Mixed fortunes for Wisbech sides in season openers while March earn Peterborough draw - Fen hockey round-up
- Credit: Archant
Will Denny’s hat-trick gave Wisbech Town an opening day 3-2 win over neighbours Long Sutton in Premier B.
A tentative start from both teams was no surprise as neither team wanted to give their opposition the advantage, but it was Wisbech who took the lead, thanks to a flowing move which left Will Denny the easiest of chances to convert.
Long Sutton hit back almost immediately, after a short corner found its way to their captain Ashley Taylor who blasted home from the top of the D.
Wisbech found their stride quicker in the second half and soon re-took the lead through Denny, converting an excellent move which almost every Wisbech player had a touch of the ball.
The hosts continued to create chances and continued to pile on the pressure and it was that man Denny who completed his hat trick with a fine individual effort beating three players before firing home off the post.
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Then exit 10 minutes were made easier for Wisbech when Taylor was given a yellow card for scything down evergreen Kiwi Brad Apted.
That should have been game over, however for a team that went a whole season without a win last term it was never going to be easy.
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Sutton scored through Danny Sisson following a defensive mistake, however Wisbech showed a good attitude in holding on for the win, providing captain Charlie Baxter with the perfect birthday present - a first league win in his second year as captain.
Wisbech captain Charlie Baxter said: “It is always going to be a difficult game against Long Sutton, and I’m happy with the boys for getting the job done.
“At 3-1 we should have just been able to see the game out, but when you’ve got a whole season without winning a game, being able to finish a game off takes a bit of getting used to and we will get better and just getting over line was the most important thing for us.
“We shouldn’t have gone up two seasons ago - to finish fifth in the league and be promoted just wasn’t right.
“We are punching above out weight year in, year out but Prem A was just a step too far last season.
“The first target was to get that first win out of the way - the longer we’d gone without it the harder it would have been, but now we can look forward to the rest of the season.
“It is a period of rebuilding for us, and we want to compete every week and show our supporters what we are capable of once again.”
Sophie Culshaw scored from open play but Wisbech ladies lost 2-1 at Saffron Walden in Division 1 North.
Saffron Walden have just been relegated from the Premier League.
Wisbech started well but were first to concede to a rebound from a Saffron Walden penalty corner.
Some well worked attacking play was rewarded with a composed finish by SCulshaw just before half time.
Shortly after the break, Wisbech were caught on the counter attack and Saffron Walden were awarded a penalty flick for preventing a clear goal scoring opportunity which was saved by Rosie Stevenson.
With play a little stretched Wisbech conceded a second goal from an excellent piece of individual skill from a Saffron Walden midfielder.
Despite several opportunities Wisbech could not pull a goal back and the final result was 2-1. Georgie Dunn was player of the match.
Captain Leanne Williamson said: “I think we played very well Saturday and started to execute a lot of the things we have worked hard on in training which was excellent to see. We just need to be more clinical in the final quarter.
“I hope this season we can improve on last season’s finish of 4th and I am confident if we play the way we did this weekend that will be more than achievable.”
March Town drew 3-3 with Peterborough III in their East Men’s Division 1 derby opener.
March started strong immediately putting Peterborough on the back foot and deservedly took the lead after good work from Jack Nisbet down the right before firing across to David Hodson who nonchalantly played the ball through his legs into the back of the net. The early pressure was dropped as Peterborough pulled a goal back before half time.
The second half followed a similar theme with March taking the initiative and getting reward for the constant pressure, strong play from James Mansfield at the top of the D created an opening and after launching the ball goal bound the deftest of touches from the stylish Ash Welland made it 2-1.
The match swung on its head once more with Peterborough taking advantage of a penalty flick (2-2).
A lightening counterattack from the home side put March back in control with Welland picking out a sublime pass for Toby Odlin on the left wing who drew his defender into no mans land before an exquisite ball across for Hodson to grab his second at the back post.
The equaliser from Peterborough was an unstoppable rocket from the edge of the D.