Match Report – by Terry Oakley
Peterborough versus Soham
7th October 2023 at Bushfields Leisure Centre, Peterborough
1 Anthony Williams (Goalkeeper - 1st 30 minutes of match)
2 James Berry
3 Tom Hillam
4 Josh Aaltonen
5 Michael Carter (Captain)
6 Thomas Semilore
7 Luca Oakley
10 Tyler Salmon (Goalkeeper - 2nd 20 minutes of match)
1 Ruben Alam
2 James Neville
3 Connor Adams
4 Zak Osborne
5 Lewis Cakebread
7 Scott Neville
11 Jensen Richards
12 Martin Walker
13 Darcy Quinn Sekyt
Referees:- Steve Taylor and Michael Baker.
Peterborough were off to great start within the first 3 minutes. Michael Carter went on one of his trademark runs down the right wing and as the space appeared he hit a fine reverse slapshot that entered the net between the keeper and the near post.
Peterborough 1 Soham 0
This was quickly followed by a good break forward by Lewis Cakebread and his flicked shot looked goalbound until Anthony Williams, in the Peterborough goal, acrobatically turned and deflected the ball over his bar. Another good forward move by Soham resulted in another flick shot, this time by Scott Neville which just missed the goal. Lewis Cakebread was again in the next piece of action and his slapshot was blocked by the goalie only for it to fall into the path of James Neville and he quickly despatched the rebound past the Peterborough goalkeeper.
Peterborough 1 Soham 1
Peterborough responded with some fine interplay between Josh Aaltonen and Luca Oakley and the final pass was quickly moved across the Soham goal to James Berry at the back post but he swept his shot just wide of the goal. As the seconds ticked by it looked like the first half would finish drawn. However, with 11 seconds to go Peterborough were caught napping as Martin Walker was allowed to strongly muscle past his opponent and finish with a strong slapshot into the top corner of the net.
Peterborough 1 Soham 2
The surprising thing for me in this first half was how few shots were made by either side. The play tended to be concentrated in the middle third of the rink with neither side able to create the space for consistent shooting at goal.
Half Time:- Peterborough 1 Soham 2
Peterborough, again, started the new half at pace. Luca Oakley burst past a Soham defender and as the keeper came forward to narrow his shooting angle he placed his shot past him but it struck the inside of the post and was cleared to safety. With five minutes gone in the second half Soham scored their third goal. It was a move involving the two Neville Brothers. James spotted his brother, Scott, unmarked at the back goal post and his cross rink pass provided the assist for Scott to lift the ball over the diving keeper, despite being off balance.
Peterborough 1 Soham 3
Some naïve defending provided Soham with their next goal. Martin Walker was allowed to venture behind the Peterborough goal and as he emerged back in front of the goal he placed an accurate shot over the keeper at the near post.
Peterborough 1 Soham 4
Peterborough continued to play patient, measured hockey and they were rewarded shortly after Soham has scored their fourth goal. Michael Carter was again involved and as he broke forward he noticed James Berry in space, who had cleverly spun away from his defender to be unmarked in front of goal. Michael's cross rink, timely pass enabled James to tuck his shot under the diving Soham goalkeeper.
Peterborough 2 Soham 4
Not to be outdone Soham wanted a fifth goal. It started from a fine save made by their goalkeeper. Scott Neville pounced onto the rebound and quickly advanced up the rink to dispatch an accurate slapshot into the top right hand corner of the net.
Peterborough 2 Soham 5
Full Time Peterborough 2 Soham 5
Arthur Corr’s (Peterborough Coach) Man of the Match:- Tom Hillam.
A special mention for Thomas Semilore making his Premier League debut. He has quickly burst onto the roller hockey scene by forcing his way, this season, into the England Under 17's squad that played in the recent European Championships. In this match against Soham he showed no nerves and kept his play measured and simple. A fine start to his Premier League career and another promising youngster to "come off the Arthur Corr production line".
Against one of the fancied teams for Premiership honours this season Peterborough adapted well and played some patient hockey. All of their players gave everything in this fixture as it was clear for everyone to see that all of their shirts were soaked with honest sweat from their efforts. However, the main difference between the two teams, in the end, was that Soham were decisively more experienced and clever in front of goal and took their chances when they came.