Long Sutton hockey first team debutant Cam Ibrahim shines as depleted men lose to high flying Harleston Magpies 2nds team with ex-national league players
LSHC Men 0 Harleston Magpies 2nds 2
Relegation-threatened Sutton welcomed high flying Harleston – containing numerous ex-national league players – with a depleted team missing captain Fox, Synott, Whitmore and Collingwood-Smith.
The usual squad was joined by Will White, James Cliff and for the first time Cam Ibrahim as they looked to build on good form. Captain for the day Jacob Synott organised well from midfield and Ibrahim was totally assured filling in at left back.
Harleston looked strong but Sutton worked hard from back to front; Ellis holding the base of the midfield with excellent running and tracking from Will White, Taylor and East. Half time arrived with the score 0-0, in fact the home side could have been in ahead.
In the second half the game became very end to end and eventually tired legs began to tell on Sutton – two goals in the last five minutes broke Sutton hearts. Final mentions must go to MoM Ibrahim who was outstanding on his first team debut and Cliff.
LSHC Ladies 1 Cambridge University 3rds 4
Long Sutton Ladies fine run finally came to an end on Saturday against a good Uni side who were much improved from the team faced in the first half of the season.
On a windy day, Uni started the game at a high tempo and forced Sutton back from the off. With a reorganised back line, including two debutants, Becky Hales and Emma Grosvenor, there was initially uncertainty in defence and the fit students exploited this, however Sutton held firm. Jess Burton, playing an unfamiliar role in front of the back four, ran everywhere to pick up players and try to get Sutton a foothold in the game, which gradually they did. The first half ended goalless although Sutton probably carved out the best two chances of the game, with Amber Jones not quite being able to get in at the back post following excellent running from Connie Gittins, and a one on one with the keeper again just being poke narrowly wide by Connie Gittins.
The second half started much in the same vein as the first with Uni pushing Sutton back and forcing an early short corner. Even with the changed defensive short personnel, Sutton remained strong, Burton running one extremely well and Lisa Baker standing firm on the post. From a defensive free hit, Tania White found Emmy Gittins in space, who played the ball Jemima Dodd, drawing a couple of Uni Students with her skill then played the ball to Connie Gittins who made no mistake this time to give Sutton an unexpected lead. Sutton gained in confidence but were struggling to retain possession, having to play against an extremely strong wind and Uni got themselves back into the game when they won a penalty flick. An unfortunate if rare mistake this season from Wallis then gifted them the lead. Sutton continued to fight with Katie Collingwood-Smith making herself available on the flank to try to get Sutton moving up the pitch. Uni then made the game safe with a third goal ten minutes from time and then put a gloss on the score-line with the final play of the game from a short corner. 4-1 a little harsh on the Sutton side who battled well.
Player of the match: Jemima Dodd.
Wisbech Round Table Man of the Match