Spalding up to second after ‘derby’ victory

Spalding in action
Spalding in action
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Spalding travelled to Long Sutton for the second time this season hoping for another victory following their cup win only a few weeks ago.

The visitors made a slow start as Sutton took early control of the midfield and played some good passing hockey without finding a way through the Spalding defence.

Sutton then lost influential defender Tom Baguley to injury, which forced a restructure in their defence.

The visitors took the lead mid-way through the first half following a retaken short corner. Albert Slator, in the Sutton goal, saved the initial flick from Cunnington but Josh Rowbottom was on hand to volley the rebound high into the goal.

After that neither team created many clear-cut scoring opportunities and Spalding went into half-time 1-0 to the good.

The visitors soon extended their lead with an early goal after the break. Cunnington and Temple-Baxter worked a short corner to Rowbottom who tapped in from close range.

Spalding began to exploit Long Sutton’s weaknesses out wide. Temple-Baxter and Rowbottom worked together to disposess the Long Sutton winger and Rowbottom slipped the ball to Mike Morris, who finished impressively from a tight angle to give the visitors a three-goal cushion.

The hosts found themselves chasing the game and this galvanised them and they pulled a goal back through a Josh Fyson short corner.

Sutton now had a spring in their step and looked the more dangerous of the sides and created a number of chances that went begging.

Spalding restored their three-goal advantage with an impressive drag flick from Dan Needham, with Sutton again hitting back with an equally impressive drag flick from Fyson into the roof of the net.

Sutton then put increasing pressure on the visitors’ defence, with Spalding even more stretched when Rowbottom was sent to the sin bin.

However, the visitors held out in an edgy final 10 minutes and used their experience to wind down the clock to secure a 4-2 victory.

Other results elsewhere went Spalding’s way, with Norwich and Letchworth drawing, which saw Spalding move to second in the Premier B table. Meanwhile, Sutton continue to struggle at the bottom of the table.

Spalding travel to Waltham Forest on Saturday and will expect another tough encounter.