Fine form kept Ford favourites
SATURDAY FOOTBALL ROUND-UP LOWER JUNIOR CUP SEMI-FINAL Witchford 96 are through to the final of the competition after a nerve-jangling 3-2 victory against Wisbech St Mary Reserves on Saturday. Witchford had the elements in their favour in the opening 45
SATURDAY FOOTBALL ROUND-UP
LOWER JUNIOR CUP
Witchford '96 are through to the final of the competition after a nerve-jangling 3-2 victory against Wisbech St Mary Reserves on Saturday.
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Witchford had the elements in their favour in the opening 45 minutes, but were thwarted by the woodwork on three occasions as they pressed for the opening goal.
Aaron Spencer and Colin Coulson both hit the bar, Billy Bowers rapped the post with a header and Witchford also had two 'goals' disallowed as they dominated the early exchanges.
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Wisbech looked lively on the break, and on one such occasion, Ally McDonald was penalised for a foul in the box and the hosts went ahead from the penalty spot.
Witchford retained their composure and Spencer rifled home an equaliser soon afterwards, and with second of the first half remaining Coulson broke clear and made it 2-1 from the narrowest of angles.
Wisbech held the upper hand after the break, but it was Witchford who struck again to establish a 3-1 lead.
Michael Ward's through ball found Coulson in space, and although his effort was parried by the goalkeeper Spencer followed up for his second goal of the afternoon.
Goalkeeper Michael Vincent was penalised for a foul as Wisbech scored from their second spot-kick of the afternoon, but he was subsequently in fine form to deny the hosts an equalising goal in the time remaining.
SENIOR DIVISION A
Soham Town Rangers Reserves made hard work of their encounter with bottom-of-the-table Grampian, but nevertheless move into second place after securing a narrow 2-1 victory.
Paul Jones broke the deadlock with a penalty midway through the first half, and Liam Eley made the points safe with a fine shot from the edge of the box with half-an-hour remaining.
Grampian pulled one back with yet another penalty kick, but Soham held on to secure all three points.
SENIOR DIVISION B
Ely Crusaders are virtually out of the promotion race after losing by the odd goal in five at Milton on Saturday.
They were short of players to begin with, and when Brett Fuller departed with a hamstring injury after just 10 minutes it was always going to be an uphill struggle.
Ben Fuller scored twice for the visitors, but it was all to no avail as the home side claimed the points.
Bottom-of-the-table Littleport Town Reserves kept up their momentum with a 1-1 draw at March Town United Reserves.
Lee Anderson scored the goal that earned them a share of the spoils, but they were grateful for a fine goalkeeping performance by Andrew Smart that kept the home side at arms' length.
Sutton United - who recently dropped out of the promotion race after a string of disappointing performances - turned the form book upside-down with a stunning 3-0 win against second-placed Needingworth United Reserves.
Sam Oliver (2) and Will Ludbrooke both struck before half-time, and the hosts were unable to make any impression on the scoreline after the break.
Isleham United crashed 5-1 at home to Milton Reserves, and Stretham Hotspurs were also beaten on home soil in their encounter with Longstanton.
Stretham pretty much dominated throughout, but just couldn't break down a determined Longstanton rearguard.
The visitors took the lead against the run of play after 35 minutes, and although substitute Alex Gray levelled within 10 minutes of his introduction it was Longstanton who claimed the winner.
There seemed to be little danger as a speculative 25-yard volley winged its way towards Kevin Brown, but the goalkeeper misjudged the flight of the ball and let it slip through his grasp for what proved to be the decider.
Fordham Reserves continued their fine run with a comfortable victory over local rivals Little Downham Swifts.
They were 4-0 up before Downham managed a scoring contribution, and goals from Scott Day (2), John Sands, Ollie Foreman, Adam Cummins and Grant Pearson eventually secured a 6-2 result.
The Vine - like Downham - also scored twice in their encounter with Lakenheath Reserves, but that was sufficient to earn them a point because the match finished all square at 2-2.
Pymoor FC moved to within two points of second-placed St Ives Town A as they eventually came through 5-3 at Wicken Amateurs despite a shaky first half performance.
Stephen 'Pip' Ball opened the scoring in Pymoor's favour after just seven minutes, but James Petersen had already struck the post for Wicken beforehand.
Dane Turner equalised from close range after latching on to a Jon Hobbs corner, but Pymoor moved into a 2-1 lead before half-time thanks to a goal from Jim Golding.
Leigh Williams made it 2-2 with a good low shot after Josh Woodroffe had cut in from the left, but Joe Featherstone put Pymoor back in the driving seat and man-of-the-match Jason Cridford made it 4-2 with a fine effort soon afterwards.
Jez Breedon was credited with Pymoor's fifth goal although the final touch appeared to come off a Wicken defender, and Petersen pulled another one back for the hosts with 10 minutes remaining after good work by substitute Andrew Searle.
Sutton United Reserves meanwhile did Pymoor a huge favour by coming from behind to hold St Ives to a 2-2 draw.
Their goalkeeper Johnny Few was beaten by two fine efforts in the first half, but Sean Bristow's double redressed the balance before midway.
United controlled the second period, but Bristow missed chances to complete his hat-trick and in the end Sutton were grateful for a fine save from Few which denied St Ives at the death.
Haddenham Rovers Reserves trounced Exning Athletic 4-0 at home, and Mepal Sports were likewise on form as they took all three points at the expense of hosts Burwell Swifts.
Guy Habbin, Darren Angood and Giles Peacock were the players on target as Mepal ran out 3-0 winners.
Wes Reid and Matt Thorby were on target for Ely Crusaders Reserves at home to Willingham Reserves, but the visitors were stronger and eventually secured a 4-2 victory.
Substitute James Kent scored a great goal as Littleport Town A won their derby match at The Vine Reserves.
Joint player-manager Jamie Doswell was also on target, and other goals went to Rob Scotney and Scott Fuller as the visitors ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.
Burwell Swifts Reserves flopped 3-0 at high-riding Newmarket Town A, and Little Downham Swifts Reserves were beaten 9-1 at home by March Rangers in the same section.