Middlesbrough Tournament – Brief Match Reports – by Terry Oakley
Eastern Counties Under 20’s Competition
18th March 2023 held at North Herts Leisure Centre, Letchworth
Tyler Salmon (Goalkeeper)
Anthony Williams (Goalkeeper)
Josh Aaltonen (Captain)
1st Match versus Letchworth
In the previous two matches between these two teams Letchworth successfully set up a defensive diamond formation with fast counter attacks to thwart the Peterborough offensive play. However, for this match they took to the rink with a larger squad and a different blend of personnel. How would this game pan out? Well, from a spectator point of view it was a much better spectacle to watch as both teams were playing attacking hockey. Peterborough took the lead through Declan Lander. Shortly after this goal a Peterborough player was adjudged to have tripped a Letchworth player and a blue card was administered and a direct hit awarded. Unfortunately, for Sasha Aitken the opportunity to level the scores was missed. While the powerplay was still in operation Letchworth did manage to level the scores with a slapshot from Charlie Sharp. Midway through the second half Josh Aaltonen latched onto a rebound from the Letchworth goalkeeper and confidently finished with a flick shot into the top right hand corner of the net.
A good competitive game with both goalkeepers giving fine performances.
Full Time Score:- Peterborough 2 Letchworth 1.
2nd Match – versus Kings Lynn
Kings Lynn raced into a 2-0 lead within 8 minutes of this match starting with goals from Josh Futter and Joseph Hawes. At this stage of the match and into the early part of the second half, Kings Lynn looked comfortable. However, the game was about to change and Peterborough took full advantage of what was about to happen. Following a rash challenge on a Peterborough player a blue card was shown and a direct hit awarded against Kings Lynn. Josh Aaltonen duly smashed his shot into the top right hand corner of the net past the hapless Kings Lynn goalkeeper. This was quickly followed by a fine move involving Tom Hillam and Josh Aaltonen who found themselves two against one with a Kings Lynn defender and Josh’s cross rink pass found Tom unmarked and he swept his shot under the diving Kings Lynn goalkeeper. This goal brought the scores level. Still Peterborough searched for another goal and it came when Josh Aaltonen advanced into space and hit a hard slapshot into the Kings Lynn net. Kings Lynn would not be denied and another strong run from Josh Futter down the left finished with him hitting an accurate reverse slapshot into the Peterborough net.
Another fully committed game that turned on one incident shortly after half time.
Full Time Score:- Peterborough 3 Kings Lynn 3.
3rd Match – versus Middlesbrough
The matches so far between these two sides have been close and competitive. This match was no different. Peterborough started brightly and in a close first half were able to score two goals through Declan Lander and Luca Oakley. Middlesbrough continued to probe for openings and were rewarded when Sammy Johnson was allowed to go around the back of the Peterborough goal and squeeze a shot under the goalkeeper. The game continued with end to end attacking play and Middlesbrough were rewarded when Zak Osborne reacted first to a shot which came back off the wall behind the goal and smashed his shot down into the Peterborough net.
Full Time Score:- Peterborough 2 Middlesbrough 2.
This was Peterborough’s best Tournament of this campaign so far. On another day they would not have let their lead in the last two games slip and would have came away with three wins. Instead, they had to settle for two draws and a win.
What is most pleasing to watch are the patterns of play that Peterborough have which produce goal scoring opportunities in abundance. What they must continue to work on is their finishing. Too often they were clear in front of goal and they placed their shots directly at the goalkeepers in all three matches.