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Long Sutton Hockey Club Ladies' superb farewell to old Peele Centre ‘astro’ in Saffron Walden loss



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The last match on the old ‘astro’ for these ladies (action below), and hopes were high, even without the injured Tania White and absent Gemma Parr.

Saffron Walden are looking at another promotion this year.

A change in formation was ultimately the difference as Walden scored the two goals during this period.

Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top (19709334)
Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top (19709334)

The first was from a short corner which wasn’t cleared by the defence; the second was an unstoppable shot.

Sutton, however, dug deep to change the momentum. A formation change was key, with MoM Jo Bland slotting into the back four, resulting in a more settled period of play with Sutton absorbing the pressure. Lorraine Wallis was also on form, making numerous saves.

Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top. Walden denied (19709328)
Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top. Walden denied (19709328)

Following a team talk at half-time, Sutton came out of the blocks. Slick passing between the midfield and forwards led to a shot straight from the restart, unfortunately it went wide.

Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top (19709337)
Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top (19709337)

Saffron Walden stayed in the game, but the half was largely Long Sutton's with the defence breaking up SW's attacks constant penetration of the 23 and D without success. A goal would have turned the tide but their defence held firm.

Late on Jess Burton, who was having an inspired second half at right back, was hit on the hand by a dangerously rising ball and had to leave the field as Sutton again defended with passion.

Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top. Walden denied (19709331)
Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top. Walden denied (19709331)

The ladies have been playing the top teams so far this season and have matched them for long periods and could easily have won a couple more.

Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top (19709343)
Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top (19709343)

Captain Jo Bland led the team with a top-drawer performance and the team followed her example.

It’s easy to forget that over half the team are U18 and are learning their craft.

Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top (19709316)
Peele Leisure Centre - Long Sutton Hockey Club ladies first team v Saffron Walden. Sutton goalie in black top (19709316)

They showed on Saturday that they were equal to another top team when playing well and they are confident that next weekend will see the assured and skilful performance they are capable of.

Player of the match: Jo Bland.



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