Local football roundup: week ending Feb 18

All the action from across the district

Cliff Bullen Challenge Cup

YOUNG John Bartlett kept his nerve to smash home the vital penalty that sent Littleport Town through to the final of the Cliff Bullen Cup at the expense of Great Shelford.

Port will face Hardwick in the final and deservedly so as they dominated the first 35 minutes and this period saw Michael Emms wrestled to the ground in the penalty area allowing Bartlett to net his seventh of the season.

Port should have scored more as the normally dead-eyed Michael Ward failed to convert a one-on-one after five minutes and could have been made to pay for this as Shelford hit the post just before half-time.

The second half was largely even until Town created more opportunities through Bartlett, who shot over when through on goal, and David Cornwall who rattled the crossbar with a powerful header.

From there on in Littleport ran down the clock and claimed the victory.

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Kershaw Premier League

ELY City Reserves came back to earth with a bump after last week’s win as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat to fifth placed Foxton. A poor match with little goalmouth action ensued and the deadlock was finally broken in the 65th minute when Foxton capitalised on a defender’s error to poke home for the win.

Kershaw Senior A

SOHAM Town Rangers Reserves recorded a fine at lowly Needingworth United, with prolific assistant manager Steve Bugg notching his 15th and 16th goals of the season.

Peter Hinde scored his first of the season to join Bugg on the scoresheet for this vital three points that keeps fifth placed Rangers hot on the heels of their promotion rivals.

Soham United grabbed a vital 4-3 victory against Wisbech Town Reserves in a barnstorming display.

They came from a goal down three times to sneak past Town for a crucial three points in their quest to avoid relegation.

Ben Brown volleyed in the equaliser after Wisbech opened the scoring and Ben Fuller levelled once more after Soham fell 2-1 behind shortly after. United then leaked another goal before Mark Allen produced a wonder goal to level for a third time. It was left to Fuller to round off a wonderful fightback as he scored the winner from a free kick to give Soham the narrow victory. Gav Wiseman and the whole of the back four were outstanding throughout a rollercoaster match.

Senior B

BOTTOM side Ely City A managed their second win of the season as they ran out 3-2 over Lakenheath Reserves.

An own goal from a Jamie Gayfer shot accounted for the first goal for City but a lapse of concentration allowed Heath to equalise just 30 seconds before half-time.

This rocked the Robins third string and they soon conceded another to go behind.

Matt Brodie’s deflected free kick drew Ely level again and this led to the game opening up before matters were settled by City’s Jamie Smith and Ant Brolia who showed some great skill down the wing before releasing Will Ludbrooke to slide in the winner.

Division 1B

HADDENHAM Rovers ran out 2-1 winners in a tight game against Bluntisham Rangers that saw them consolidate their seventh position in the table.

Kieran Grainger’s fantastic 30 yard volley put Rovers in the lead and it stayed 1-0 until half-time. Bluntisham evened the scores after 60 minutes before a fabulous 45-yard chip from Bruno Hermenegildo proved to be the worthy winner for Rovers.

Division 2B

TABLE toppers Witchford ’96 were the narrow winners in the battle at the head of the table against second placed Earith United.

The game was ultimately settled by Callum Falconer’s first goal of the season which came after just five minutes of a game that was tarnished by a poor playing surface and two Witchford players being shown a red card.

The nine men held on though for Witchford and they now lead the chasing pack by six points.

Matthew Keys’ 10th of the season was the only bright spot on a harrowing afternoon for Sutton United as they lost 5-1 at Doddington United.

The Vine’s indifferent season continued as they were humbled 3-0 at third placed Burwell Swifts, which leaves them looking anxiously over their shoulder at the relegation zone.

Division 3B

IN this week’s 3B local derby, Mepal Sports out-muscled Fordham to record a fine 2-1 win that sees them maintain their third position in the league.

David Fisher scored direct from a freekick to give Mepal the lead but Fordham got one back as a corner was cleared to Johnny Blecher who volleyed home. Guy Habbin then got in on the act with a glided header that made it 2-1 for Sports at half-time. It stayed that way until the end to give Mepal another vital win.

Little Downham Swifts made it eight games unbeaten as they toppled league leaders Exning United 4-0 in the result of the day in this section.

Scott Dews continued his hot streak in front of goal with his 13th and 14th goals of the season and Dan Bell and Callum Butcher were also on target for the resurgent Swifts. Downham’s midfield were very strong on a great day for the fourth placed Swifts.

Stretham Hotspurs unbeaten run stretched to four games after they thrashed bottom club Hemingfords United A, 6-1.

Division 4B

MATT Sore was the main man for Wicken Amateurs as they easily overcame hosts Cottenham United A by eight goals without reply. Sore was on target four times as he made full use of his roving role and Cottenham had no answer to his wing play and finishing power. Josh Woodroffe scored his second goal in three games in the second half and it was two-goal Michael Mackanza that got Wicken underway with two cool first half strikes after 15 and 40 minutes. Leon Kirk’s first goal of the season ended the scoring on a fine afternoon for promotion hopefuls Wicken.

Longstanton Reserves were the comfortable winners at home to Soham United Reserves as they won 2-0.

Division 5C

HIGH-FLYING Witchford ‘96 Reserves travelled to tenth placed Isleham United Reserves and were surprisingly beaten 3-0 as their promotion chase suffered an unlikely blip.

Little Downham Swifts Reserves put on a much better performance at home to Waterbeach ‘A’ but it again ended in defeat as they lost 5-2.

Dickie Driver and evergreen Ray Miller were on target for Swifts but player manager Brian Halliwell also joined them on the scoresheet as he netted at the wrong end on another miserable afternoon for Downham.

Sutton United Reserves also endured an unhappy afternoon as they were swept aside 7-0 by league leaders Willingham Wolves.

Division 5D

MEPAL Sports Reserves lost 3-1 at Manea United Reserves as their promotion hopes appear to be slipping away.

Jordan Lee’s 24th minute strike was not enough to save Sports from another harmful defeat.