City of Peterborough became the first team to take points off East Premier A Division leaders St Albans on their own patch on Saturday (November 7).
But, although on the face of it a 3-3 draw was a very good result, it was almost so much better for the impressive City side. The Saints stayed alive with a short corner strike 12 seconds from the end to gain a point they barely deserved from a high class encounter.
St Albans did start surprisingly sluggishly at the back, giving City the opportunity to apply intense pressure, resulting in a number of opportunities that they unfortunately didn’t convert.
Against the run of play, St Albans scored the opener from open play, from a rare incursion into the City area, but City were back on level terms almost immediately with a brilliant individual goal from Robbie Muir, who robbed the final defender before dinking the ball over the advancing ‘keeper.
This spurred City on to continue taking the play to St Albans, and forcing their ‘keeper into a number of last-ditch saves, The sides turned around 1-1 at half time, but City were confident that all three points were there for the taking.
Midway through the second-half further City pressure lead to a series of short corners, with Joe Finding converting one to give City the lead for the first time. This acted as the catalyst for St Albans to start to show why they top the table, as they noticeably lifted their quality and intensity, resulting in a fast-paced and hotly-contested passage of play, with the home side finding the equaliser via a close range tap-in.
But City remained the more likely side to win, and with seven minutes left on the clock Ben Read produced a mazy run, and fine shot into the far corner to put them 3–2 up. City have improved in their game management, and looked relatively controlled, but St Albans reflected the attacking nature of the game by taking off their goalkeeper, and throwing 11 outfield players at City in a desperate bid to secure a share of the points.
And with just seconds remaining they managed to force a short corner, which they put away at the second attempt, to claim a point.
City remain fourth in the table ahead of a big weekend at Bretton Gate when they host Blueharts in a Premier Division game (November 14, 1pm) and Henlow in a last-16 tie in the English Hockey Cup (November 15, 2pm).