Match Report – by Terry Oakley
Peterborough versus Soham
7th January 2023 at Bushfields Leisure Centre, Peterborough
2 Tom Hillam
3 Jake Reed
4 Declan Lander
5 Michael Carter
6 Milo Carter
7 Josh Aaltonen (Captain)
8 Luca Oakley
9 Lily Messenger
10 Tyler Salmon (Goalkeeper)
1 Reuben Alam (Goalkeeper)
2 James Neville
4 Zak Osborne
5 Lewis Cakebread
6 Luke Donovan
7 Scott Neville (Captain)
9 Ryan Norton
10 Stephen Jarvis (GK)
13 Darcy Quinn Sekyt
Referees:- Z.Robinson and S.Taylor.
Peterborough took to the rink without 4 of their regular squad members. Three of those players were playing in the Under 17’s Tournament at Letchworth and, sadly, Alfie Newton has left the club due to his work commitments. However, Peterborough welcomed the return of long serving player Michael Carter. This was Michael’s first match of this season and he took his coveted number 5 shirt.
The match started at a frantic pace and two early efforts by Soham in front of goal came to nothing. Firstly Scott Neville burst through and hit his shot goalwards but the fast arriving Lewis Cakebread could not deflect the ball into the Peterborough net. As the ball came off the back wall Scott Neville latched onto the rebound and found Ryan Norton in front of goal but his shot was well saved by Tyler Salmon. Within the next 30 seconds Peterborough took the lead. Jake Reed burst forward from his deep position and hit a splendid slapshot into the top left hand corner of the Soham net. Peterborough 1 Soham 0.
Soham responded immediately with fine shots from both Ryan Norton and Scott Neville which were both well saved by the Peterborough goalie. Jake Reed then burst down the left hand side of the Soham defence and manged to get his shot away. His shot, although not struck cleanly, was on target and Luca Oakley being in front of the Soham goalkeeper along with a Soham defender caused confusion so much so that in the resultant melee the ball found it’s way into the Soham net. Peterborough 2 Soham 0.
This early Peterborough lead seemed to energise and focus the Soham Team as they immediately responded with a fine goal from Ryan Norton who spun quickly in front of goal, losing the Peterborough defender in the process, and Ryan hit a fine shot into the top right hand corner of the Peterborough net. Peterborough 2 Soham 1.
Another fine move from Soham involving Scott Neville who emerged from behind the Peterborough goal with no defender near him and he cleverly turned at high speed into space and he made no mistake with his accurate shot into the Peterborough net. Peterborough 2 Soham 2.
Soham gained possession of the ball immediately after the restart and it was that man, Scott Neville again, who hit a fine slapshot which was acrobatically saved by Tyler Salmon in the Peterborough goal. Peterborough were then exposed when all four players were caught forward, leaving no defence, and as the ball broke for Soham two of their players advanced and a timely cross rink pass was swept home by Zak Osborne. Peterborough 2 Soham 3.
Half Time Peterborough 2 Soham 3.
An early break in the second half saw Lily Messenger’s shot well saved by Reuben Alam in the Soham goal. This move was quickly followed up by another fine slapshot from Jake Reed which screamed into the top right hand corner of the Soham net. Peterborough 3 Soham 3.
The next six minutes saw play go from end to end with the play settling into a pattern of stalemate. However, the game burst into life again when a hard slapshot from Ryan Norton was initially well saved by the Peterborough goalie only for the resultant rebound to be snapped up by James Neville. Peterborough 3 Soham 4.
A fast break forward by Michael Carter saw his hard shot destined for the top corner of the Soham net only for Reuben Alam to make a fine save. A quick break by Peterborough resulted in Scott Neville cleverly reading the play and intercepting the ball. He sprinted forward with the ball and hit a timely cross field pass to Lewis Cakebread who comfortably despatched his shot into the Peterborough net. Peterborough 3 Soham 5.
The next action involved Scott Neville again. However, this time he was harshly adjudged to have hooked Jake Reed on the half way line and Scott received the resultant blue card. Michael Carter stepped forward to take the Direct. He worked his space well in front of Reuben Alam in the Soham goal but his flick shot hit the crossbar then the post before rebounding to safety. The miss from Michael only spurred him into taking a major part of the next action involving a clever crossover move between him and Jake Reed. The move created sufficient space for Jake to hit another hard slapshot into the Soham net. Peterborough 4 Soham 5.
A weaving skate from Michael Carter allowed him to work enough space to get his flick shot away but this time it was well saved by Reuben Alam in the Soham goal. Michael followed this up by another good break forward and his flick shot was heading for the top right hand corner of the Soham goal only for Reuben Alam to make another fine save. Jake Reed then, again, broke forward strongly and hit another fine slapshot which was partially saved by the Soham goalie but Luca Oakley, following up, was on hand to quickly latch onto the rebound and his flicked shot went into the roof of the Soham net. Peterborough 5 Soham 5.
In the next action Scott Neville swiftly broke forward and he hit a fine slapshot which was well saved by Tyler in the Peterborough goal. A Peterborough player then had possession on the half way line but he dallied on the ball and was tackled sharply by two Soham players, Zak Osborne and James Neville. They broke forward and Zak waited until the angle was right for a fine cross rink pass to James who comfortably swept the ball into the Peterborough net. Peterborough 5 Soham 6.
Peterborough responded immediately with another fast break forward by Jake Reed and his well hit accurate slapshot screamed into the top left hand corner of the Soham net. Peterborough 6 Soham 6.
Following a time-out called by Peterborough immediately after this equalising goal, Scott Neville broke quickly down Peterborough’s left and his cross rink pass found Luke Donovan unmarked at the back post and he stuck home the winner for Soham. Peterborough 6 Soham 7.
Full Time Peterborough 6 Soham 7.
Man of the Match:- Jake Reed - Peterborough. He gave the watching spectators a master class in slapshots! During this match he hit many venomous slapshots at the Soham goal finding the net 4 times with that type of shot and finishing with a personal tally of 5 goals from this match.
This was a cracking, pulsating game of hockey. Both teams were fully committed to competitively winning the game with minimal team fouls. The quality of attacking shots at goal from both teams was exemplary. The match was played at high intensity throughout. Both goalkeepers, Reuben Alam and Tyler Salmon, had fine games.
You could not look away from this match for one moment (certainly no trips to the toilets or the vending machines) as the action was frenzied and constant. The match result was still not clear right up to the final whistle.
A special mention to the Soham player Ryan Norton who bravely placed himself in front of Peterborough’s slapshots time and time again. I am certain that he will need to purchase another pair of shin pads for his next match!
Although it was a defeat, Peterborough can take many positives form this match in which they gave a fine account of themselves playing against one of the best teams in this country!