A late Joe Higgins strike earned Spalding 1st a deserved 3-3 draw at Old Southendian 1st in East Men’s Hockey League Premier B Division on Saturday.
After a three-hour trip to Southend-On-Sea, Spalding started well and took a deserved lead from Stuart Cunnington’s great reverse stick finish.
However, the hosts managed to grab two goals from rebounds following quick counter attacks – despite good initial saves from Nathan Davy.
The standard of hockey was high after the break, but it was Old Southendian who scored next to move 3-1 ahead with 12 minutes left.
Spalding refused to drop their heads, though, and pulled one back when Cunnington lashed a drag flick home.
That set the stage for Higgins to deflect home an equaliser in the closing stages, as Spalding claimed a decent point against one of the division’s high-fliers.
It wasn’t such a good day for struggling Long Sutton 1st in Division 2N, though.
It’s now seven defeats from as many games after their 6-0 humbling at table-topping Harleston Magpies 2nd and they stay bottom.
In Division 3NW, Spalding 2nd lost a remarkable game at March Town 1st 7-5.
Steve Rogers (2), Tim Maltby, Tom Bettinson and Daniel Dorey-Rodriguez got the goals for Spalding in the 12-goal thriller.
In the same division, Long Sutton 2nd romped to a 4-1 success over hosts St Ives 2nd. Josh Fyson netted twice in that one, while Luke Jackson and man-of-the-match Frazer Watt also got themselves on the scoresheet.
In Division 4NW, Spalding 3rd suffered a rare defeat as they went down 2-1 at home to rivals City of Peterborough 5th. Ryan Mountney was their scorer in vain at Glen Park.
Meanwhile, Dave Burrell bagged a hat-trick as Spalding 4th beat Cambridge South 4th 5-2 in Division 5NW.
Matthew Hicks and Ben Scholes also scored to keep them second in the table.
Youthful Spalding 5th were also on-song in Division 6NW (N) as they beat City of Peterborough 8th 4-1 at Glen Park. Darren Willson fired them ahead inside 30 seconds, which set the tone for the rest of the derby duel.
City levelled early in the second half from a short corner, but Oliver Baker soon restored the Spalding lead with a close-range finish.
Jason Naylor then converted a short corner to make it 3-1, before Willson’s second wrapped up the points.
In the same division, Long Sutton 3rd went down 3-1 at home to Leadenham 2nd despite Steve Smith’s strike.