HOCKEY: City of Peterborough seek perfection in the title race

Dashing forward Ross Ambler (red) will be a key man for City of Peterborough against St Albans.

Dashing forward Ross Ambler (red) will be a key man for City of Peterborough against St Albans.

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City of Peterborough will have to win their final four East Premier A Division matches to win the title.

That’s the opinion of manager Graham Finding ahead of tomorrow’s (February 27) crunch game against St Albans at Bretton Gate (1pm).

Ross Booth (armband) will skipper City of Peterborough against St Albans.

Ross Booth (armband) will skipper City of Peterborough against St Albans.

City are currently second in the table, four points behind leaders Wapping who visit Bretton Gate on March 12.

St Albans are third, three points behind City, but they also have to play Wapping in what promises to be an exciting climax to a top-class competition.

Finding said: “Realistically every match for us is now a ‘must-win’ and St Albans are in the same situation, so this should be yet another highly competitive fixture in what has been a great East League this season.

“If we can win our next two games and then beat Wapping we will be at worst a point behind them, but Wapping have a very tough run-in and if they slip up we must be ready to take advantage, move past them and secure the title.

“It’s a big ask, but I’m convinced we can at least take it to the final weekend of the season. We have shown we are capable of putting consistent runs of wins together, we are unbeaten at home all season, and we are full of confidence, producing some outstanding hockey.

“Our target at the start of the season was a top four finish and to be involved in the title race at the end of the season which we have achieved

“We drew 3-3 at St Albans earlier in the season when they equalised with the last hit of the match. We deserved to beat them that day so we are confident we can win this weekend.”

City will be at full strength with the exception of defender Neil Evans who has a broken hand.

City squad: Cameron Goodey, James Fisher, Joe Finding, Adam Drake, Andy Shore, Sam Anderson, Ross Booth, Alex Armstrong, Ben Read, Ross Ambler, Robbie Muir, Shane Vincent, Jordan Heald, Adam Wilson.

It’s also a big day at Bretton Gate for City of Peterborough Ladies who are one of five teams still in with a chance of winning the East Division One North title.

City are fifth, but just three points behind leaders Cambridge City seconds with four games to go. City host third-placed Saffron Walden at Bretton Gate straight after the men’s match (2.30pm).

Wisbech moved into second spot with a 6-0 romp at Royston last weekend. Lisa Williamson bagged a hat-trick. Wisbech play Royston again this Saturday.

City of Peterborough men fifths won their crunch relegation battle at Louth in Division Three North West thanks to a last-minute goal. Rhys Evans, Henry Skrobot and Stuart Dawson scored the goals.

Goals from Williamson and Charlie Paine earned Wisbech a 2-1 win over St Albans in the second round of the National Mixed Cup.