Football round-up: Ely City Reserves boost survival hopes with fifth game unbeaten

Ely City Reserves v Orwell. Pictures: Helen Drake

Ely City Reserves v Orwell. Pictures: Helen Drake

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Ely City Reserves fired themselves six points clear of the drop zone in the Kershaw Senior A Division of the Cambridgeshire County Football League by grinding out a 1-0 victory over strugglers Orwell.

Alfie Oakman’s solitary strike was enough to extend his side’s unbeaten run to five games – a purple patch which began on January 30.

Since then, the Robins Reserves have climbed out of trouble in the division with three wins and two draws, and will hope to make it seven unbeaten on Saturday when they face Paxton United.

Elsewhere, Cottenham United look set to join Ely City Reserves in the Kershaw Senior A after they suffered another humiliating defeat – and a case of déjà vu - last weekend.

Looking to bounce back from a 10-1 drubbing at the hands of Linton Granta, Cottenham travelled to third-placed Lakenheath.

However, in a bizarre repeat of last week’s result, United imploded and fell to a second 10-1 defeat in as many weeks, with Rory Griggs netting Cottenham’s only goal.

Cottenham are now four points adrift in the Kershaw Premier League, and face a tough test against second-placed Fulbourn Institute on Saturday afternoon.

Soham Town Rangers Reserves are also struggling for form of late, and their torrid time continued last weekend thanks to a 3-0 defeat to Fulbourn Institute Reserves.

The Greens’ second string are now without a win since January 30, and their downturn in form has seen them plummet from the promotion place in the Kershaw Senior A.

Rangers’ rivals, Soham Rangers, had a more fruitful weekend and went a second match unbeaten in the same league thanks to a 2-1 success over Royston Town A.

In the Kershaw Senior B division, Burwell Swifts were knocked off their perch at the top of the table after they dropped points in their encounter with Whittlesford United.

The Swifts battled from two goals down thanks to efforts from Carl Saxby and Chris Tennant, but fell from the league’s summit after Comberton United beat Wimblington 4-1.

However, it looks likely that Burwell will reclaim top spot soon rather than later, as they had four games in hand over Comberton and a superior goal difference.

Fordham kept up their chase for promotion in the NMC 1B division with a hard-fought 2-1 success over Alconbury.

The hosts took the lead on 15 minutes when Tim Bettes and Micah Cummins combined to set up Chris Avis to score from close range.

Avis’ goal was soon followed by a strike from Graham Ford, and despite Alconbury pulling a goal back, the result never looked in doubt.

In the same division, Littleport Town became only the second side to stop runaway Wisbech St Mary Reserves taking all three points after an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Littleport hadn’t tasted defeat in the league since early February prior to visiting the champions elect, and secured an unlikely draw to send the league-toppers to their first draw of their campaign.

In the division below, Cottenham United Reserves – like their first team – were on the end of a heavy defeat; this time to East Cambs rivals Isleham United, who swept them aside 4-1.

In arguably the game of the weekend, Soham United Reserves defied the odds to pip promotion-chasing Ely Crusaders in a nine-goal thriller.

A brace from Richie Murfitt and further goals from Darren and Matt Brodie weren’t enough for the Crusaders, who suffered a shock defeat to see their promotion hopes take a hit.

Little Downham Swifts were also defeated by a side lower in the division, falling to a 4-0 defeat to Bar Hill Saturday Reserves, who occupy 12th place in the NMC 2B.

Burwell Swifts Reservers were beaten 2-1 by Benwick Athletic in the NMC 3B, and Witchford 96 Reserves hit five past Chatteris Town A in a 5-3 win in the NMC 4B.

In the same division, a horror injury caused the game between Isleham United Reserves and Coldham to be abandoned. Isleham were leading 1-0 through Connor Walsh’s goal.

The race for second place in the NMC 5B looks set to go the distance after both sides vying for the position took all three points last weekend.

Burwell Tigers, who currently sit in the runners-up spot, hammered Needingworth United 4-0, but Ely Crusaders Reserves made sure it won’t be easy for the Tigers with a 2-0 over strugglers Cottenham United A.

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