Hockey: Onwards and upwards for a City of Peterborough side in free-scoring form

City of Peterborough's Alex Armstrong on the charge against Felixstowe.

City of Peterborough's Alex Armstrong on the charge against Felixstowe.

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It’s onwards and upwards for City of Peterborough as they set out to re-establish themselves as one of the top clubs sides in the East of England.

It’s been a case of so near so far for City in the East Premier A Division. They’ve only lost three times in 14 outings - just one more defeat than the league leaders - yet they sit in sixth place, eight points behind top spot.

City have at least started 2015 by stopping their frustrating habit of dropping points against lower-ranked teams.

Last weekend they followed up an 8-1 win over Wisbech by despatching Felixstowe 4-0 at Bretton Gate.

It gets tougher this Saturday as City travel to Chelmsford, but three points would lift them above their opponents into fifth place.

City manager Graham Finding said: “Our division has been defined by how coompetitive it is. So many teams are capable of taking points off each other.

“We have set ourselves a target of just concentrating on our next opponents no matter where they are in the league and see where that takes us.

“Traditionally we fare well against Chelmsford and we beat them at home earlier this season more convincingly than the 4-3 scoreline would suggest.

“They’ve lost three times at home already this season so it’s hardly a fortress and we beat them in this fixture last season.

“We will go there full of confidence as we seek that third consecutive win. We tend to focus really well from the start when we meet the top sides.”

Several Premier A Division sides play twice this weekend so City may well need a positive result to maintain their place in the top half of the table.

Goals from Paul Hillsdon (penalty stroke), Ben Read, Sam Anderson and Ross Booth secured the points against Felixstowe, although it took City a while to get the better of an inspired visiting goalkeeper.

Booth’s goal is a contender for goal of the season as it involved numerous passing exchanges before the captain supplied a fine finish.

City were sloppy in possession for most of the first-half until set-piece expert Hillsdon scored from the spot.

Many East League games were postponed last weekend as all-weather pitches failed to defeat the weather, but City thirds were easily beaten as expected by Havering in a battle between the top and bottom teams in the Premier B Division. It finished 5-1 to the visitors.

City eighths enjoyed themselves though as they stuck 15 goals past St Ives fifths in Division Six (South).

Former Welsh international Mike Yeoman scored five times, while Stuart Bass and Danny Handley both cracked hat-tricks.

City are second behind Cambridge City in the division, but Bourne Deeping fifths are out in front at the top of the Northern section following a 5-0 win over Grantham.

Bourne Deeping firsts also won well, 6-1 at Brentwood to close the gap on inactive Division One leaders Spalding to four points.

The local rivals meet this Saturday at Deeping’s Glinton base. The clubs met at Division Six level last weekend with Spalding fifths beating Bourne Deeping sixths 2-0 with goals from Jack Martin and Alan Charevicius.

City of Peterborough Ladies have a crucial clash on Saturday when travelling to Long Sutton in East Division Two North West.

City are currently second, four points ahead of Sutton, and with only two teams guaranteed promotion, it’s a vital contest for both teams

Leaders Spalding are two points clear of City, but they have a tricky trip to Cambridge University seconds this weekend.

All three local teams saw their scheduled fixtures postponed last weekend.

Results/fixtures

RESULTS

January 17

Men

East League

Premier A Division - City of Peterborough 4 (Read, Hillsdon, Anderson, Booth), Felixstowe 0.

Premier B Division - City of Peterborough 3rds 1, Havering 5.

Division One - Brentwood 1, Bourne Deeping 6.

Division Two North - March 4 (Wright2, Fraser, Betts), Cambridge University 3rds 3.

Division Three North West - Wisbech 2nds 3, Bourne Deeping 2nds 1; St Ives 2nds 3, Long Sutton 2nds 2 (Sisson, Canham).

Division Four North West - City of Peterborough 7ths 1 (Barkworth), Cambridge City Vets 2; Wisbech 3rds 4, Cambridge South 2nds 0; Bourne Deeping 3rds 7, Alford & District 0.

Division Five North West - March 2nds 3 (Bester 2, Impey), Spalding 4ths 3 (Haines, Davy, Stone); Bourne Deeping 4ths 2, Wisbech 4ths 0.

Division Six North West (North) - Grantham 0, Bourne Deeping 5ths 5; Bourne Deeping 6ths 0, Spalding 5ths 2 (Charevicius, Martin).

Division Six North West (South) - City of Peterborough 8ths 15 (Yeoman 5, Bass 3, Handley 3, Weston 2, Ledbrook 2), St Ives 5ths 0.

Ladies

East League

Division One North - Wisbech 1, Lincoln 0.

Division Two North West - Pelicans 6, Bourne Deeping 2.

Division Three North West (North) - Woodhall Spa 0,Long Sutton 2nds 1; Horncastle 1, Spalding 3rds 2 (Tuplin, Simpson).

Division Four North West (South) - Bourne Deeping 2nds 1, Huntingdon 2nds 2; City of Peterborough 4ths 1, Newmarket 3rds 0.

FIXTURES

January 24

Men

East League

Premier A Division - Chelmsford v City of Peterborough, Wisbech v St Albans.

Premier B Division - Letchworth v Long Sutton, City of Peterborough 2nds v Cambridge University 2nds, Norwich City v City of Peterborough 3rds.

Division One- Bishop’s Stortford v Chelmsford II, Bourne Deeping v Spalding.

Division Two North - City of Peterborough 4ths v Norwich Dragons, March v Cambridge City 3rds.

Division Three North West - Long Sutton 2nds v Bourne Deeping 2nds, Ely 2nds v Wisbech 2nds, St Ives 2nds v City of Peterborough 5ths, Spalding 2nds v Cambridge South.

Division Four North West - City of Peterborough 6ths v Horncastle, Bourne Deeping 3rds v City of Peterborough 7ths, Cambridge City Vets v Wisbech 3rds, Cambridge South 2nds v Spalding 3rds.

Division Five North West - Cambridge South 3rds v Long Sutton 3rds, St Ives 4ths v March Town 2nds, Spalding 4ths v Bourne Deeping 4ths, Wisbech 4ths v Cambridge City 5ths.

Division Six North West (North) - Bourne Deeping 5ths v Leadenham 2nds, City of Peterborough 9ths v Louth 2nds, Grantham v Spalding 5ths, Long Sutton 4ths v Bourne Deeping 6ths.

Division Six North West (South) - St Neots 3rds v City of Peterborough 8ths.

Ladies

East League

Division One North - North Norfolk v Wisbech.

Division Two North West - Cambridge University 2nds v Spalding, City of Peterborough 2nds v Cambridge Nomads, Long Sutton v City of Peterborough, Bourne Deeping v Ely, Wisbech 2nds v Alford.

Division Three North West (North) - Skegness v Spalding 3rds, Long Sutton 2nds v Horncastle, Spalding 2nds v Leadenham.

Division Three North West (South) - Cambridge Nomads 2nds v City of Peterborough 3rds, March v St Ives 2nds.

Division Four North West (South) - City of Peterborough 4ths v Ely 3rds, cambridge City 5ths v Wisbech 3rds, Cambridge South 3rds v Bourne Deeping 2nds.

January 25

Men

East League

Division Three North West - Long Sutton 2nds v St Neots.