East League - EML Division 3NW
Horncastle Men’s 1sts 3
Spalding 2nds 0
Horncastle Hockey Club’s Men’s First team recorded a 3-0 home win against Spalding Seconds on Saturday.
The match began at a frantic pace, Spalding putting the home side under pressure from the off.
The visiting side threw men forward with pace and moved the ball well but resolute defending and good communication from the back line of Castleden, Cartwright, Bradly and Partridge kept the vistors from taking an early lead.
The high attacking line of the visiting team allowed Horncastle to use the space in behind, creating several chances to take the lead.
Good movement from forwards Foster, Seymour and Roe saw crosses flash across the Spadling area.
Arguably the two best chances of the first half fell to Seymour, who was twice thwarted by the keeper.
The second half started in much the same manner as the first had ended with Horncastle looking the most likely to make the breakthrough.
This finally came when the ball was played through the midfield to Foster, who passed his marker and entered the D only to be brought down by a tackle from behind.
The deliberate foul resulting in a penalty stroke which was duly converted by Bennett.
Some great goalkeeping kept Horncastle at bay until a foul on a Spalding defender saw Bennett shown a green card.
Down to 10 men, Horncastle struck next as Foster teed up Scott to double the advantage.
Bee then played a one-two with Seymour outside the Spalding D, Bee concluding the scoring with a composed reverse stick push.
East League - EML Division 5NW
Cambridge City 6ths 0
Horncastle Men’s 2nds 6
Horncastle Seconds left Cambridge City Sixths with a 6-0 victory.
The away side started keenly on what was a very cold and slippery pitch.
After a few minutes of pressure they were unlucky not to take the lead when Sam Spendlove hit the post and Jack Read put the follow-up just wide.
A couple of minutes later a great pass by George Dann was turned in at the near post by Read.
This woke Cambridge up and, for the next 10 minutes, they were much more active, but the Horncastle back four stood firm.
Horncastle doubled their advantage when Sam Howden tapped in at the back post.
For the remainder of the half Cambridge shaded possession but some key saves from Richard Baldock kept it at 2-0.
Horncastle started the second half aggressively.
Sharper passing and greater movement meant they controlled possession.
A short corner gave Horncastle a chance to extend the lead further but a tremendous double save kept them out.
Bob Edwards, while facing the wrong way, hit the ball with an upright reverse into the bottom corner.
Horncastle wingers and George Read and Howden were able to create some fantastic opportunities for the forwards which led up to Spendlove sweeping in through the keeper’s legs.
Within minutes another attack led to Read scoring a reverse after another good runs George Read and George Dann.
Cambridge came back but were then denied by Baldock’s helmet.
A super run by man of the match Howden then led to him striking a beautiful lifted shot from the edge of the D, forcing a great save from the keeper.
Unfortunately, for the keeper, the ball went straight into the air, allowing Spendlove to tap in.