Pelicans a point away from league glory

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Pelicans 3 Cambridge 1Pelicans travel to Spalding on Saturday needing just a point to secure the league title after beating their nearest rivals in the table at Alive Lynnsport.With three games of the season remaining they have a nine-point gap at the top of the standings and hold a far superior goal difference over the chasing packCambridge arrived at Alive Lynnsport as the only team to have beaten the runaway league leaders this season and knew they would have to repeat their success from earlier in the season to maintain their slim title hopes.Pelicans were made to work for their victory which has all but confirmed them as champions of East Hockey League, Division 1 North.The home side flew out of the traps in the first half attempting to put their visitors on the back foot early and that’s exactly what they did by scoring three unanswered goals and playing some exquisite attacking hockey.Their first arrived after good work from their skipper Sam Phillips, whose neat skills found Jack Major who finished very nicely. Goal number two arrived soon afterwards through Phillips who this time profited from some superb work from Jacob Craig.Pelicans third goal came from the penalty spot.Major was brought down by the Cambridge goalkeeper and Chris Page squeezed his penalty stroke home.Despite the home side being very clinical, Cambridge still had a team of very good hockey players.They always looked a threat, even though they had a mountain to climb. Dan Upton kept his clean sheet intact with two excellent saves in the first half.Sam Major and Iain Page put their bodies on the line for their team on many occasions, as did Chris Page.The midfield of Kirwin Christoffels and Phoenix Sherry shielded their defence superbly and set up many attacking moves for Craig, Ian Simmons and Ollie Booth bursting from midfield and Harry Sampson, George Van Aalst and Toby Phillips higher up the pitch too.The second half of the game was a real back-to-the-wall job for Pelicans.Cambridge came out fighting and dominated the second half but if they got past a dogged home defence their wasteful final ball and finishing just let them down at the vital moment.They did pull one back from the penalty spot and could so easily have got level if it wasn’t for a goal-line clearance from Major and at least four high-quality saves from Upton between the posts.Pelicans 4Way MoM: Dan Upton

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