|Date||13 March 2016|
|Team||SHC Junior Academy|
|Opposition||City of Peterborough Badgers|
|Result||W 2 - 1|
|Time played||Normal time|
|Scorers||Tom Amess (1), Jacob Drew (1)|
The academy took on their City of Peterborough counterparts in the Badgers league and reversed their earlier 1-0 defeat last year with a very good display against a team that was closer to their average age than in prior academy matches.
With the game spread into three periods of twenty minutes, Spalding started off in confident mood and as the period wore on, started to press and press towards their opponents 23. With the two Jacobs in midfield, Baker & Drew, starting to develop a good understanding Spalding started to move the ball around and create chances and short corner goals.
And Spalding took the lead soon after with a fine strike from Tom Amess after quick thinking as the youngster took a quick long corner and placed the ball wide of the goalkeeper. But this goal, unfortunately from Spalding's perspective, saw them lose a little bit of shape as the keeness to move up and after a pass was intercepted, the ball was driven home after Matt Peach & Sean O'Leary were left stranded.
Still it was a good lesson for the young side who are still very much a work in progress and the next two periods saw them put that slight disappointment to one side and play some great hockey.
The second period had easily some of the best moves of the game from the home side and some fantastic chances were created. Jacob Drew shot just wide, Ethan Pearson did the same, and in a wonderful flowing move down the right hand side that started with Dominic Wilson, involved Jacob Baker & Tom Amess ultimately saw Jacob Drews fine pass find Joel Wilson who horribly fluffed his lines as he couldn't get his balance correct with the goal gaping. But the best time to do that is in a friendly and there is always another time. But Joel wasn't the only one to do this with Jacob D having the same issue after another fantastic flowing move!
So the 3rd period was entered with the scorelines level and Spalding kept that positive quick passing moving hockey going and again created chances. It was Reuben Gray's turn to have a swing and a miss with another great move down the right involving Codie O'Leary and Dom Wilson but the fact has to be mentioned that all of the players were in the right place at the right time.
But the youngsters hard work was finally rewarded when Jacob Drew's reverse stick swept shot found the back of the goal much to the Spalding's youngster relief. Again great flowing hockey led to the goal with Ethan Pearson, Charlie Smith, Tom Amess & Jacob Baker in the thick of the action.
City of Peterborough pressed forward looking for an equaliser but defensively Spalding were firm with both Sean O'Leary & Matthew Peach in great form. It must be said also that the inexperience pair of Billy Berry & Alexander Learwood-Griffiths played extremely well when they came on, marking tightly and putting some superb tackles and blocks in. And on such foundations games are won however it could have been very easily a draw.
Goalkeeper Albert Berry, playing in his very first 11-a-side game between the sticks, made a fine and crucial save from a great flicked effort from a short corner routine that Spalding just about cleared away.
Saw all in all a very good day at the office and in a great game of hockey that saw a good eb and flow, Spalding got the victory. It was very hard to pick a man of the match, everyone put a big shift in with Charlie Smith & Reuben Gray working extremely hard but the same has to be said for Tom Amess, Ethan Pearson, Codie O'Leary, Jacob Drew et al who gave it their all.
Thanks go to Sally Pilgrim & Paul Pearson for umpiring.