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Wisbech's winning run comes to an end

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Wisbech Men 0, Norwich Dragons 1

After three wins on the trot, Wisbech started confidently and began to take control and create chances, with Danny Haynes and Fred Watling going close.

The defence remained untroubled throughout the first half as the teams went in level at 0-0.

The second half saw Wisbech maintain the same level of pressure against a goalkeeper in inspired form.

On another day Dom Stannard could have scored four, but he was denied by stunning saves, while Scott Welcher also had a good chance.

The impressive Tom Jupp was a constant threat down the right as Wisbech pushed for a goal, but against the run of play Dragons scored from a short corner.

Wisbech came back and continued to create opportunities. In the dying moments the men in red thought they had the equaliser their performance deserved as Jupp sent a short corner drag flick into the top corner. The ball beat the goalkeeper but was miraculously stopped on the line by a defender’s flailing stick above his head.

The men came away from this match scratching their heads as to what might have been, but pleased with the volume of chances they created.

Man of Match: Danny Haynes.

St Neots 1, Wisbech Men’s 2nd 4

Unbeaten Wisbech once again came up against an in-form goalkeeper who pulled off a string of quality saves to deny the visitors in the first half.

Wisbech’s patience eventually paid off when Jonathan Shippey smashed the ball into the D for Gary Freear to deflect into the goal to open the account.

Another assist from Shippey saw Kieran Hallatt drive down the right and cross for Josh Porter to tap in for Wisbech’s second.

Consistently positive play by Freear, Josh Bell and Sam Markillie in the midfield resulted in multiple chances for Calvin Bishop, but he was unable to get past the home keeper.

Strong tackling by Josh Shippey and Ryan Parker resulted in the ball coming through, via another Shippey assist, for Matt Pooley to tee up the ball on the top of the D and half-volley the ball into the net with a strong ‘goal of the season’ contender to add Wisbech’s third.

Man of the Match Nick Osborn put in a trademark reverse stick tackle to get the ball forward for Kierean Hallett’s low hard flick from yet another short corner to make it 4-0.

A breakaway by St Neots in the dying seconds meant a late consolation.

Wisbech Mens 4th 0, Spalding 4th 7

Spalding started strongly and the Wisbech defence had to work hard to keep the attackers at bay.

Jack Woolard had a great game in defence until the injury curse hit again late in the first half. At half time the score was 1-0 and Wisbech were still in the game.

Spalding’s strikers were very organised and were too strong for Wisbech’s defence as the goals flooded in after the break. Spalding were awarded a penalty flick which was calmly palmed away by keeper and Man of the Match Josh Anderson.

Wisbech are certainly missing their more experienced players but the youngsters are giving 100%.

Wisbech Ladies 1st 4, St Ives 0

On a wet and windy Saturday, Wisbech Ladies took on the other side relegated from Division One at the Harecroft Road pitch.

Wisbech started with intent and desire, the midfield being controlled by captain Jo Bland, assisted by Beth Rosier who created space for the wide players and allowed them to run aggressively at the away defence.

Ellie Padmore continued her fine start to the season with another dominant display in leading the line, with good support from Jane Peggs and Jo Gomm.

Hannah Welcher, Georgie Dunn and Amber Scott found good space and drove hard whenever possible.

The defensive unit of Issy Oldershaw-Ellis, Nat Ward and Katie Dunn were moving the ball quickly, which allowed more time and space for the wide players.

The St Ives keeper made every save expected of her until two minutes before the break when a short corner was sent home by Jo Gomm who reacted well to slap a high ball into the empty net.

Within five minutes of the restart, the second goal came. A short corner broke down and the ball found its way to Jo Bland who made space and drove the ball across to Georgie Dunn who calmly took a touch, brought it onto her open stick and placed the ball into the goal.

Emily Thomas made a save when asked to do so but spent most of her afternoon watching proceedings.

Laura Overland, playing at left back, found a lot of space and as the game progressed, Izzy Pope used her skill time and again to create openings.

The third goal came when Amber Scott’s shot was deflected past the keeper by Jane Peggs.

Nat Ward tried to get in on the goalscoring act by driving through the pitch, but just couldn’t get the finishing touch to cap off a fine move.

However, Player of the Match Joey Gomm concluded the scoring after Ward took the ball on the edge of the St Ives 23 and sent a searing ball into the D to find Gomm who deflected it into the roof of the net.

St Ives 2nd 1, Wisbech Ladies 2nd 1

The home side seemed more up for the wet conditions and started much the stronger, but once Wisbech got some passing and movement together, they took the lead when Emma Baker converted with a great strike from the top of the D.

Individual errors started to rack up though, with St Ives getting a well-deserved equaliser before the break from a short corner.

While there was more control in the second half, it was one of those games where nothing seemed to gel together for a sustained period.

Oliwia Bolka did well in attack in her first league game of the season for the seconds, while Olivia Jackson impressed on her second appearance in a defensive role in the latter part of the game.

They were both pipped to Player of the Match though by keeper Ali Beel who made some great saves to keep the score line at 1-1.

Wisbech Ladies 3rd 0, Cambridge South 6ths 0

After a shaky first 10 minutes, the team settled down and started to link up passes.

Despite this, the play was all down the middle which caused a lot of congestion and scrappy play at times.

There was some good attacking play, with some great balls into the D, but no one on the end to convert them. Half time 0-0.

In the second half, after a few tactical switches were made, Wisbech used the width of the pitch more and their passing game flowed.

Hetty Hoyles, switched from defence, was solid in midfield and made some good runs down the wing, along with Lilian Ley and Ana Norman who also caused the opposition some issues.

Player of the Match Emma Markillie and her mum Ali dominated the centre of midfield, both working tirelessly all game.

Wisbech’s defence were consistently strong throughout the game, while Helen Pentelow, who only had three short corners to deal with, also made some fantastic saves.

All in all a pretty even game and a great team performance.

Junior Section

Friday night saw 23 under-16 Wisbech Town Hockey Club players compete in an inter-club friendly match, with nine goals being scored between both teams.

The players participating were aged between 11-15 and all showed how talented the junior section truly is.

Long Sutton Men’s 2nd 1, Spalding 2nd 0

On a wet day, both teams started with a high tempo and a good standard of hockey was on show.

Sutton’s defence was well-drilled, with good games for Adam Taylor, Stef Fox and Michael Donaghy who were led by the inspired Tom Baguley in what was easily his best performance of the season.

With excellent support in midfield from Cam Ibrahim and Ed White, Sutton grew into the game but it was 0-0 at half time.

Sutton started the second half more positively. McKenzie East, Dom Ibrahim and Olly Taylor worked hard and Wiles was always a threat working along the forward line, with Sam Gray driving forward from midfield to support the attackers.

As the half moved on, both sides applied more pressure and when East won a short corner, Fox slipped it to Gray whose well-struck shot gave Sutton the lead.

Spalding came back and dominated for a while, but each attack was met with excellent defending from Sutton and good saves from Sisson.

A genuine team effort ensued to defend the lead as Fox and Baguley gave ‘gentle’ instruction to their team mates and led with some inspired tackling. Ed White, Cam Ibrahim and Gray always offered an outlet and some thankless running to ensure the press hurried Spalding on the ball.

Long Sutton Mens 3rd 5, Leadenham 3rd 1

With many regulars missing, James Cliff came in as goalkeeper, Dom Ibrahim in midfield and Simon Smith provided fresh legs from the sub’s bench.

Jack Smith ran the defence, which included Josh Smith, Ben Hales and Gary Croxford.

Through the middle, Dom Ibrahim, Jake and Daniel Simpson were supported by Sam Skate, with Josh Norey and Gary Hales up front.

The team worked really well, moving the ball around with some great link-up play, but conceded a goal in the first half.

However, constant pressure led to several short corners from which Gary Hales was able to score twice before the break.

There were further goals in the second half from Hales and a neatly taken shot from Ibrahim.

Towards the end of the game, Jack Smith scored the fifth.

Louth 2nd 3, Long Sutton Ladies 2nd 0

The game started brightly, with Sutton winning a short corner, but Becky Hales was just wide of the mark and Louth were quick to counter.

Play was evenly matched, with some good linking play from Charlene Leuty, Esme Whitelam and Imogen Cooper. But it was Louth who scored on the break, overrunning the Sutton D with players.

The defence kept their heads up though and some cracking saves from Emily Braginton kept them in the game, going into half time at 1-0 down. The second half started with early pressure from Sutton, utilising the wings and winning a second short corner. But Leuty’s strike was smothered and despite picking up the rebound, Sutton couldn’t capitalise and they found themselves defending a short corner.

Sutton struggled to break through the solid Louth defence and big hitting from the back put them under further pressure as Cooper was sidelines.

With Lucy Smith, Julie Skate, Claire Smith, Jayme Hunt and Hales absorbing the pressure of numerous shorts they eventually succumbed to a second goal.This saw the second injury of the game as Sutton, now keeperless, continued for the last six minutes determined to play it out. Louth were held at bay as Wendy Canham, Sarah Skate and Georgia Synott took up a more defensive stance and a final late goal from open play saw Louth run out 3-0 winners.

Player of the Match was Emily Braginton.

Other results: Kettering 2nd 2, Long Sutton Men’s 1st 7; Long Sutton Ladies 1st 0, Cambridge University3rd 4.

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