Hockey: Latest Sudbury hockey reports

Southend Ladies 2, Sudbury Ladies I 1After a long Christmas break, Sudbury travelled to Southend for their first game of 2010. The conditions were not ideal with bitter wind and rain to contend with, but both teams blocked out the elements and focussed on the game.

Southend Ladies 2, Sudbury Ladies I 1

After a long Christmas break, Sudbury travelled to Southend for their first game of 2010. The conditions were not ideal with bitter wind and rain to contend with, but both teams blocked out the elements and focussed on the game. Southend started well pressuring the Sudbury half, whilst Sudbury worked to settle and find their formation. An early goal from Southend was a disappointing start for Sudbury, but in true Sudbury fashion, heads stayed up and Sudbury stepped the game up a gear. Sudbury were unlucky in front of goal creating some good opportunities, but the long break looked to have had an effect on reaction times in front of goal, with finishing touches lacking. Mandy Coleman played some good balls into space to run on to and some well timed lateral runs by Becky Spencer and Jess Shepherdson up front opened up the Southend defence, but Sudbury were not able to capitalise on these.

Sudbury had taken more control of the game in the second half, identifying the danger players and breaking down runs. Some more attacking play down the right by Ellie Colton caused Southend some trouble and put their defence under pressure. Sudbury were awarded a short corner following some good attacking play. Kirsty Sloan controlled the ball at the top of the D, slipped it right to Ellie Colton who brought the ball in and slipped it to Hayley Spooner on the penalty spot, who placed the ball in the bottom left corner to equalise.

The game was quite equally matched and therefore it was disappointing when near to the end of the game Southend's foot outside the D went unnoticed by the umpires and they were then awarded a short corner, which regardless of keeper Sandra Mackay and sweeper Katie Clarke's best efforts, went in on the far post to put Southend 2 - 1 up. Despite Sudbury's best efforts and some good defensive and attacking play, they were unable to put the ball in the back of the net. A disappointing start to the New Year, but Sudbury will be even more determined to build on the loss and go out to take three points off Sevenoaks at home this week.

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Sudbury Ladies II 4, Watton Ladies I 4

The ladies seconds like many other teams had an enforced long Christmas break due to the adverse weather so this was the side's first run-out since early December. The seconds finished 2009 in good form and were unlucky to lose their last game to Dereham.

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The positive play and attitude was apparent this game too. The game started at fast pace with Watton taking the lead after just three minutes. Sudbury did not let heads go down and won themselves a short corner. Lucy Kevis passed to Louise Palmer, to Debbie King and finally to Ami Humphries, who fired home from short range.

It was end-to-end stuff and Watton went 2-1 up following a classic run from right flank. Sudbury restored the score when the Watton keeper failed to clear her lines and Debbie King pounced for the first of her three goals. The midfield of Lucy Kevis, Louise Palmer and Sarah Taverner worked hard to ensure Sudbury possession and the breakdown of Watton play.

It was following a fine solo run from Kevis, combining with Debbie King with a one-two which King fired home from the top of the D. Watton equalised from a short corner but still Sudbury pushed ahead and Ami Humphries crossed into the D and King showed great skill in deflecting the ball past the Watton keeper. Watton are second in the league and weren't going to give up without a battle and with 10 minutes left equalised to make it 4 -4.

There were some late exchanges and the game could have gone either way. Notable performances from the whole team with Collette Cottrell and Lynn Mclean standing out in defence but plaudits must go to Debbie King for her hat-trick.

Sudbury III 1, Lowestoft II 4

Sudbury Ladies were sluggish out of the blocks for their first game of the second half of the season. They allowed Lowestoft to get into their stride, and had to defend their own goal frantically for a large percentage of the first half.

Once they got into attack Sudbury looked dangerous, with Florrie Barber driving strongly, supported by Tash Layzell out on the right. They were unlucky not to capitalise on their possession, with several shots going wide of the goal from Liz Spencer.

Lowestoft's skilful players carried and distributed well, and they always posed a threat to the Sudbury defence, who withstood the pressure well, with several good accurate clearances getting the ball up the pitch from sweeper Stephens. Constant interceptions from Jess Kendall, Ria Spurling and Mishka Mayers kept the damage down, and Sudbury were only 2-0 down at half time.

Sudbury returned with increased vigour after the break, and pulled themselves back into the game through Florrie Barber. Sudbury kept soaking up the pressure from Lowestoft in defence, and a good run from Daisy Palmer, when she came to the field, through India Fitch-Holland up the right looked promising to draw the score level; but it was not to be Sudbury's day!

When Liz Spencer left the field with 15 minutes to go with an injury, the team had to re-group to bring on Izzie Gardener on the left, in front of Hester Gattrall, and this unsettled Sudbury.

Although the centre players Rosie Daines and Mishka Mayers worked tirelessly to maintain control, Lowestoft scored another two goals to give them victory despite tireless goalkeeping from their Captain. Mishka was Player of the Match.

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