'Port floored by champion show
SATURDAY FOOTBALL By Steve Green PREMIER DIVISION GREAT Shelford all but sealed the championship after a resounding 5-0 victory against fourth-placed Littleport Town. We just didn t compete, said Port boss Dave Cullum after his side s embarrassing hom
By Steve Green
GREAT Shelford all but sealed the championship after a resounding 5-0 victory against fourth-placed Littleport Town.
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"We just didn't compete," said 'Port boss Dave Cullum after his side's embarrassing home defeat, adding: "Five-nil was a let-off for us."
Fordham, meanwhile, produced what club secretary John Pryke described as a "lacklustre" performance as they were beaten at home by local rivals Newmarket Town Reserves.
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Former Fordham player Mark Blair put the visitors in front after just seven minutes, and Newmarket added a second goal soon afterwards with Fordham appealing for offside.
Jose Montero gave the home side some hope with a goal immediately after the break, but The Jockeys hit back to make it 3-1 and they added a fourth on the break.
Substitute Jonathan Cowling grabbed a consolation for the hosts.
"We are starting to let ourselves down after what has been a reasonable season," said Pryke. "They (Newmarket) are a side we should have beaten."
SENIOR DIVISION A
LEADERS Ely City Reserves drew 0-0 with fellow contenders Wisbech Town Reserves, but their grip on the title was strengthened by the fact that nearest rivals Hundon lost 2-0 at Fulbourn Institute.
"It wasn't the best of games," said co-manager Dale Spring after City's goalless match at Wisbech.
"We dominated it and had the majority of possession and chances, but they had a good chance to win it with 10 minutes remaining."
Goalkeeper Leigh Follen remained alert, however, managing to smother the ball as a Wisbech forward tried to go round him in the box.
SENIOR DIVISION B
SOHAM United remain in trouble near the foot of the table after an astonishing 9-4 home defeat at the hands of title-chasing Whittlesford United.
"It was 8-0 at one point," said Soham manager Andy Parker. "We just could not defend. They had a new player up front and just tore us to shreds."
Jonathan Brown (2), Jim Brown and Sean Hogg gave the hosts some measure of consolation as they edged the second half 4-3, but Parker's men will need to do better than this if they are to avoid the drop.
"We've got six games left and five are at home," Parker said, "but we've still got to play three of the top sides."
LITTLEPORT Town Reserves remain top after surviving two defensive blunders in the 3-2 win at struggling Godmanchester Rovers Reserves.
Mark Talbot, Nathan Bennett and Cavan Bennett fired them into a 3-1 lead, but Neil Cullum's miss-kick gifted Rovers another goal and his side were hanging on at the finish.
SUTTON United striker Matthew Keys helped himself to five goals as the promotion contenders took maximum points from clashes with Hemingfords United Reserves and Lode.
His second-half double was enough to secure a hard-earned 2-0 midweek win at Hemingfords, and on Saturday his hat-trick was instrumental in the 4-1 home victory against Lode.
Ely City A also took six points at the expense of Stretham Hotspurs and Over Sports Reserves.
Robert Smart scored the only goal in the midweek derby match against Stretham, and on Saturday there were two penalties and a goal direct from a corner as City beat Over 4-2 away.
Stephen Tuck converted both spot-kicks, and Matt Brodie scored from the quadrant to go with a Jamie Gayfer strike.
Witchford '96, meanwhile, conceded a goal direct from a corner as they lost an even encounter at home to Needingworth United Reserves.
Aaron Spencer's lob cancelled out Needingworth's opener, but the subsequent corner flew in straight over the head of stand-in goalkeeper Robbie Scarrow, and the visitors then made it 3-1 before Ben Barnwell pulled it back to 3-2 with an excellent free-kick.
LITTLE Downham Swifts had central defender Scott Fuller red-carded for a professional foul in the home clash with Soham United Reserves, but his side still ran out comfortable 6-1 winners.
Jamie Linney and Luke Williams both scored twice as Swifts established a 4-1 lead prior to Fuller's dismissal, but Downham remained in control as Linney completed his hat-trick with a cheeky lob, and substitute Graham Bell wrapped things up with goal number six.
Swifts had travelled to leaders Pymoor FC in midweek, but after establishing an early 2-0 lead through Linney and Williams, they shipped five goals in the second half to surrender the points.
Tom Higgs and Sean Butcher got Pymoor back on terms, and further goals from Greg Saberton (2) and David Harvey completed the comeback.
Pymoor had a tough match at Hemingfords United A, on Saturday, but eventually came through the test by a 2-0 margin.
Stephen 'Pip' Ball rounded the goalkeeper after breaking behind the home defence, and Harvey lobbed in number two after collecting a long free-kick from Tony Ure.
The Vine made it five wins in a row with successive 3-0 home victories over Lakenheath Reserves and Huntingdon United RGE Reserves, and Fordham Reserves did both Pymoor and The Vine a favour by overcoming Wisbech St Mary Reserves by the odd goal.
Ian Butterworth opened Fordham's account and then made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after having a previous appeal turned down.
Grant Pearson restored the home side's two-goal cushion after Wisbech had pulled one back, and Clive Boucheron did likewise with a splendid 20-yarder before the visitors replied again to make it 4-3.
The referee played 10 minutes of added time, but Fordham managed to hold on to their slender lead.
HADDENHAM Rovers Reserves made it nine league wins in a row on Saturday by winning 4-3 at the expense of Milton A, but they are still not safe from relegation.
Darren Woodbridge put them in front initially, but the visitors levelled on the stroke of half-time.
Sixteen-year-old Robert Baxter then volleyed the goalkeeper's poor clearance straight back past him for a fine opportunist strike, and Alasdair Gilbert made it 3-1 as Haddenham took control.
Jamie Thompson then added a fourth goal for Rovers, but they fell asleep near the finish and almost paid for their complacency as Milton pulled a couple back to set up a nervy finale.
In the same section, Sutton United Reserves went down 2-0 at Swavesey Institute Reserves, and Mepal Sports also failed to score as they were held at Earith United.
Mepal now trail leaders March Rangers by five points, but they still have three games in hand.
Burwell Swifts remain hot on the heels of the leading sides after a 4-1 victory at the expense of West Row Gunners Reserves.
Ollie Williams rolled in the opener but the visitors equalised after Lol Maskell had failed with a penalty kick.
Man of the match Glenn Carman saw his effort helped into the net by a defender to restore Burwell's lead, however, and Danny Jones assumed responsibility for the next spot-kick to make it 3-1.
Maskell then atoned for his earlier miss by firing Tom Thatcher's tapped free-kick into the top corner from 30 yards.
Ely Crusaders were awarded the points after one-time leaders Wisbech St Mary A failed to raise a team for Saturday's fixture.
LITTLEPORT Town A made ground on second-placed Fenstanton Reserves, beating Walsoken United 2-0 at home while their promotion rivals could only draw 2-2 with Wicken Amateurs.
Jamie Dews and Jamie Doswell (penalty) were the players on target for 'Port, while at Fenstanton the hosts also looked certain winners after establishing a 2-0 lead at the start of the second period.
Neil Masters reduced the arrears with a 30-yard shot over the goalkeeper following Jamie Beeton's quick 68th-minute throw-in, and with 10 minutes remaining Jamie Palmer equalised with a close-range header after a James Petersen corner had been nodded across goal by Masters.
Burwell Swifts Reserves also shared the spoils in their match against struggling Dataracks Elite.
Aaron Crisp beat the goalkeeper to his left for Burwell's opener, but his side conceded a goal direct from a corner as Dataracks equalised and then went in front.
Glen King poked home from eight yards to make it 2-2 after Ian Dalton had flicked on a John Irvine corner, and man of the match Brennan Powley beat the keeper with a cleverly flighted free-kick to make the final score 3-3 after Dataracks had led again.
Isleham United Reserves won 2-1 at Longstanton Reserves, but Little Downham Swifts Reserves were unable to raise a team for their midweek visit to title favourites Outwell Swifts Reserves.
REG HAIGH/ARTHUR PECK CUP SEMI-FINAL
THE Vine Reserves failed in their bid to reach the final, going down 4-2 after twice leading at Great Shelford A.
Sam Morgan and Justin Challis fired the visitors into a 2-1 interval lead, but three goals in the last 15 minutes clinched the tie for Shelford.