Local football roundup
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SOHAM Town Rangers Reserves stayed on track in their quest for promotion with a vital 1-0 win at second-bottom side Needingworth United.
Ryan Fitchett was the man on target for Rangers with his second of the campaign, meaning his side lie two points behind their immediate rivals with two games in hand.
Soham United are all but safe at the other end of the table as Craig Neal’s ninth of the season earned Andy Parker’s side a crucial 1-1 draw at home to Milton.
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ELY City Reserves’ season continued to deteriorate as they lost 7-1 to Fulbourn Institute.
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It leaves Gareth Arter’s downtrodden troops still second-bottom with just five games to play.
Littleport Town fared no better as they lost 1-0, this time the victorious visitors were lowly Eaton Socon. Dave Cullum’s men have lost four league and cup games on the trot and have not won for six matches in a worrying passage of the season for Town.
LITTLEPORT Town Reserves’ march towards promotion gathered momentum as they struck five for the second week running to go a 10 points clear of their rivals as they hammered Chatteris Town Reserves 5-0.
Charlie Bowditch, 17, helped get Port under way after only a few minutes when he was tripped in the box, allowing Richie Murfitt to slot home a textbook penalty.
Ben Layn doubled the lead with a header from a corner on the half-hour mark and Bowditch was on hand to score as he dispatched a neat finish just five minutes later.
It stayed 3-0 to Littleport until half-time and the second half continued as the first, with Port dominating possession and conceding no ground at the back.
Disaster then struck further for Chatteris as their keeper was sent off after 60 minutes for handling outside his area, and the salt was rubbed into their wounds by Murfitt who scored from the resulting free-kick.
Murfitt went on to complete his hat-trick with another classy finish.
WITCHFORD 96 are another side who seemed destined to be playing at higher level next season as they continued their assault on the promotion spots with a superb 3-1 victory over Milton Reserves.
Aaron Spencer was again on target with all three goals and his side lie level on points with third-placed Doddington, but their goal difference of 41 means they are second with just six games remaining for manager Martin Skilbeck to successfully navigate.
FORDHAM’S hopes of getting out of this section suffered a big blow as they lost 3-1 at similarly-placed outfit Wisbech St Mary A.
Fordham face challenges from behind having played more games than their rivals and they need to make up ground on the teams above them.
One of those challengers are Mepal Sports and they kept themselves in the promotion picture with a solid 2-0 victory over struggling Hemingfords United A. It keeps them in touching distance of the top two if they can get maximum points from their games in hand.
Stetham Hotspurs’ challenge has been lost for a few weeks but they still keep fighting and were involved in a six-goal thriller at West Row Gunners Reserves, to take a point that leaves them wedged in mid-table.
Ed Dickinson grabbed a brace for Hotspurs and Michael Beeby claimed his seventh of the season as Stretham earned a good point on the road.
Little Downham Swifts’ season appears to be drifting aimlessly to a conclusion as they were soundly beaten at Exning Athletic by three goals to one to leave them fifth from bottom in the table.
WICKEN Amateurs are another side whose season has become meaningless as they are stuck in mid-table and have only four more games to get through before they can re-group and try again next season.
Their predicament showed as they were beaten by the hungrier promotion-chasing Benwick Athletic, 5-1. Sam Richardson’s goal on 75 minutes for Wicken was scant consolation on another disappointing afternoon for the Amateurs.
Haddenham Rovers’ worrying run of form is starting to take on ominous proportions as they were crushed 6-0 by Fenstanton Reserves – a loss that sees them slip down to a point away from the relegation zone. Manager Paul Norman must work some magic to inspire his team in the next half-dozen games so they can pull away from the mire.
WITCHFORD 96 Reserves moved menacingly into third place, only a point behind second with two games in hand, as they beat Isleham United Reserves 2-0 to extend their unbeaten run to three games.
Witchford have four games to overhaul second-placed Waterbeach A and, hopefully, gain promotion. Alex Minall’s double strike was enough to beat United and take his side to within a point of claiming that all-important second place.
In the clash of the bottom two sides in the league, Prickwillow bounced back from last week’s humiliation to record a morale-boosting 3-2 victory at bottom side Swavesey Institute Reserves.
Striker Kevin Bedingfield netted in both the first and last minutes to clinch the victory for his team and, sandwiched in between, Marcel Hall claimed his eighth of the season.
MEPAL Sports Reserves have been knocked off the top spot after they could only draw 3-3 at Wimblington A as all their promotion rivals won and leapfrogged them in the process.
It could have been worse but for Jordan Lee, who netted twice more for his side in the 65th and crucially the 90th minute to get his side a point. Mepal were not helped by Scott Connop’s red card but they were aided by an own goal from Wimblington after 63 minutes to open their account.