City of Peterborough aim to reach the quarter-finals of the English Hockey Cup for the first time at Bretton Gate this Sunday (November 15, 2pm start).
City host Southern Premier Division Henley in a last-16 tie in a competition regarded as hockey’s equivalent of the FA Cup.
It’s a very winnable tie as Henley are eighth in Southern Division One compared to City’s current fourth place in the East Premier A Division - the toughest regional league by reputation.
City cemented that fourth place with an outstanding display in a 3-3 draw at leaders St Albans, but it was almost so much better. City were 12 seconds away from a victory when St Albans scored from a late short corner.
City, who are unbeaten at home all season, host bottom club Blueharts in a Premier Division game on Saturday (November 7, 1pm).
“We need to tread carefully in both matches,” City manager Graham Finding said.
“Blueharts have suffered narrow defeats to the top three teams so they cannot be underestimated.
“Obviously we are keen to get to the quarter-finals of the cup, but Henley beat National League side Southgate in the previous round so a tough test is expected.”
Finding was impressed with City’s display at St Albans, a team who had won all their previous home matches.
Robbie Muir claimed a cracking early equaliser in the first-half before Joe Finding and Ben Read twice fired City ahead after the break only for three points to become one with virtually the last hit of the match.
“We deserved to win,” Finding added.
“But we proved again that we are a match for any team in the league, home or away. We just need to start putting the points on the board to prove it.
“It was a great game of hockey though.”
City of Peterborough Ladies experienced similar heartache in their game at East Division One North leaders Saffron Walden.
City led 5-3 with 10 minutes to go before the home side scored from both a short corner and a penalty flick to claim a draw.
Tierney Augustine scored twice as the teenager continued her run of netting in every league game this season. Katy Lee, Lauren Finding and player-of-the-match Robyn Gribble also scored.
City, who are fifth, host local rivals Spalding this Saturday (11.30am) and will fancy their chances of a comfortable win.
Spalding pipped City to the Division Two North West title last season, but they have found it far harder to cope at the higher standard.
Spalding have just two points from their seven matches after losing 5-2 at home to promotion-chasing Norwich City last weekend.
Steph Wilson and Kelly Slator scored the Spalding goals.
Spalding’s men also lost ground in the Premier B Division promotion race, going down 2-1 at Waltham Forest.
City of Peterborough Seconds were beaten 3-2 by Norwich in this section, but City thirds claimed a point from a 3-3 draw at unbeaten Cambridge City thirds in Division One. Carl Daniels (2) and Neil Lake were their goal-scorers.
City eighths won their top-of-the-table clash in Division Six North West 4-0 at St Neots fourths to move six points clear at the top of the table.
Tom Shinkins scored twice as Spalding thirds maintained top spot in Division Four North West with a 5-1 win over Wisbech thirds.
City of Peterborough Under 18s hammered Bury Edmunds 11-1 in an English HockeyCup tie. Captain Sam Anderson scored five goals. Arthur Franklin (2), Nathaniel Taylor (2), Manish Patel and Nicky Reddy were also on target.
City’s Vets made progress in the National Over 50s Cup as scheduled opponents Lincoln conceded the tie.