South 3rd v Cambridge South 4th, St Ives 4th v St Neots 2nd, Alford & District v Bourne Deeping 4th.
Women’s Division One North: CoP v Bedford 2nd, Lindum v Norwich City, Spalding v Norwich Dragons 2nd, Saffron Walden v Cambridge City 2nd, Blueharts v Wisbech Town, Letchworth v Royston.
Women’s Division Two North West: Cambridge Nomads v Lindum 2nd, St Neots v Alford & District, Wisbech Town 2nd v St Ives, Cambridge City 3rd v Cambridge Uni 2nd, Pelicans v Newmarket, Long Sutton v CoP 2nd.
Women’s Division Three North West: CoP 3rd v Bourne Deeping, Spalding 3rd v Cambridge South, Haverhill v St Ives 2nd, Cambridge Uni 3rd v Spalding 2nd, Leadenham v Ely City, Huntingdon v March Town.
English Trophy semi-final (1pm): Bourne Deeping v Guernsey.
Men’s Division Three North West: Cambridge Uni 3rd v Ely City.