City of Peterborough expected a tough start to the East Premier A Division season with a game away to National League regulars Old Loughtonians on Saturday (September 19), but they didn’t expect their difficulties to start before the opening push back.
Chaos on the M11 prevented City keeper Cam Goodey from ever reaching the game. After a 15-minute delay to try and allow the traffic-jammed keeper to arrive, the game started with Joe Finding operating as a kicking back. During the opening 10 minutes, centre back Paul Hillsdon managed to borrow a keeper kit from another visiting side and went between the sticks as a makeshift stopper!
City decided to start by pressing high up the pitch to prevent Loughts from taking advantage of them not having a keeper. The early aggression and pace with which they pressed was to be a common theme throughout the game. The home side were pegged back for the opening 10 minutes with Finding untroubled as kicking back allowing for Hillsdon to take his place with the scores still level.
City had the best of the first-half chances, Man-of-the-match Ben Read made ssome trong runs from midfield to create openings for the forwards. Adam Wilson went through one v one and Tom Hagues also had an effort on the reverse, but both put their efforts just wide. These misses were to prove costly as Loughts won a corner with the last play of the first half and duly converted via an unfortunate deflection off a City stick.
The second half continued as per the first with City dominating possession – highlighted by the fact that deputising keeper Hillsdon only had to make one save. Andy Shore made his league debut for City and put in a typically disciplined performance. The on-form Loughts keeper made several crucial stops as City were unable to translate their pressure into goals.
The dominance in possession and defensive solidarity pleased City and the arrival of Aussie Robbie Muir in time for next weekend will hopefully help with the conversion of chances.
City of Peterborough Ladies opened their East Division One campaign with a 3-2 win at Bretton Gate over Norwich Dragons. City were promoted from Division Two North West last season.