Now ’Port are champing at the bit
PREMIER DIVISION LITTLEPORT Town put themselves back in the title race by lowering the colours of reigning champions Great Shelford on Saturday. Shelford were on top in the opening 45 minutes, but it was the visitors who went in front courtesy of a Nigel
LITTLEPORT Town put themselves back in the title race by lowering the colours of reigning champions Great Shelford on Saturday.
Shelford were on top in the opening 45 minutes, but it was the visitors who went in front courtesy of a Nigel Smith penalty following a foul on Will Ludbrooke.
Sheflord smashed a penalty against the bar and the score remained 1-0 at the break.
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In the second period it was Littleport's turn to have the wind at their backs, but a needless foul by Luke Butcher allowed Shelford to draw level from the penalty spot.
Jamie Linney then cut inside two defenders before scoring with a rasping shot off the underside of the bar to put his side 2-1 ahead, and central defender Dave Beeton got the slightest touch on a corner to give the hosts an unassailable 3-1 lead.
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Linney received his marching orders for kicking the ball away at a free-kick with five minutes remaining, but Shelford were also reduced to 10 men as a result of the taker's verbal tirade against Linney.
There were more missed penalties and red cards in the games involving Ely City Reserves and Fordham.
Ely were reduced to 10 men by David Harvey's 20th minute dismissal in the match at Cambridge University Press, but took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Andrew Lee converted a cross from Joe Barham.
A 70th minute spot-kick for Press was turned away by City keeper Leigh Follen, but in the sixth minute of added time he was finally beaten and it finished 1-1.
Fordham proved too strong for arch-rivals Newmarket Town Reserves.
Daren Pryke set up player-manager Matt Almond to score after just 10 minutes, but other chances - including a Pryke penalty - went begging before a cross-shot from young Spike Murkin found the net via the post and a visiting defender.
Newmarket went down to 10 men after Almond was hauled down by the last defender, but the Jockeys almost immediately hit back to make it 2-1.
Pryke's deflected 20-yarder restored Fordham's two-goal cushion however, and Almond set up Pryke for his side's fourth in the closing stages.
SENIOR DIVISION A
THERE was yet another missed penalty on Saturday, this time in the match between Mildenhall Town Reserves and Soham Town Rangers Reserves.
Jonathan Brown's first-half effort for Soham cannoned off the bar, but he made amends by slotting home a quickly-taken Tommy Crawford free-kick 10 minutes from time for the only goal of the game.
SENIOR DIVISION B
HADDENHAM Rovers stopped the rot with a home victory at the expense of Milton.
Kenny Holmes led the way with a hat-trick, and he was joined on the scoresheet by Phil Harle as Rovers ran out 4-1 winners.
Littleport Town Reserves lost 3-1 at Great Chesterford despite a goal from Jason Walker, and Soham United stay in the bottom two after losing 1-0 at Saffron Crocus.
ELY City A lost their first league match of the season and were knocked off top spot in the process as they went down by the odd goal in five at Bottisham Sports.
Matt Brodie and Ben Cross were on target for the losing side.
SUTTON United continued their goal-fuelled rise up the table with an emphatic 8-1 success at Milton Reserves.
Matthew Keys opened the scoring with a rebound effort after his initial spot-kick had been saved, and he went on to complete yet another hat-trick for the team.
Sam Oliver (2), Lee Read, Amandio and Craig Faux were the other players on the scoresheet, but Read missed a spot-kick in the second half.
Witchford '96 also won away from home in this section, but were made to work hard for their 4-1 victory at the expense of Over Sports Reserves.
Robbie Scarrow's first-half opener was cancelled out by a penalty following Ally McDonald's handball, but the Scot made amends soon afterwards with a snappy volley from the edge of the box.
Richard Martin's corner was then met by Colin Coulson's bullet header to make the score 3-1, and Aaron Spencer wrapped things up with a curling 20-yarder after receiving a pass from Sean Aldridge.
Isleham United left Lode pointless and bottom after beating them 2-0, but The Vine went down by the odd goal in seven at home to league leaders Hemingfords United Reserves.
ELY Crusaders returned to form with a 3-1 win at Little Downham Swifts.
They fell behind initially, but Sam Rolph levelled after Micky Warren's shot had been parried by the goalkeeper, and a drive from James Collins put them 2-1 in front.
Warren then added a third before the interval, and that proved to be the final goal.
Title-contenders Mepal Sports edged out Brampton Reserves 1-0 thanks to a 70th minute winner from Chris Silvain, and Fordham Reserves won 6-0 at Soham United Reserves with goals from Clive Boucheron (3), Mark Hacking, Jamie Peacock and Iain Butterworth.
Haddenham Rovers Reserves meanwhile lost 5-2 at Huntingdon United RGE Reserves despite goals from Robert Baxter and Daniel Duffy.
BURWELL Swifts saw their 100 per cent league record ended by unbeaten leaders Fenstanton Reserves.
Michael Edwards scored after two minutes following a Lol Maskell corner, and Carl Saxby added a second from Nathan Hull's pass midway through the half.
Fenstanton levelled before half-time however, and eventually snatched a 3-3 draw with a late penalty after Hull had restored Burwell's lead.
Wicken Amateurs came from a goal down to beat The Vine Reserves, who led from the ninth minute through Leon Collins.
Jamie Palmer - who hit the woodwork three times in the match - equalised in the 58th minute from Josh Woodroffe's header, and the same combination saw Palmer strike again seven minutes later.
A back-pass/goalkeeping blunder gifted Wicken their third goal, and Danny Wight added number four before Woodroffe made it 5-1 in the closing stages.
Littleport Town A lost 5-0 at Outwell Swifts Reserves.
A FINE goalkeeping performance from Dave Lowe failed to prevent Little Downham Swifts Reserves from losing 4-2 at Longstanton Reserves, where Dean Martin and Ian Timbers were the consolation scorers.
Burwell Swifts Reserves also finished two goals adrift in their match at Wisbech Fen Stars, with Tom Thatcher the lone marksman in a 3-1 setback.
TOM Hoppitt grabbed a hat-trick for Ely Park Rangers Reserves as the Division 1A contenders twice came from behind to beat Exning United.
Steve Pollard mis-hit the opener, but the visitors led 2-1 and 3-2 either side of Hoppitt's first goal.
Hoppitt made it 3-3 however, and Stuart Barbour grabbed number four before Hoppitt wrapped up the points.
Ely's Senior Division first team won 4-1 at Arbury with goals from Martin Gray, Lee Abbs and a home defender, and in the Second Division of the Tucker Gardner Partnership league another Ely team - Pymoor Rangers - won 5-0 at Littleport Rovers.
Stephen Footer (2), Joe Featherstone, Dale Spring and an own goal eased Rangers to the points in that one, but back in the Sunday League there was a 3-1 home defeat for 2A outfit Village Inn at home to YMCA Cambridge.
In the Cambs FA Millenium Cup progress was made by Wilburton Albion who beat Chippenham 9-0, but Fox Burwell are out after a 6-2 defeat at Banyers.