East League - EWL Division 3NW
Horncastle Ladies 3 City of Peterborough Thirds 1
Horncastle ladies’ 1st XI welcomed Peterborough to their home ground for the first match of the 2019-20 season on Saturday.
Temperatures hit 26 degrees, providing challenging conditions for both teams to compete in.
Horncastle’s fitness was evident from the start, with a series of surges towards the Peterborough goal.
In response, a two-on-one counter-attack from the reds left Horncastle exposed at the back.
This lead to Horncastle finding themselves 1-0 down in the opening 10 minutes, despite all the play being in the home side’s attacking half.
Horncastle’s frustration was used to fuel the attack.
They set a high press and ran hard, creating turnovers and chances.
Two penalty corners from Emily Tokelove and Tamsin Roark were saved late in the half and the home side went into half time 1-0 down.
Feedback was gratefully received from coach Thom Fowler on the sideline, and the team went into the second half looking revitalised and hungry for the win.
Two pivotal saves from Laura Neame kept Horncastle in the game.
The intensity continued and, when Horncastle won another penalty corner, Roark drilled the ball into the corner to equalise.
The forward line continued to work hard, making superb runs that led to Peterborough giving away another penalty corner.
Tokelove calmly slipped the ball in again and Emma Shelbourn took a shot that was saved on the line with a foot.
Roark stepped up to take the penalty stroke, converting to put Horncastle ahead.
The final 15 minutes demanded intensity and discipline.
Horncastle remained in possession but Peterborough packed the circle and were strong in the tackle.
Eventually Horncastle’s high press once again paid off as Bridie Mason challenged to win the ball high and start another attack, resulting in a perfect ball sent across the D on her reverse.
Jess Wood drove to the baseline and deflected the ball into the goal on the back post.
Player of the match: Bridie Mason.
On Saturday the ladies travel to Ely City Firsts (12.30pm).
East League - EML Division 2N
Horncastle Men 3
City of Peterborough Thirds 3
Horncastle Men’s Firsts started their new season following promotion with a home game against Peteborough Thirds.
Antonio Garcia, in his first league match as captain, won the toss and made the decision to push back first.
Horncastle started quickly and, after some neat passing, Jack Hood broke down the right wing before hitting the ball square across the D, where Rob Scott was free to slap the ball past the keeper into the side netting.
Peteborough responded to the early goal by putting Horncastle under increased pressure, but solid defending alongside some quality saves from Jack Ashton kept them at bay.
As the half drew on the game was becoming very end-to-end with opportunities arriving on the break.
Peteborough took advantage of the stretched play to break into the D and slot the ball into the corner.
The second half started as the first and James Harris soon took advantage of a loose ball driving the wing to put a square pass for Tom White to slot in Horncastle’s second.
Again, Peterborough looked to equalise and did just that when they jumped on a mis-hit to slot past the keeper.
With the minutes running away both teams were looking for a first win of the season and, with 10 minutes to go, Horncastle made the breakthrough. A short corner was won and a low flick from White hit a foot on the line, resulting in a penalty flick.
White converted the flick for his second with an audacious and cheeky low push through the keeper’s legs.
A hard push to defend the lead was thwarted when an unlucky short corner was conceded and Peterborough scored a flick to level the scores.
Men of the match: Tom White and Jack Ashton.
On Saturday the team travel to UEA in the hope of gaining their first win of the season.
East League - EWL Division 4NW(N)
City of Peterborough Fourths 1
Honcastle Ladies’ Seconds 2
Horncastle Ladies’ Seconds travelled to Peterborough for their first game of the season.
They took to the pitch with a few new faces, but the ladies played well, passing around and getting used to each other’s movements.
Horncastle kept a lot of possession and attacked the opposition’s D time after time, pressing hard and coming away with some short corners.
Towards the end of the half, when heat was wearing the ladies down a little, the defence kept Horncastle level pegging at half time by denying Peterborough many chances to get into the D with some great saves from keeper Annabel Rinfret to make it 0-0 at half time.
After intercepting a clearance from the opposition’s D the midfield played the ball through to Carly Neame, who drove into the D and rolled out past a defender and picked out Lauren Bingham, waiting on the post to open the scoring.
Peterborough fought back, winning some short corners but an excellent clearance off the line by Jo Beach maintained the advantage.
Peterborough levelled but Horncastle fought back with several attacks.
Neame drove across the D and slotted the ball toward the post but was denied by a foot.
Horncastle carried on fighting and won more shorts which resulted in Neame picking up a re-bound and slotting home the winning goal.
Player of the match: Charlotte Helliwell.
On Saturday the ladies host Wisbech Seconds (11.30am).
In the East League - EML Division 6NW(N), Horncastle Men’s Seconds were awarded a 5-0 victory after opponents Leadenham conceded.
On Saturday they travel to Long Sutton Thirds (11.30am).