Local Football Round Up

LOCAL football round-up by Gareth Draper Cliff Bullen Cup IT was a tense but ultimately satisfying afternoon for Littleport Town as they made it through a tight encounter with high-flying Senior A side, Hardwick. It remained deadlocked at 0-0 after 120

LOCAL football round-up by Gareth Draper

Cliff Bullen Cup

IT was a tense but ultimately satisfying afternoon for Littleport Town as they made it through a tight encounter with high-flying Senior A side, Hardwick.

It remained deadlocked at 0-0 after 120 minutes, before Port held their collective nerve to go through 3-1 on penalties with only Andrew "Spud" Lee failing from the spot. They will now contest the final on April 5 against Great Shelford.

Junior Challenge Cup

IT was a heartbreaking quarter-final outcome for a plucky Witchford '96 side that tried hard but had only a Michael Ward goal to offer against the three they conceded to a tough Elsworth Sports side.

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John Ablett Cup

ELY Crusaders marched onto the last four of the Ablett Cup as they overcame Abington United at home 2-1 on a great afternoon for the club.

Ali Msabaha grabbed both goals and even though Jim Rolfe scored at the wrong end, Crusaders will now face Chatteris Town Reserves for a place in the final.

Kershaw Premier League

ELY City Reserves played out two home score draws in the last week, with the first game ending 2-2 against Foxton after being two goals in front through Lawrie Carter and Matt Keys.

Ten-man Foxton turned it around in the second half though, and it ended in stalemate. The second one pointer again involved the opposition giving Ely a one-man advantage as ten-man Eaton Socon led before being pegged back by a Paul Skinner penalty as the game finished 1-1.

The other game in this section was a harsh lesson in counter-attacking football handed out by runaway league leaders Cambridge University Press to bottom of the table Fordham as they ran out emphatic 6-0 winners.

Senior A

SOHAM Town Rangers' youngsters were also taught some harsh realities about senior football as they led briefly through Thomas Crawford before a strong Milton side plundered three goals before half-time and added two more before the final whistle to run out 5-1 winners.

Senior B

HADDENHAM Rovers earned a vital home win in a lower end of the table clash with March Town United Reserves.

Tom Parish struck with the equaliser after 35 minutes and an own goal and yet another effort from leading scorer Will Ludbrooke made it 3-1 at half-time.

March got one back before Phil Harle capitalised on more good work from Ludbrooke to seal the game, 4-2. United got a consolation near the end but the points were secure for Rovers.

Soham United were convincing home winners over Swavesey Institute, who had deservedly had a man given his marching orders for a horrid looking two-footed challenge.

Soham stormed to a 2-0 halft-time lead through Liam Eley and an own goal, but a lackadaisical start to the second-half resulted in the visitors grabbing one back. Soham then moved into overdrive and goals from Steve Dalby (penalty), Eley's second and Dan Simmons put the result beyond doubt even though Swavesey scored another late on to make it 5-2.

Ely City 'A' lost for the fourth successive game by 3-1 at home to Comberton United and must try to get a victory from somewhere to halt their damaging run of results.

Div 2B

THE Vine showed great determination to beat Over Sports away from home despite a recent spate of injuries that has hit the squad.

After conceding an early goal, the visitors responded well with Kinder Mann in fine form, setting up James Nuttall for his first goal of the season. Over took the lead for a second time against the run of play, and when Dan Mitchell crashed his penalty against the bar it looked like being one of those days for The Vine.

Mann had other ideas however, and drew the scores level again with a superb solo effort. The Vine dominated the last fifteen minutes and their determination paid off when Jez Cutter and Dan Cowley combined well, setting up Jon Cutter who slotted home a last gasp winner, making it 3-2.

Pymoor's dreadful form continued at Barton Mills as they lost their third successive match, this time by two goals to one.

Div 3B

LOWLY Mepal Sports crushed local rivals Stretham Hotspurs 6-2 at home in an entertaining encounter.

Stretham went 1-0 up through an excellent free kick but Mepal struck back with a vengeance as they put four past the Hotspurs' goalkeeper with Craig Wilkinson, Dave Fisher and Giles Peacock (twice) all getting on the scoresheet.

Chris Sylvain also got in on the act after Hotspurs scored another cracker of a free kick and the impressive relative newcomer to the team, Fisher, wrapped up this sweet victory with another before the final whistle blew.

Little Downham also impressed with a 3-0 home victory to raise their promotion chances in this very competitive league.

Arron Hodson, Dan Bell and Stuart Bartlett were the men on target for Swifts.

Div 4B

HADDENHAM Rovers Reserves had a Ricardo Mayer double strike to thank as well as an impressive team display away to Cambridge Community Church, which saw them run out 2-1 victors on a very satisfying day for manager, Paul Newman.

Soham United Reserves continued their rich vein of form as they humbled Burwell Swifts Reserves 3-0. Jamie Palmer celebrated his birthday in style as he notched the first from six yards from a Rob Aveston corner. Persistent pressure from Ben Brown after 30 minutes doubled the lead as local boxer Shane Sadler, netted the second from 10 yards out. Brown completed the scoring after another Aveston cross to make it 10 points out of the last 12 for an ebullient Soham outfit.

Wicken Amateurs went down by the same 2-1 scoreline as they continue to struggle to find any kind of form following the winter break.

Div 5C

WITCHFORD '96 Reserves were denied a deserved victory at Waterbeach 'A' when a late penalty was awarded when they were 2-1 to the good, even though it struck their player flush on the chest. Unforgiving Waterbeach converted to make the final score two each after David Chase had struck twice for Witchford.

Languishing Little Downham Reserves had an appalling first-half against a young Willingham Reserves side and found themselves 5-1 down with only an arrow-like Nick Marsh free kick to celebrate.

Another two goals were quickly conceded before they were finally jolted into action as a Dan Hines rocket was too hot to handle for the Willingham 'keeper and lone striker Paul Bone scored a tap-in and a penalty at the end to give Swifts a little cheer for the challenges to come.