HOCKEY: Title race thrown wide open after famous City of Peterborough win

City of Peterborough skipper Ross Booth was outstanding against Old Loughtonians.
City of Peterborough skipper Ross Booth was outstanding against Old Loughtonians.

City of Peterborough scored a famous victory at Bretton Gate yesterday (December 5) as they pipped East Premier A Division leaders Old Loughtonians in a five-goal thriller at Bretton Gate.

The visitors were a founding member of the National League in 1988 and had played at that elite level ever since, until their relegation to regional hockey at the end of last season.

It’s a blip Old Loughts are intent on correcting. They arrived in the city top of the table and protecting a seven-game unbeaten run, but they left it with three teams breathing down their necks, including City who remain fourth, yet just two points off top spot.

And it was no fluke win. City took the game to Old Loughts for the majority of the match and took the lead three teams, finally holding onto Adam Wilson’s terrific short corner conversion seven minutes from time to stretch their own undefeated run to seven matches.

And it will please City that the winning goal came from one of their own. Wilson is a graduate of the club’s fabled Academy.

City were at their most dominant in the opening quarter, but found the visiting ‘keeper in excellent form. He saved well from a Shane Vincent short corner strike in the second minute and denied Jordan Heald with another fine stop in the eighth minute.

Wilson’s scorching run into the ‘D’ past three defenders looked set to lead to the opening goal, but again the huge frame of the Old Loughts ‘keeper intervened before City did hit the front in the 25th minute.

Joe Finding’s precise aerial ball defeated the entire visiting defence and found Ross Ambler with just the ‘keeper to beat. One touch through the legs and another into an empty net gave City the lead they deserved. Vincent missed an immediate chance for 2-0 which at times looked like proving costly.

The opening goal roused the visitors and their pressure in the latter stages of the half paid off when they slammed home a short corner just before the break.

City re-took the lead seven minutes after the re-start when Ambler swept home from close range following a superb run from skipper Ross Booth. Booth was perhaps the game’s outstanding player.

Old Loughts again levelled from a short corner 10 minutes later and they had the set-pieces to equalise for a third time in the final moments, but City held out with Dave Fisher at the heart of some robust defending from the home side.

City now have a break from East League action until January 9.

EAST PREMIER A DIVISION

(Top 4, all played 12 games)

Old Loughts 26pts

Wapping 25pts

St Albans 25pts

City of Peterborough 24pts