City of Peterborough are still eyeing a National League promotion push even though they’ve only won two of nine East Conference matches and sit eighth in a 10-team league.
National League re-organisation means there is no relegation this season and the top six teams in the East will effectively be promoted to a new North/South second tier.
Seventh place might also be enough so City have reached the midway point ruing defeat in their last match to a Richmond side who had started that day bottom of the league.
“For the last four seasons, the East Conference has always had a ‘whipping boy’, a side that has barely picked up a point all season, and been firmly pinned to the bottom of the table from start to finish,” said City manager Graham Finding.
“For three of those years it has been the promoted East League side that has filled that berth, such is the step up.
“So our first target for this year was to not to finish bottom, and more than that to be genuinely competitive. This we have achieved, securing two wins and two draws in the opening half of the season.
“Had we beaten Richmond, instead of losing to them from the final hit of the game, then we would hold that sixth ‘promotion’ place, which for us is a key target. We also would have only dropped points to the top four, so, the Richmond loss, and the manner of it, was a disappointing way to go into the Christmas break.
“What we need to do now is manage the break well and effectively start a second ‘pre-season’, ready for the league restart in February.”
City face a long trek to Brighton when the East Conference resumes.
City reached the last 16 of the English Hockey Cup last weekend with a 6-0 win over lower level Norwich City. Adam Wilson (2), Ben Read, Nathan Rozario, Jordan Heald and Sam Blunt scored the goals.
Paul Tancred and Neil Burford both grabbed hat-tricks as City also won a national Over 50s match 6-0 against Charnwood Mountsorel.
City of Peterborough Ladies have one more East Premier Division game before their Christmas break and it’s a big one against Cambridge City seconds at Bretton Gate on Saturday (4pm).
City snapped a three-game losing streak last weekend when beating second placed Canterbury seconds 2-1 at home with goals from Felicity McCarthy and skipper Robyn Gribble. City are fifth, but just four points off top spot. Cambridge are a just a point and a place behind.
City seconds are now nine points clear in Division Two North West after a 4-2 win over Cambridge South. Twins Jess and Shelley Broadway, Holly Finding and Chelsea Oldham scored the City goals.
Kirsty Martin scored four goals as Bourne Deeping seconds beat their own third team 5-0 to stay top of Division Four North West. Dawn McShane added her first goal of the season.