Ladies’ Hockey: Cambridge City 3 Alford Ladies 2

Alford, sponsored by Hodgkinsons Solicitors and The Centrepiece, Spilsby, travelled to face a Cambridge side languishing at the bottom of Division Two of the East league.

After a lengthy lay off due to the recent bad weather Alford were still expecting to be the dominant force in this away fixture. However this Cambridge side had other ideas and soon showed the visitors they were not going to get their own way.

The home team moved the ball around their players with ease, whilst Alford were still trying to get to grips with the feel of the pitch.

Dominating the midfield, Cambridge were unlucky not to have scored when their touches seemed to travel through the sticks of the Alford defenders and only for the efforts of defender Nikii Hind and keeper Carole Jacklin kept Alford with a clean sheet.

Stepping up a gear Alford pressed the Cambridge goal and with Hind’s defensive hit outs finding Kelly Tuplin in midfield who in turn quickly hit a through ball to Vicky Allen on the top of the D, Allen struck the ball just out of reach, landing in the goal with a deafening thud for Alford to take the lead 0-1 into half time.

The second half saw much of the same with both teams pressing for goals.

The play switched from end to end however Cambridge looked the more likely to score when the luck of the whistle blew more in their favour and an increasingly frustrated Alford side looked as if they might lose their heads, however Captain Chloe Bolland urged calmness and Alford held their positions and let their play do the talking.

Alford increased their hold on the game when midfielder Tracy Le’Gate struck a long ball to Vicky Allen on the left post who dragged the ball back to Kelly Tuplin on the P spot who in turn flicked the ball passed the Cambridge defence, to increase the score to 0-2.

Cambridge continued to press and after an initial strike on goal was saved by keeper Carole Jacklin the rebound ended in a melee of players in the centre of the D and with Alford and Cambridge sticks battling to take control of the ball, a Cambridge stick made contact and the ball found its way into the left hand corner of Alford’s goal, for 1-2.

Cambridge’s jubilation was short lived as the sound of the umpire’s whistle immediately blew to signal the end of the game to the delight of the visitors.

This was a well earned and hard fought 3 points for Alford against a team that on that performance does not deserve to be bottom of the league, With a good battling performance from the whole team, but performances of note from Caroline Vickers and Nikii Hind.

Man of the match went to keeper Carole Jacklin.

DOD was awarded to Caroline Vickers. The Next fixture is at Skegness on Saturday, February 16 with a 12.30pm start.

Alford Team - Carole Jacklin, Nikii Hind, Kate Murray, Becky Murray, Sophie Wood, Chloe Bolland (Capt), Kelly Tuplin, Tracy Le’Gate, Caroline Vickers, Vicky Allen, Erena Rawlins and Rachael Hickson.