Round-up of the weekend action from Spalding Hockey Club
Spalding Ladies continued their winning streak with a 3-1 derby victory over Long Sutton on Saturday.
Charlotte and Georgina Maplethorpe were both on target for the Maroons along with player of the match Mia Dewing.
Spalding started strongly from the off, making it difficult for Long Sutton to get the ball out of their own half.
Some great running in the midfield kept Long Sutton under pressure with many chances on goal being created.
Despite this, the team struggled to put the ball past Long Sutton keeper Lorraine Wallis and it wasn't until a short corner was gained that Spalding made it 1-0.
A brilliant one-two between Dewing and Georgina Maplethorpe at the top of the D led to the first goal from Dewing who slotted the ball past the keeper.
Dewing kept up the good work and shortly after gained an assist by playing a great ball to Charlotte Maplethorpe who deflected it into the goal for a 2-0 half-time lead.
Long Sutton out for the second half strongly, making the Spalding defence work hard with some great clearances being made by the defenders.
Long Sutton gained a goal back through Amber Jones, however, Spalding didn't let this faze them.
They gained a short corner within the last few seconds of the game and put all of their players around the D, determined to get another goal.
After the whistle had been blown and two successive short corners had been taken, Evie Maltby played an amazing ball to Georgina Maplethorpe who deflected it into the goal at the back post to seal the win.
Spalding Ladies 2nds pocketed a crucial point following a 3-3 draw with Cambridge City 5ths in a match between two sides who were separated by only a few points.
Spalding were first to score early in the game from a ball cleared by sweeper Pippa Bembridge to central midfielder Zoe Moore.
Seizing the opportunity Moore linked play quickly to ever-ready forward Erin McMurray who sped off on a one-on-one with the keeper and confidently slid it home.
After this and, with changes to this week's formation and introducing new players, Spalding lost their structure for a while in the first half, resulting in City putting three goals into the back of the net by the end of the opening period.
After a constructive team talk from coach Sam Sly and captain Moore re-structuring the subbing and midfield play, Spalding re-ignited their play and switched on for the second half.
They defended solidly in this half, keeping any further threats away from City.
Having been awarded a number of penalty corners, Roz Dennis was finally able to slip the ball left to Moore who slapped it into the corner of the goal.
Spalding were determined to gain another goal in the last 10 minutes of play and pushed on.
There was plenty of excellent linking play from Sophie Smith, Hermione Wright, Amy Naylor and Maisie Foden who were relentless in their pursuit of another goal.
Finally in the last two minutes Spalding received a short corner where Amy Naylor forced her way through the defenders for a deflection into the City goal to net a well-deserved point.
Table-topping Spalding made it six wins from six games in Division One North with a 5-1 victory at Cambridge City 3rds on Saturday.
It was their third visit of the season to Cambridge and they started the game poorly with some sloppy play that allowed their hosts to apply pressure.
However, the Spalding defence held firm and kept Cambridge out before a spell of good play from the visitors led to a good goal from Joe Higgins to open the scoring.
This lead wasn’t held onto for long as the away team still wasn’t into full swing and a poor challenge on the top of the D led to a Cambridge short corner which was converted with a tap in after a good initial first save.
Spalding started to move up the gears towards the end of the first half and won a few short corners after some good team play.
Stu Cunnington eventually got himself onto the scoresheet with a well converted drag flick.
In the second half Spalding really started to play together better and this resulted in a flurry of goals and some excellent individual play from Baker, Rogers and Amess.
Three more goals were scored in the second half, a slotted finish from Baker after a skilful run through the opposition’s defence, a well finished shot from Higgins and an extremely narrow-angled baseline shot from Rogers to top the day off.
Spalding 2nds were put to the sword by Cambridge University 3rds as they went down 8-2.
Despite being the better side for the first ten minutes and a brace of goals from Glenn Richardson - one in each half - Spalding were unable to consistently cope with a young, fit Cambridge side.
Spalding 4ths were also on the wrong end of a 7-1 reversal in their match against Cambridge South 4ths.
Cambridge started the game very strongly with an early goal in the opening minutes, but Spalding were able to draw the scores level from a short corner, struck home by Dave Burrell.
From there on many green cards and one yellow were given to the opposition due to bad tackles as unfortunately Spalding conceded three more goals, leaving the score 4-1 to Cambridge at half-time.
Cambridge were able to carry their attacking play into the second half by scoring twice more before Aaron Scholes was given a green card.
Spalding tried their best to stop the play but conceded another goal while Harry Naylor made a wonderful save, tracking back from halfway to stop a shot on the goal line.
Dean, unfortunately, was given a green card before Cambridge South were able to slot a final goal in to end the game 7-1.
Marco Mendoza and Michael Morris both netted twice as Spalding 5ths ran out 4-2 winners against their Ely City counterparts.
It was to be an interesting game with fairly even squads that saw both experience and pace on display.
It was Spalding on the back foot for the first 10 minutes, having been reduced to 10 men for two minutes on the back of green card.
But, by the 15-minute mark, an excellent drive into the D, followed by a crisp cross-goal hit saw Spalding go one up through Morris.
With five minutes left in the half, Spalding found themselves with a three-goal lead as both were well-worked and finished at the back post by Mendoza.
A quick goal early in the second half for Morris saw Spalding into a comfortable 4-0 lead but, after a few consecutive green cards, they found themselves with only a two-goal cushion.
It seemed like the momentum was with Ely, but with solid defence and attack, it fell back to being Spalding’s game to win.
In the dying seconds of the game, a short corner was struck into the leg of the Ely runner which ended the game.
It was a great performance from all, with Oscar Haunch receiving man of the match for his excellent effort between the posts.