Leadenham Hockey Club: First XI give leaders stern test

Hockey EMN-190927-123830002
Hockey EMN-190927-123830002

Leadenham Hockey Club men’s First XI stormed into an early lead against league leaders City of Peterborough Fourth XI, with David Nelstrop outmuscling his marker to finish from close range.

The hosts dominated the first half and had another goal disallowed as Leadenham responded superbly to their defeat at March the previous weekend.

The only blemish for the home team came from Peterborough’s set-pieces, where they proved to be ruthlessly efficient and levelled.

Dan Case, on his debut for the first team, had a second-half goal disallowed which would have restored the lead.

But as the tremendous work rate throughout the team began to take its toll, Peterborough’s set-piece experience came to their rescue again and they went ahead from a straight strike following a short corner.

Chasing the game in the final 10 minutes left space at both ends of the pitch, but the final gamble didn’t pay off and Peterborough slotted home to complete a 3-1 win.

Team: S. Chambers, T. Cade, A. Cade, N. Chambers (c), J. Porter, D. Nelstrop, B. Huggins, T. Corbett, S. MacAllister, C. Cade, C. Wright, D. Case, M. Beavis.

* Leadenham Ladies raced into a two-goal lead after 15 minutes at Spalding thanks to a superb performance from young star Ciara Wright.

However she was denied her chance at a second hat-trick of the season by heavy rain which flooded the pitch.

The match was postponed by the umpires to be played at a later date.

* Leadenham men’s second team put on a commanding performance against City of Peterborough Eighth XI, attacking with intent and purpose from the first whistle.

In a team well balanced by experienced heads and developing youngsters, Leadenham controlled the game throughout and keeper Thomas Pinchbeck was rarely called upon.

The home team showed off a range of skillful and creative passing to retain possession and pile pressure on Peterborough’s defence.

A key strength of Leadenham’s game was their determination to get shots away when in the D and to chase rebounds.

Nick Playford claimed a hat-trick and there were doubles for James Ireland, Toby Adams, Neil Ireland, and returning striker Ant Manchap.

The 11-0 win keeps the Seconds top of Division 6NW (N) ahead of Saturday’s important game against second-placed Long Sutton.

Team: T. Pinchbeck (C), B. Russell, E. Groves, J. Simpson, F. Naylor, S. Darling, N. Ireland, T. Adams, S. Gretton, J. Ireland, N. Playford, A. Manchap.

* Nick Mountain’s hat-trick helped Leadenham Men’s Third XI to a 3-3 draw at Spalding in a bruising encounter.

Strong defensive play proved a springboard for Leadenham to build their attacks and their young players showed experience beyond their years as particularly good play down the left proved profitable.