East Men’s League: Fightback is not enough for Wisbech in cup thriller
Battling Wisbech narrowly failed to reach the final of the EH Trophy after a thrilling 5-4 defeat at Gateshead.
The hosts made an impressive start and had roared into a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes.
Wisbech regrouped and Sam Blunt pulled one back with a reverse stick shot after his initial effort from a short corner was saved.
Blunt then won a penalty stroke and Bradley Apted converted to make it 3-2.
The fightback was halted in a five-minute spell before half-time. Drew Harvey was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes after retaliating to a foul and then hitting the ball away in frustration at his yellow card.
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Matthew Levanda also received a yellow card just before the break and Gateshead scored from a short corner to leave the half-time score at 4-2.
Wisbech hung on until they were restored to full strength, but another short corner resulted in Gateshead's fifth.
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Gavin Johnstone reduced the arrears with 10 minutes remaining and Blunt made it 5-4, but Wisbech could not conjure an equaliser.
Norwich City kept their survival hopes alive in the Premier A Division despite letting a three-goal lead slip away in a 4-4 draw at Chelmsford.
Chris Wardale gave City the lead before slamming home a reverse stick shot to double the advantage.
Chelmsford halved the deficit but City restored the two-goal cushion when Stu Wardale dribbled in from the right and scored with a reverse stick shot.
Jez Elliott fired home a short corner in the second half to make it 4-1, but Chelmsford responded to salvage a point.
City now need to win their final game against St Albans to stay up.
A youthful Pelicans side were beaten 7-2 at Ford in Division 1N.
Ford took the lead at the end of the first half, before a flurry of goals in the second period. Matthew Nolan scored both goals for Pelicans, who have been relegated.
Rupert Snelling fired a hat-trick as Norwich Dragons extinguished any lingering fears of relegation with a 7-2 mauling of Harleston Magpies III.
Gareth Green put Dragons ahead before Magpies equalised from a penalty corner. Jason Wolfe calmly converted a penalty stroke to restore Dragons' advantage but again Magpies drew level to make it 2-2 at half-time. Dragons took control after the break and goals from Alex Browne (2) and Snelling (3) secured a comfortable victory.
Norwich City IV secured fourth place in Division 4NE following their promotion last season with a 4-4 draw at Sudbury III.
Tim Beardmore and Ali Clabburn both scored twice as the team sealed their highest ever league position.
In Division 3NW, Wisbech lost 6-4 at home to Spalding. All four of the hosts' goals came from Gary Freear.