Spalding 1st paid the price for going a man down as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Wapping in the East Men’s Hockey League’s Premier B division on Saturday.
Fresh of the back of their first win of the season the previous week, Spalding faced a long trip down to the Olympic Stadium’s Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre amid unpleasant conditions.
Spalding pushed hard for the first ten minutes, with opportunities coming from some great open play.
However, Wapping pushed back and earned a penalty – which was converted to make it 1-0.
Spalding then went down to ten men for a spell, in which the hosts forced a second goal.
After a constructive team talk at half time, the visitors looked to come back from behind.
The Spalding defence held off early Wapping attacks and created some great counter opportunities. Sure enough, Harry Vickers pushed high up the field and applied pressure to the Wapping defence – in which he intercepted a pass and scored a one-on-one with the keeper.
There was no late leveller, however, meaning Spalding will look to bounce back at home to West Herts on Saturday (12.30pm).
Meanwhile, Spalding 2nd recorded their first win of the Division 4NW season with a comprehensive 7-1 win over Alford.
Dan Azzopardi dinked home the opener, before Josh Rowbottom deflected home the second and Pete Wright slotted home number three.
Alford pulled one back after the break, but Rick McKenna’s quick double – a volleyed finish and a slotted strike – made it 5-1 to Spalding.
Wright then doubled his tally, before McKenna finished off a flowing move to round off the rout.
Also in Division 4NW, Long Sutton 2nd went top of the table with a super 6-2 success at City of Peterborough 6th.
Goals from Josh Fyson (2), Luke Jackson (2), Luke Proctor and man-of-the-match Tyler Hagan made it three wins from three for Sutton.
The other South Holland side in 4NW, Spalding 3rd, were also 3-2 winners at Cambridge City 5th.
Down a level in Division 5NW, Spalding 4th went down 3-1 at home to St Ives 3rd and are now in the bottom three of the early standings.
Elsewhere, Long Sutton 3rd went 2nd in Division 6NW (N) after a thumping 5-1 victory at Leadenham 3rd.
James Collingwood-Smith, Josh Woodrow, Will White, and Jack Smith (2) got the goals for Sutton, while Josh Norey put in a star man performance.
It wasn’t such a good afternoon for Spalding 5th in the same division, though.
They were beaten 5-0 at home by a fast and skilful Louth 2nd outfit.
p Long Sutton 1st continued their impressive start to the new East Women’s League Division 2NW season with a 3-2 victory at St Ives 2nd on Saturday.
Connie Gittins fired an early opener for Sutton, but levelled against the run of play when a short corner somehow snuck the ball inside the post.
Jemima Dodd’s first senior goal, a cracking finish from the top of the D which flew into the upper part of the net, gave Sutton the lead once again – then Gittins made it 3-1 by finishing off the move of the match.
St Ives pulled one back to set up a frantic finale, but Sutton held on.
In the same division, Spalding Poachers 1st drew 0-0 at Cambs Nomads 1st but are bottom of the pile.
It was also 0-0 in Spalding Poachers’ 2nd home clash with Wisbech 2nd in Division 3NW, while Spalding Poachers 3rd were without a fixture in Division 4NW (N).