Sudbury given harsh introduction to life at lower level

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Sudbury 2 Spalding 5

Following last season’s relegation, Sudbury were given a tough introduction back to life in Division Two North, suffering a heavy defeat to Spalding.

The visitors struggled to get going in the early periods of the match and fell behind to a well-taken strike.

The hosts responded and, following their best passage of play, equalised — the returning Brendan Mayers coolly finishing off a flowing move.

Despite drawing level, the difference in the two teams was highlighted in the penalty corner conversions, Spalding scoring with two low drag flicks and a third following a rebound off Smith in the home goal.

At the other end, Sudbury could only register one strike at goal from their half-dozen attempts and this was dealt with by the visiting keeper.

Spalding scored a scrappy fifth, but missed the chance of a sixth, wasting a penalty stroke.

Will Dudley scored a consolation second with a fierce strike from the top of the D, which left the Spalding keeper with no chance, but it overall this was a disappointing afternoon for Sudbury.

n Elsewhere, it was more positive for the third team in Division Five North East as they came out on top of a five-goal thriller to overcome Ipswich III 3-2.

Sudbury settled the better of the two sides and went into the interval with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Gavin Underhay’s opener.

Ipswich rallied and applied sustained pressure, which resulted in an equaliser.

However, within minutes, Sudbury recovered the lead, once again Underhay deservedly hitting the backboard.

Sudbury drew confidence from the goal and soon added a third with Dan McGuinness striking home after a well-worked attack.

Then followed a nervy last 10 minutes in which Ipswich reduced the deficit with a deflected strike past Chris Warnes, but Sudbury held out to claim the win.