Local Football Round-up

LOCAL football round-up Premier League Cup LITTLEPORT Town s dreams of gaining three pieces of silverware this season fell at the first hurdle as they succumbed 2-0 at West Wratting in the semi-final of the Premier League Cup. Littleport could not find

LOCAL football round-up

Premier League Cup

LITTLEPORT Town's dreams of gaining three pieces of silverware this season fell at the first hurdle as they succumbed 2-0 at West Wratting in the semi-final of the Premier League Cup. Littleport could not find a way to win in a game littered with yellow cards but must not be disheartened as they could still pick up a pot or two this season as winning the League is very much a possibility, and they will also be contesting the final of the Cliff Bullen Challenge Cup at Cambridge City Football Club in April.

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FORDHAM pulled off a mighty victory at home to Waterbeach, winning 3-1 in their fight to avoid relegation from this section.

Johnny Flack put them in front before Beach pegged them back, but Matt Garner had other ideas as he put Fordham in front at the interval. Hero Flack, who has been in great form recently, doubled his own tally and Fordham's lead as he bagged another in the second-half to lead Fordham to a memorable and vital win.

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Cottenham United prevailed twice in four days against local opposition as they first beat Littleport Town away 2-1, with Sean Ambrose the lone Port scorer, in midweek and then handed out 4-0 drubbing to Ely City Reserves at home on the weekend. Ely's Reserves endured a setback in midweek as well as they folded 3-0 to League leaders Cambridge University Press in a bad week for the Robins.

Senior A

SOHAM Town Rangers Reserves played out two goal-less draws in the week as they held third placed Hardwick at home in midweek and then earned a point on their travels away to Debden on the Saturday.

Senior B

SOHAM United ground out a 2-1 victory at bottom side Bluntisham Rangers to keep the pressure on the three teams above them in this section.

Both teams failed to score in a mediocre first-half and this prompted some stern motivational words at half-time from Soham boss Andy Parker. Sparked into action by this speech, Dan Symonds soon laid the ball off for Jonathan Brown to open the scoring early in the second-half. Jamie Day doubled Soham's lead with a fine header from a free kick and this should have made the points safe but for a late consolation from Bluntisham.

This caused more consternation on the sideline and even more so when they had an equaliser struck off in injury time. Soham clung on though, to gain the maximum points from this outing.

Haddenham Rovers found it tough going against a strong Great Chesterford outfit as they were comprehensively beaten4-2. Chesterford were two goals up at half-time and even though Richard Grey struck on his comeback to halve the lead, the home side merely added two more. Will Ludbrooke scored his now customary close range goal to give Haddenham something else to remember from a mainly forgettable afternoon.

Div 1B

LITTLEPORT Town Reserves struggled to find any sort of form or rhythm on a very disappointing afternoon at home to Fenstanton, where Scott Dews' goal was the only highlight as they ferried in three at the other end.

Div 2B

A CONVINCING 2-0 victory for the Vine, their fifth win in a row, sees them move up to second in the league table.

In a flowing game between two passing sides, the Vine took the lead when James Smith lashed in the opening goal with an outstanding right foot effort. Grant Spencer doubled the Vine's lead in the second half with a clinical finish. The midfield duo of Jez Cutter and James Angier dominated the centre of the park, with wingers James Smith and Kinder Mann always a threat to Milton. With seven games left to play, the Vine now stand a good chance of winning promotion.

Pymoor handed out a thrashing to bottom club Needingworth United Reserves as they overwhelmed them 9-1. Young Lewis Chambers ran riot as he slammed in five including one wonder strike from 45 yards at an angle, Rob Parker, Steve Tuck and Tony Ure - with a rocket from the edge of the box - all chipped in and the icing on the cake was John Harvey's second goal in 10 seasons as Pymoor's side at last clicked into gear.

Witchford '96 earned a creditable 2-2 draw at home to third placed Doddington United as they led twice through Richard Martin only to be dragged back each time by a dogged United outfit.

Div 3B

JOHN Bartlett opened the scoring after 45 seconds with a 40-yard wonder strike as Little Downham romped to a 7-0 win over local rivals Fordham Reserves.

Downham leaped into fourth place in the table as Dan Bell (2), Arron Hodson (2), Kevin Parfitt and Scott Fuller all notched to take Swifts to an easy victory. Fuller spoilt his own afternoon somewhat by getting himself sent off for two bookable offences for dissent but this win nicely sets up Swifts' assault on promotion.

Stretham Hotspurs also kept the heat on the teams at the top of the table as they gained a narrow but valuable 1-0 win at Estover Park leaving them only one win away from third place. Super sub Oliver Langford was the scorer.

Mepal Sports grabbed a crucial 2-1 win against Bluntisham Rangers Reserves to steer them away from relegation and nearer to safety. Giles Peacock was felled for a first-half penalty and manfully picked himself up to score from the spot to give Sports a one goal lead.

An unlucky own goal put Rangers back in it as a shot deflected off Lewis Hall leaving goalkeeper Mike Wells stranded. The boot was soon on the other foot as fate and an opponent's knee leant a hand, as Peacock's effort hit a stricken Rangers defender's leg joint and looped into the net over their own keeper to give Mepal all the points.

Wes Reid kept his nerve for third-placed Ely Crusaders as he converted a penalty with five minutes remaining to share the spoils in an eight goal thriller away to Hemingfords United A. All seemed to be going Crusaders' way as they fought back from two goals down with Ali Msabaha netting a fine hattrick to put them in the lead. United leapfrogged into the lead again, though, before Luke Shearing was brought down in the penalty area and Reid saved the day with his crucial spot kick.

Div 4B

HADDENHAM Rovers Reserves trounced Milton 'A' 7-1 on an excellent afternoon for this up and down outfit.

Ally Gilbert and Richard Conway both hit doubles, Marcin Skowrski, Lewis Timbrell and the experienced Simon Jones all weighed in with one apiece to secure a fine win.

Soham United Reserves fabulous unbeaten run was finally ended in a controversial defeat away to a very physical West Row Gunners Reserves side and was not helped by some erratic officialdom. Soham started well and were on top for the first twenty minutes but were suffering from some of the challenges that were being inflicted upon them with no protection from the man in black. They went 1-0 down at half-time before Rob Aveston converted a stonewall penalty to bring them level. Gunners Reserves had the last laugh though, as they scored the winner with eight minutes remaining and ironically, given the aggressive Gunners approach to the game it was Soham that ended it with ten men, two further bookings and no points on a very frustrating afternoon.

Div 5C

MEPAL Sports Reserves recorded a close-run win away to Sutton United Reserves in this section's local derby with David Fisher scoring after 25 minutes to take away all the points for a Mepal side that face a mountain of fixtures in the next month and a half.

Isleham Reserves recorded a fine home 3-1 win against Swavesey Institute Reserves.

Isleham made the brighter start and put the visitors under a lot of pressure with Joey Bendall and Nick Samuels going close. Against the run of play, Swavesey broke and scored with a neat finish. Isleham continued to put pressure on the visitors and were rewarded with two quick goals just before half-time as Bendall and Gavin Brown netted to go in 2-1 up at the interval. Stand-in goalkeeper, Stuart King and his defence performed admirably to keep the lead intact as Swavesey surged forward in the second-half. Slightly against the run of play, Brown was then brought down in the box and a penalty awarded. Samuels coolly stepped up to the spot and made no mistake to earn Isleham a third goal and all three points on a good footballing afternoon.

Stretham Hotspurs kept the heat on the teams at the top of the table as they gained a narrow but valuable 1-0 win at Estover Park. Photo: BRIAN PURDY.

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