Arter’s finesse finishes United

Saturday Football SENIOR DIVISION A ELY City Reserves moved to within two points of the leaders with a 4-1 victory over sixth-placed Hemingfords United, thanks to a fabulous four-goal haul from Gareth Arter. City fell behind after 20 minutes when Gary Dew

Saturday Football

SENIOR DIVISION A

ELY City Reserves moved to within two points of the leaders with a 4-1 victory over sixth-placed Hemingfords United, thanks to a fabulous four-goal haul from Gareth Arter.

City fell behind after 20 minutes when Gary Dewsbury's attempted clearance rebounded into the net off an opponent, but Arter equalised with an overhead kick into the top corner after Richie Murfitt had nodded the ball back across goal.


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Arter then scored three times after the break, each time finishing from close range after excellent build-up play by the visitors.

SENIOR DIVISION B

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SOHAM United moved out of the bottom four at long last after recording a convincing win against fellow strugglers Barton Mills.

"It was comfortable," concluded United player-boss Andy Parker afterwards, adding: "We missed a lot of chances again, but at least we're not conceding stupid goals."

Ally Mohammed put the visitors ahead with a solo effort, and Jim Brown made it 2-0 by firing home from the edge of the box.

Soham missed several more chances before Mohammed added a third goal following a one-two between Steve Dalby and Ben Brown, and Jim Brown struck again before the interval to make it 4-0.

Barton Mills scored a consolation goal after the break as United eased off fractionally, but the hosts were probably lucky to get away with a 4-1 defeat.

Haddenham Rovers were also in Senior B action, but their six-match unbeaten run ended with a 3-1 defeat against leaders Comberton United.

Leading scorer Kenny Holmes was on target for the visitors, but his side otherwise had their limitations exposed by the likely champions.

DIVISION 1B

IN A match where one of the contesting sides was guaranteed to go second owing to the postponement of Fenstanton's match at St Ives Rangers, it was Littleport Town Reserves who moved into the promotion placings by virtue of a 3-1 victory at Cottenham United Reserves.

Goals from Clive Lee, Chris Lupson and Sam Warner were enough to move 'Port into the position they want to occupy on the final day of the season.

DIVISION 2B

STRETHAM Hotspurs - who played three strikers from the start - ended a run of seven matches without a victory by thrashing bottom club Bluntisham Rangers Reserves away from home.

This was a 'must-win' match for Stretham, and they were soon ahead when Leigh Iball scored following a good move.

Captain John Lewis made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after a foul on Iball, and he then scored again with a cracking header from Richard Gray's cross just before half-time.

Iball extended Stretham's lead with a flying header, and Gray slotted home number five before Lewis completed his hat-trick, this time with a far post header from Gray's corner.

Gray then made it 7-0 to the visitors before a penalty and an own goal provided the hosts with a small measure of compensation.

Twenty-three-year-old centre-back Lee Taylor was in outstanding form for Stretham.

DIVISION 3B

SOHAM United Reserves remain on top of the table, but apparently only on sufferance after crashing 5-3 at home to promotion rivals Pymoor FC.

The match was really a tale of three goalkeepers and a red card, with Soham stopper Rob Grimwood being replaced by outfielder Carl Dhjory after suffering a 25th minute injury, and 16-year-old Ed Hale starring in goal for the visitors prior to the dismissal of United's Aaron Da Costa.

Simon Law (2) and Greg Saberton fired Pymoor into a 3-1 lead, but David Holmes scored twice to level the scores for Soham and then looked poised to make it 4-3 after rounding the goalkeeper.

Hale's late lunge prevented him from scoring however, and Soham's vehement penalty appeals fell on deaf ears.

Da Costa was then sent off for retaliation after receiving an elbow, and Pymoor took full advantage thereafter with goals from David Harvey and Saberton to snatch all three points.

Little Downham Swifts lost 4-1 at Lakenheath Reserves in the other 3B match of local interest.

DIVISION 4B

SUTTON United Reserves gave a pleasing performance to put the skids under bottom of the table Haddenham Rovers Reserves.

Duncan Turner led the way with a hat-trick, and he was joined on the scoresheet by Richard Martin, Daniel Cox and substitute Tristan Frear as United ran out convincing 6-2 winners on the day.

Philip Harle pulled a couple of goals back for Haddenham in the second half, including a sensational strike from the edge of the box which gave the goalkeeper absolutely no chance.

Mepal Sports meanwhile enhanced their promotion prospects by thrashing leaders Wisbech St Mary A 5-0, completing a notable double in the process.

DIVISION 5B

ISLEHAM United Reserves upset the odds by overcoming Burwell Swifts Reserves in Saturday's derby encounter.

The match was goalless at the interval, but three goals in seven minutes effectively put the game beyond recall.

Nick Samuels curled home a set-piece for Isleham's opener, and a great volley from Sam Richardson doubled the home advantage soon afterwards.

Thomas Sheldrick's inswinging free-kick then made it 3-0 before an own goal - from last week's two-goal marksman Anthony Binns - gave Burwell some scant reward.

Replacement goalkeeper Sean Downey was in excellent form for Isleham's second string, who now seem to be moving in the right direction.

Littleport Town A meanwhile had four players booked in the home clash with Lode Reserves, but Scott Dews' hat-trick was enough to earn them a 3-1 win.

JOHN ABLETT CUP

FORDHAM Reserves failed in their bid to reach the last eight of the competition, losing a 10-goal thriller at home to Abington United.

Fordham led twice as Grant Pearson, Sam James (2) and Clive Boucheron hit the target, but the visitors finished strongly and eventually ran out winners by a 6-4 margin.

LOWER JUNIOR CUP

BURWELL Swifts earned a quarter-final tie at Bassingbourn after coming from behind to win by the odd goal in five at Fulbourn Sports and Social Club.

The visitors trailed 2-0 midway through the first half, but pulled one back through Alan Nash after an excellent move involving Lee Hardy, Mike Edwards and Chris Grant, with Nash beating three defenders on the way to a cool finish.

With man-of-the-match Rich O'Neil putting in a tireless display in midfield, Swifts dominated the remainder of the tie and eventually won 3-2.

Ollie Williams nudged the ball underneath the goalkeeper to level the scores, and he then lobbed home from 35 yards on the turn to complete Burwell's comeback.

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