'Port all set to step up for fresh challenge

PUBLISHED: 10:52 14 June 2007 | UPDATED: 12:32 04 May 2010

SATURDAY FOOTBALL ROUND-UP By Steve Green Littleport Town Reserves Home W10 D1 L2 F50 A22 Away W8 D1 L4 F31 A24 Points 56 (2nd of 14) LITTLEPORT Town Reserves will compete in Senior Division B of the Kershaw League next season after finishing runners-up

SATURDAY FOOTBALL

ROUND-UP By Steve Green

Littleport Town Reserves

Home W10 D1 L2 F50 A22

Away W8 D1 L4 F31 A24

Points 56 (2nd of 14)

LITTLEPORT Town Reserves will compete in Senior Division B of the Kershaw League next season after finishing runners-up in Division 1B behind champions Huntingdon United RGE.

They also managed to get their hands on the Creake Charity Shield for the first time in the club's history, courtesy of a 1-0 final success against Wisbech St Mary, who were themselves runners-up in Division 2B.

'Port began their season with four straight wins, but were then held by Cottenham United Reserves before a 6-1 mauling at Tuddenham Rovers.

Three defeats in their next six league outings suggested mid-table anonymity, and a 6-2 hammering by the eventual champions was followed by a Junior Cup exit at the hands of 2B outfit Sutton United and a dismal 0-0 draw at Eaton Socon Reserves.

But the division's top scorers were not deterred by their poor mid-season displays and put together a 10-match winning streak, which guaranteed them second spot, 10 points clear of third-place St Ives Rangers.

They managed to beat Huntingdon 2-1 away in the semi-final of the Creake Charity Shield, a result which ended the champions' hopes of a league and cup double.

So what were the secrets of Littleport's success?

A strong squad was certainly one of them. 'Port used 37 players during the campaign and 22 of those found the net at least once.

Goals came from everywhere, and although veteran Mark Talbot led the way with 14, he was closely followed by Nathan Bennett, Luke Butcher and Clive Lee, all of whom grabbed a dozen, and Richard Layn hit 10. Town scored 103 goals in all competitions - the most lethal team in the division.

Defensively they were weaker by comparison, conceding the same number of league goals - 46 - as Godmanchester Rovers Reserves, who finished bottom.

Having said that, seven of those goals, were conceded in a final game 'dead rubber' fiasco against Buckden - only 'Port's second home defeat of the season and nine were shipped in the two league encounters with champions Huntingdon.

So how will the team fair in Senior Division B?

They will certainly find life a lot tougher - there are few easy games in the Kershaw League - but the team is basically young and can only improve. I fancy them to stay up.

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