PREVIEW: It’s crunch time at the Gate as league leaders come to town

Action from Spalding's 6-2 win at City of Peterborough 2nds. Photo: David Lowndes.
Action from Spalding's 6-2 win at City of Peterborough 2nds. Photo: David Lowndes.
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It’s crunch time for City of Peterborough as they host East Premier A Division table-toppers Old Loughtonians at Bretton Gate tomorrow (November 26, 11.30am).

It’s a battle between the top two teams in the league who are separated only by goal difference.

Spalding before their win in the East Premier B Division top of the table clash, back row left to right, Josh Olphin, Stuart Cunnington, Mike Morris, Mark Riley, Rob Dalton, Harry Vickers, Harry Williams, Glenn Richardson, Sam Sly, Tom Everton. (front) Brendan Morris, Matt Sanders, Josh Rowbottom, Connor Allen, Sam Howett, Ash Barker.

Spalding before their win in the East Premier B Division top of the table clash, back row left to right, Josh Olphin, Stuart Cunnington, Mike Morris, Mark Riley, Rob Dalton, Harry Vickers, Harry Williams, Glenn Richardson, Sam Sly, Tom Everton. (front) Brendan Morris, Matt Sanders, Josh Rowbottom, Connor Allen, Sam Howett, Ash Barker.

Old Loughts are one of the most famous clubs in the country and desperate to win back their place among the National League elite. They failed at the first attempt last season, not helped by a 3-2 defeat in this fixture.

But City are not a team to respect reputation too much. They want to make a big statement about their own National League ambitions with a repeat victory.

City kept pace with Old Loughts last weekend by coming from behind to win 3-1 at Letchworth with goals from Joe Finding (2) and Ben Read in the last quarter of the match.

“The League is incredibly close again this season leading to some exciting matches,” City skipper Ross Booth said. “None more so than on Saturday, but we tend to raise our game against our title rivals and hopefully that will be the case again.

Action from Spalding's 6-2 win at City of Peterborough 2nds. Photo: David Lowndes.

Action from Spalding's 6-2 win at City of Peterborough 2nds. Photo: David Lowndes.

“Both sides have scored plenty of goals so far this season so we can expect an attacking game.

“Old Loughts have had a tough couple of weeks and it won’t let up for them at the Gate!”

City and Old Loughts have scored 76 goals between them in 20 matches, but City could be without top scorer Sam Blunt who injured a knee one minute into the game at Letchworth.

City of Peterborough seconds failed their biggest test of the campaign last weekend (November 19), going down to a 6-2 defeat to Spalding in a top-of-the-table Premier B Division clash.

Spalding overtook City at the top after a hat-trick from prolific marksman Stuart Cunnington, which included a quite brilliant reverse stick finish, two goals from Glenn Richardson and another from Rob Dalton.

Manish Patel, with another outstanding finish, and Paul Hillsdon scored the City goals.

Spalding have another tough fixture next Saturday when hosting third placed Norwich City. City seconds are at mid-table Waltham Forest.

City of Peterborough Ladies, who are up to third after last weekend’s win over Bedford, have an East League fixture at Cambridge University thirds tomorrow.

Bourne Deeping maintained their promotion push in Division One last weekend with a 5-1 win at mid-table Bishop’s Stortford. Chris Clarkson and Stuart Biggs both scored twice.

Chris Meadows also netted twice as Bourne Deeping seconds pipped Leadenham 2-1 in Division Three North West.

FIXTURES

Saturday, November 26

EAST LEAGUE

Men

Premier A Division: City of Peterborough v Old Loughtonians.

Premier B Division: Ipswich & East Suffolk v Wisbech, Spalding v Norwich City, Waltham Forest v City of Peterborough 2nds.

Division One: Bourne Deeping v Cambridge City 3rds, City of Peterborough 3rds v Bishop’s Stortford, Upminster v Long Sutton.

Division Two North: Norwich Dragons v March.

Division Three North West: Horncastle v Bourne Deeping 2nds, Long Sutton v St Neots, Spalding 3rds v Spalding 2nds, Ely v City of Peterborough 4ths, Leadenham v Wisbech 2nds.

Division Four North West: Bourne Deeping 3rds v Cambridge South 2nds, Wisbech 3rds v Cambridge N 2nds, City of Peterborough 5ths v Alford, St Neots 2nds v City of Peterborough 6ths.

Division Five North West: City of Peterborough 7ths v Cambridge City 6ths, St Ives 3rds v City of Peterborough 8ths, Kettering 3rds v Bourne Deeping 4ths, March 2nds v Ely 2nds.

Division Six North West (North): Bourne Deeping 5ths v Long Sutton 3rds, Wisbech 4ths v Bourne Deeping 6ths, Alford 2nds v Spalding 4ths, Spalding 5ths v Louth 2nds, Long Sutton 4ths v Leadenham 2nds.

Ladies

Premier Division: Wisbech v Ipswich.

Division One North: Cambridge University 2nds v City of Peterborough.

Division Two North West: Wisbech 2nds v Alford, Long Sutton v Bourne Deeping, City of Peterborough 2nds v Cambridge University 3rds, Cambridge Nomads v Spalding.

Division Three North West: Newmarket 2nds v Wisbech Town 3rds, Spalding 2nds v Haverhill. Pelicans v City of Petreborough 3rds.

Division Four North West (North): Bourne Deeping 2nds v Leadenham, Skegness v Bourne Deeping 3rds, City of Peterborough 4ths v Woodhall Spa, March v Spalding 3rds, Alford 2nds v Long Sutton 2nds.