EAST WOMEN’S HOCKEY LEAGUE
DIVISION TWO C
Harpenden 2 Sudbury 1
After securing promotion with a win over Welwyn Garden City, Sudbury Ladies I travelled to Harpenden for their final game of the season on Saturday.
The visitors started still determined to finish the campaign with a victory.
The encounter started at a fast pace and the first 15 minutes saw some promising play from Sudbury as they connected all areas of the pitch.
Becky Spencer and Chloe Hunnable had some good opportunities on goal along with several short corners, but a strong Harpenden defence prevented any chances from being converted.
Harpenden then fought back and a rare counter-attack resulted in the ball deflecting off keeper Lizzie Anderson’s kicker into the top right corner of the net to send Sudbury 1-0 behind.
Going out after half-time, Sudbury were well aware that a change of approach was needed if they were to overturn the deficit.
They kept possession throughout most of the second half with the back three of Katie Clark, Mandy Coleman and Ellen Seeley moving the ball around well, while the combination of Abbi Taylor, Tracey Caddock and Olivia Greaves provided some strong outlets on the wings.
However, several consecutive well drilled short corners awarded to Harpenden challenged Sudbury’s defence and resulted in the home side going 2-0 up.
Now facing an even larger deficit. some great work from Player of the Match Tilly Arulampalam created some more excellent chances for Sudbury. but no-one could get a stick on the ball to finish.
Just minutes from the final whistle, a long hit out from Clark found Greaves in the attacking half and she crossed the ball into Spencer, who found the back of the net.
It proved to be only a consolation goal, though, as the hosts held out during the minutes that remained to claim the victory.
n Following their promotion, the Ladies I are looking for a new head coach to replace the departing Kevin Monk.
The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate that they are a at least a Level Two coach and also hold a current DBS. This position will be paid.
For more information contact club captain Alison Smith on email@example.com.
n Meanwhile, Sudbury Men’s II went into their clash against Felixstowe in the knowledge that they needed to win by at least three goals to preserve their Division 3NE status.
And, they did just that thanks to two goals in either half which sealed a 4-0 triumph over the visitors from the Suffolk coast.
It was Sudbury who started the game stronger, piling wave upon wave of pressure on to the Felixstowe defence.
Their domination finally told when leading goalscorer Leigh Bevan fired in from a short corner.
The one-way traffic continued throughout the remainder of the first half, with Callum Rolfe making it 2-0 shortly before the interval.
Bevan got his name on the scoresheet again after the restart after a Felixstowe player had been shown a green card.
Now 3-0 in front, Sudbury were in a position where they could not afford to concede, but instead they pushed for a fourth goal
It came in the closing stages courtesy of Rolfe, which ensured that they would not be relegated, with Felixstowe going down instead.
The achievement is all the more impressive given that Sudbury were seven points from safety with just four matches left to play.