Football: City settle for a share of the spoils
SENIOR DIVISION B LIAM Hart scored twice for league leaders Ely City Reserves, but his side eventually had to settle for a share of the spoils against local rivals Ely Crusaders. Hart broke the deadlock by heading home the rebound after a save by the Crus
SENIOR DIVISION B
LIAM Hart scored twice for league leaders Ely City Reserves, but his side eventually had to settle for a share of the spoils against local rivals Ely Crusaders.
Hart broke the deadlock by heading home the rebound after a save by the Crusaders goalkeeper, but Matt Brodie drove home a brilliant equaliser for the hosts.
Lee Moll then nodded home a Brodie cross to give Crusaders the lead a minute before the interval, but City were the better side for much of the second half and Hart levelled at 2-2 from the penalty spot after Steve Pollard had been brought down in the box.
The game stagnated in the final 30 minutes, with neither side managing to break the deadlock.
Haddenham Rovers entertained Willingham in the same section, but went down 4-1 despite taking an early lead through Gary Goodjohn.
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His marvellous 20-yard free-kick broke the deadlock, but Willingham equalised before half-time and then took the lead following a mistake by Haddenham's replacement goalkeeper Gibson.
Gibson redeemed himself with a string of fine saves thereafter however, and if it had not been for him it would have been a much heavier defeat for the home side at the final whistle.
Littleport Town opened their 2006 campaign with an odd-goal defeat at home to Cambridge University Press.
Dave Beeton gave them the lead after 30 minutes, but the visitors equalised just before the break and eventually secured the points by scoring again in the second half.
"If I'm honest a draw would have been a fair result," said 'Port boss Dave Cullum, "but we didn't deserve to win it. I thought they wanted it a bit more than we did."
Dave Beeton, David Cullum (jnr) and Nigel Smith emerged with credit from the performance, but Littleport were otherwise disappointing on the day.
"We just didn't perform," concluded the Town boss. "Our biggest problem is that we don't score enough goals."
'Port entertain local rivals Fordham on Saturday, but their opponents could be a bit ring-rusty because they have not played for nearly a month.
Sutton United maintained their promotion challenge with a 4-1 victory at Bluntisham Rangers Reserves.
Will Ludbrooke's goal was all that separated the teams at half-time, and Sutton could have been forgiven for thinking that the Bluntisham goalkeeper was leading a charmed life.
A free-kick got Rangers back on level terms, but Ludbrooke's second goal of the afternoon restored Sutton's lead and substitute Courtney Harrison made the score 3-1 with a cracking drive.
Matthew Keys then wrapped up the points with a fourth Sutton goal from the penalty spot in the closing stages, and if United can maintain this level of form they could well earn themselves a place in Division 1B next season.
The Vine were denied victory by an 83rd minute goal in their home clash with Hemingfords United A.
The visitors led against the run of play after 20 minutes, but The Vine hit back with a 35th minute goal from Grant Spencer.
Dave Martin then made it 2-1 from the penalty spot after Dan Cowley had been fouled in the process of latching on to Jez Cutter's cross, and Gurkinder Man restored The Vine's advantage after Hemingfords had equalised.
The visitors hit back to make the score 3-3, but in the closing stages The Vine nearly grabbed a winner when subsitute Ashley Duggan hit the post.
It was a disappointing day for local sides in Division 4B on Saturday, with only Burwell Swifts managing to stave off defeat in their 1-1 draw at Swavesey Institute Reserves.
Burwell fell behind to a disputed first half penalty, but managed to get back on terms when Gary Jenkins collected the ball on the right and fired in a sensational curling left foot drive for the equaliser.
Ely Crusaders missed a hatful of chances before slumping to a 2-0 defeat at Milton A, and Wicken Amateurs began the year with a result they will want to forget, going down 8-0 at high-flying St Ives Town A.
Isleham United Reserves recovered from a goal down to take all three points at Little Downham Swifts Reserves.
Goals from Nick Samuels, Stuart Freeland and Matt Bilinski established a 3-1 lead at half-time, and Samuels went on to complete his hat-trick in a one-sided second half.
Freeland was the other Isleham player on target in the second half as United eventually ran out 6-1 winners.
The Vine Reserves also conceded six after taking an early lead as they surrendered the points at March Rangers.
Johnny Cutter and Karl Spencer kept them in the hunt, but March finally ran out winners by a 6-3 margin.
Burwell Swifts Reserves meanwhile came out on top against their Outwell namesakes, winning 3-0.
Ollie Williams was denied the opener when his re-taken penalty was saved by the goalkeeper, but a deflected cross from the same player eventually gave Burwell the lead.
Gavin Jones doubled the home advantage with an unstoppable drive from the edge of the box, and Williams weaved his way into the Outwell penalty area before adding number three with the help of a deflection.
The visitors had the chance to pull a goal back from the penalty spot in the closing stages, but their attempt hit the bar and was then touched again by the player who took the kick.
JUNIOR CUP SECOND ROUND
Littleport Town Reserves reached the Quarter-Finals of the competition with an excellent 4-3 victory over Fowlmere, but their cup form continues to outweigh their performances in the league.
Goals from Richie Murfitt (2) and Stuart Seekings kept them in contention throughout the tie, and Clive Lee grabbed a spectacular winner which earned them an extra-time success.
Ely City A went out of the competition 5-1 at Waterbeach Reserves despite opening the scoring through Darren Brodie, and Stretham Hotspurs are also out after a 2-1 defeat at Leverington Sports Reserves.
JOHN ABLETT CUP
Fordham Reserves are through to the last eight of the competition after beating local rivals Soham United Reserves.
Mark Hacking and Ollie Foreman put Fordham in control with early goals, and Daren Pryke made the interval score 3-0 with a fine chip from the edge of the box.
Soham made more of a game of it in the second half however, and Fordham were thankful for a series of fine saves from goalkeeper Steve Morley as they attempted to maintain their grip on the tie.
Foreman was on target again for the hosts as they eventually ran out winners by a 4-2 margin.
Division 4B outfit Pymoor FC were on target twice in their tie at Whittlesford United Reserves, but eventually went down by the odd goal in five.
Mepal Sports are also out despite taking a two-goal lead in the 11-goal thriller at home to Ashdon Villa.
Matt Johannson's double initially put Mepal in the driving seat, and further goals from Darren Murfitt and Adam Brown made the score 4-2 at the midway stage.
Ashdon hit back with four goals in a five-minute spell during the second half however, and another goal in the closing stages made the final score 7-4 in their favour.
Witchford '96 are through to the Quarter Finals however, winning their tie 2-1 at home to Elsworth Sports.