PREVIEW: Mouthwatering start to 2018 for City of Peterborough at an Olympic venue

Action from City of Peterborough (red) against Wapping in September.
Action from City of Peterborough (red) against Wapping in September.
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Title-chasing City of Peterborough men start 2018 with a mouthwatering fixture at the National Hockey Stadium

Unbeaten City take on Wapping, another team with designs on top spot, in a crucial East Premier A Division contest on Saturday. Wapping play their home matches at the Olympic venue for hockey in Lee Valley.

A win would take City to within a point of leaders St Albans who are without a fixture. Defeat would enable Wapping to leapfrog City into second place.

City drew 4-4 with Wapping at Bretton Gate earlier in the season after scoring twice in the final minutes, but they have won their last seven Premier A Division matches.

City skipper Ross Booth said: “It is a strange time for a game coming so soon after the Christmas and new year break and neither side will feel like they have had the perfect preparation time for it – especially with so many postponements in December.

“On paper this is probably one of the two toughest games of the season alongside St Albans away and we will need to be at our best to beat them.

“We will take confidence that we have improved greatly as a team since the last time we met.

“We have solidified our defensive unit and also given more freedom to our attacking players who will relish the opportunity to showcase their skills at Lee Valley.

“One of our targets this season was to improve our results against the other top sides. We have already shown improvement in that during the first half of the season and we hope that continues at Wapping.”

Bottom club Spalding’s scheduled fixture at high-flying Bedford has been postponed because of the latter’s indoor hockey commitments.

City of Peterborough Ladies have been thrilled with their start to life as an East Premier Division club.

They sit third in the table in the first season in the club’s history at this level having won seven of their 11 matches.

This fine campaign follows back-to-back promotions earning City a well-deserved nomination for the team of the year prize at the Peterborough Telegraph Sports awards (see pages 102-103)

They are six points adrift of second-placed Wapping and 10 points behind leaders Ipswich, but they have played fewer games than both.

It’s a revenge mission for City against Cambridge City seconds at Bretton Gate on Saturday (11.30am) as they lost the reverse fixture in September 2-1.

There’s a huge game for City of Peterborough Ladies seconds on Saturday.

They are second in East Division Two North and face a trip to leaders Cambridge City thirds. City are eight points behind their rivals, but they do have two matches in hand.

City fourths are also title hunting in Division Four North West. They are at Spalding thirds on Saturday.