HOCKEY: City of Peterborough are poised for a title challenge

City of Peterborough skipper Ross Booth (armband) is coy about his side's east League title prospects.
City of Peterborough skipper Ross Booth (armband) is coy about his side's east League title prospects.
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Title-chasing City of Peterborough didn’t want 2015 to come to an end.

An eight-game unbeaten run, and a four-game winning streak, were rudely interrupted by the East Premier A Division Christmas break.

City of Peterborough's Ross Ambler has been in great form so far in the East Premier A Division.

City of Peterborough's Ross Ambler has been in great form so far in the East Premier A Division.

But not before the city side had announced themselves as serious contenders for top spot and promotion to the National League.

The last of City’s wins before the mid-winter recess arrived against leaders Old Loughtonians.

It was a result that left fourth-placed City just two points off top spot ahead of this Saturday’s (January 9) league resumption. City are back in action away to Dereham, a team that forced a 3-3 draw at Bretton Gate earlier in the season.

“Ask me at the end of February if we can win the league,” stated City skipper Ross Booth.

“For the moment we just want to keep enjoying our hockey and developing as a team. If this gives us a shot at the title than so be it.

“What I do know is that not many teams will be looking forward to playing us because they know they will be facing a team in form and a team who’s greatest strength is its togetherness.

“We know that we have the ability, we know our home form is good and we also know that we can always perform against the top sides.

“The challenge now is recreating those performances away from home against the sides that may opt for a more defensive approach.

“Our success in the last few games has come from the work rate and desire as a group to get the results. Several of the young lads like goalkeeper Cam Goodey, Sam Anderson and Ross Ambler have really stepped up, having gained experience last year, to put a string of quality performances together.

“Our commitment levels have been fantastic which has allowed us to find the right balance and really start performing as a unit.”

City have 10 games remaining in which to bridge the two-point gap. It looks like being a terrific tussle between the top four with St Albans and Wapping currently just a point above City.

City of Peterborough Ladies have also enjoyed an excellent first half of the season in East Division One North.

City were promoted at the end of last season, but feared they might struggle after losing a couple of key experienced players, but the youngsters have stepped up and performed so well, Lauren Finding’s team are second in the table, three points behind leaders Norwich City.

City return to action this Saturday at home to fourth-placed Cambridge City seconds (Bretton Gate, 11.30am).