Men’s First and Second team home at the Fortress!
For the first time this season, both the Men’s first team and the Men’s second team are at home at Bretton Gate this Saturday.
Last weeks’ good performances away at Chelmsford and at home to Cambridge City in the EH Cup will have really boosted the confidence of the Men’s 1st team squad, and they will look to take this forward into this weekend. The visitors Wapping will be a tough test though this week at Fortress Bretton Gate on Saturday in the 1pm pushback but without doubt, City will want to not just maintain their unbeaten home record, but win well to keep up pressure on the top teams in Prem A.
Observers of the games last weekend will have noted the changes in formation, and as a result an improvement in form. With captain Ross Booth and Joe Finding (left) pushed further up, the team flowed forward more freely and service to the forwards was much improved.
Fan’s favourite, Tom Hagues, is still unlikely though to be fit, but City will hope that forward Ben Read is not too far off from returning to full action soon. Neil Evans and Simon Shorter both got through their games unscathed last weekend, so hopefully will be back to full fitness and City will soon have a full squad to select from.
The Men’s 2nd team will also play at home on the same day as the Men’s 1st XI. They entertain Cambridge University 2nds in the game preceding the 1st team game (an 11.30am pushback), so hopefully they will get a good result against the always energetic students. Unfortunately, veteran defender Sanjay Dhanani is away, but City will hope to be at full strength apart from that.
Also at home, but playing off site at the Embankment are the Men’s 4th team, who play St Neots 1sts in a 12pm pushback. The Thomas Deacon Academy pitch is undergoing some repairs from damage attributed to a fox, so is unavailable this week. City are level on points with Division 3NW leaders Cambridge South, so a home win is important to keep up pressure and hopefully build a gap to teams below.
The 10am entertainment is provided by the Men’s 6th team who play St Ives 3rds. If you want to see how hockey is played by 11 men who can’t run very far or very fast, then I would expect no better example of that on Saturday. To be fair to them though, the experience and strength of the Sixes has stood them in good order so far, with them just a few points off 2nd place in Division 4NW and you can’t argue with that.
The only Ladies to play at home are the Ladies 2nd team who will play at 2.30pm. A win is sure to see them climbing towards mid-table, which would be a great achievement considering the standard they are playing at.
The final home game is the Men’s Vets, looking for their first points in Division 5NW in the 4pm game. Opponents Newmarket 2nds were pushed hard by the 8th team when they played at the Gate a few weeks ago, but it will again be a tough fixture for the Vets.
The Ladies 1st XI have had some cracking results in the last few weeks. Unbeaten in games over the last three weeks is impressive form, especially when you realise that all those three opposing teams are placed higher in Division 1N than City are. Even more pleasing is that in the last two weeks they have come back from being behind, firstly to take a point from Saffron Walden (from 3-nil down) and last week to beat Cambridge City 5-3 after being 2-nil down. The goals last week came from Jess Amps (on debut), evergreen Lyn Tancred, Lauren Finding and Claire Steels (all pictured below).
The Ladies are on the road on Saturday to play Bury St Edmunds and will want to carry on the form of recent weeks and consolidate their mid-table position in the next few weeks as they play all the teams below them in the league.
The other away games are:
- Men’s 5ths v Bourne Deeping 2, at Arthur Mellows Village College
- Men’s 9ths v Leadenham 2, at RAF Cranwell
- Men’s 8ths v Bourne Deeping 4, at Arthur Mellows Village College
- Men’s 7ths v Cambridge Nomads 2, at Coldhams Common, Cambridge
- Ladies 4ths v Alford & District 2, at Skegness
- Men’s 3rds v Harleston Magpies 2, at Harleston