Long Sutton Men’s 1st team returned to action after a week’s hiatus taking on St Ives Men’s 2nd.
St Ives Men’s 2nd and Long Sutton are two of a few early stalwarts of the New England Hockey East League Division 2 North West, having done battle every year since its formation three years ago and a battle some have certainly been.
Having lost 4-3 at the close of last season at St Ives, Long Sutton were keen for revenge.
Going to the game St Ives sat one point above Long Sutton in fourth with St Neots only two above them in third.
This game had a lot to offer – win and you go to third, draw or worse and stagnate yourself in mid-table
The game got underway and the first five minutes could’ve gone either way.
A couple of early St Ives chances were well snuffed out by the defence of Proctor, Fyson, Donaghy and Oldfield.
Going up the other end the forward lines of Taylor, Plant, Watt and Sergeant proved dangerous as always.
The middle of East and Gray gave the three St Ives midfielders a nightmarish day.
Short corners would soon come Sutton’s way and come to good effect with Fyson converting two in the opening 25 minutes.
St Ives continued to have their chances and remained composed on the ball.
They would deflect a goal past the helpless unsighted Cliff in goal just before half time.
At half time it was 2-1 to Long Sutton.
In the second half quick passing and moving got Long Sutton in and around the 25 just lacking that final touch for outcomes inside the D in the early exchanges of the half.
East and Gray were dominating the midfield.
Short corners again would come Long Sutton’s way.
Fyson rounding off his hat-trick from a well worked short corner.
Now, usually around this point with ten to go Sutton would tend to take their foot off the gas and defend their way to three points.
Whilst the defence were still tested throughout the half with a handful of short corners and some decent chances, these again were snuffed out and generally dwarfed by the attacking play going down the other end.
Plant, Gray, East and Watt ran tirelessly providing constant chances.
Sergeant again looked dangerous on the ball but all just missing that last touch to add to the score.
Both sides attacked late on but the men in green held on for a 2-1 win.
It is testament to the hard work and grit of the men’s 1st this year that they continue to back one another in all aspects of play.
Their determination to take the game to opponents is paying dividends unlike in previous season as they now find themselves rightfully in the top three.
They now have a run of games against the bottom three as well as a test in second-placed March in the run up to Christmas.