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Long Sutton Hockey Club Ladies grab derby draw at Spalding

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Spalding 1 Long Sutton HC Ladies 1

A derby which is always a keenly contested affair, and this was no exception.

The ladies knew that to stop the Spalding steam train they would have to stick to the game plan and put in a good shift without key players Tania White and Hannah Baker, but with the returning Amber Jones. Spalding couldn’t create any chances from the early domination.

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The deadlock was broken shortly after Maisie Sullivan was shown a straight yellow for a clash with an opposition player. Spalding forced a short corner and after a goalmouth scramble the ball was pushed home.

A slick move from Gittins, Gittins and Jones provided a chance but it went wide. Sullivan was restored and no further score gave Sutton confidence.

A free hit from Gemma Parr saw the ball come across into the D for Amber Jones to push past the keeper and parity was restored. The game ebbed and flowed largely in midfield with Sutton stopping the direct ball down the middle of the pitch.

After a slight change at half-time, Sutton began the second half on the front foot. Katie Collingwood-Smith almost finished a move she began. Captain Jo Bland had been the conductor of the Sutton orchestra all game.

As the clock wound down Spalding earned five short corners with Sutton repelling the home side urged on by the vociferous partisan crowd.

It was a fair result with neither team producing the moment of quality to break the deadlock.

Youngsters Jemima Dodd and Katie Collingwood-Smith were exceptional. Jess Burton ran tirelessly in a number of positions.

The deadly trio of Connie/Emmy Gittins and Amber Jones are back together and hopefully this again will be productive. Spalding dropped their first points of the season and it’s on to another top side in Saffron Walden next weekend.

Player of the match: Connie Gittins.

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