Reserves of strength as Lenham sees red
SATURDAY FOOTBALL CREAKE CHARITY SHIELD FINAL Littleport Town Reserves 1 Wisbech St Mary 0 Jordan Lenham was the hero – and then almost the villain – as Littleport Town Reserves completed a promotion and cup double and claimed the Creake Charity Shield fo
CREAKE CHARITY SHIELD FINAL
Littleport Town Reserves 1 Wisbech St Mary 0
Jordan Lenham was the hero - and then almost the villain - as Littleport Town Reserves completed a promotion and cup double and claimed the Creake Charity Shield for the first time in the club's history.
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In a keenly fought contest, 'Port had the better of the early exchanges and went a goal up after 20 minutes.
Lenham chased down a long ball which the covering defender looked odds-on to win, and when the Wisbech player lost control the 'Port midfielder took advantage with a rasping left-foot drive from the corner of the penalty area.
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Saints threw everything at their opponents during the second-half, but seldom looked like breaking down a 'Port defence that was well marshalled by Luke Butcher, Paul Starling and Neil Cullum.
'Port also defended well as a team - so much so that goalkeeper Andy Smart barely had a save to make throughout the 90 minutes.
Lenham - who had earlier been cautioned for kicking the ball away - was red-carded 10 minutes from time for a lunging tackle after he had lost possession, but this failed to loosen Littleport's defensive stranglehold on the tie and they held on comfortably to their 1-0 advantage until the final whistle.
IN RECENT seasons the top four in the Kershaw Premier League have been invited to compete in the Cambs Invitation Cup, but Littleport Town - who finished fourth this season - may be set to miss the party.
'Port manager Dave Cullum has been informed that next season - bizarrely - the top three sides will now be invited, alongside the winners of the Premier League Cup. That would mean a place for Histon A, who finished one place behind 'Port in the table but who beat them in last week's Premier League Cup Final.
"It just doesn't make sense," said Town boss Cullum when I spoke to him earlier this week. "You only have to play three games to reach the final of the League Cup, whereas we achieved fourth place in the league over an entire season."
But there seems little prospect of an appeal. "It's an invitation cup," explained Cullum, "so the Cambs FA can invite who they want. But how they can have Histon and Histon A in the same competition is beyond me."
Perhaps they should re-name it the 'Five-mile radius of Cambridge Cup'.
LTFC 1906 left it until the final minute of their final league game before clinching the 4A championship at the expense of local rivals Wilburton Albion.
On Friday night the Littleport-based team had thrashed Wicken Maids Head 13-4 with Gary Murfitt (3), Nathan Bennett (3), Luke Butcher (2), Sean Monigatti (2), Andrew Smart and Andrew Berry amongst the players who outscored Nathan Sherriff (2), L Sherwood and S Lambert for Wicken.
Then on Sunday came the title-decider, with favourites Wilburton - having dropped only two points in a hitherto unbeaten league campaign - needing just a draw against their closest rivals, who had to win.
Mel Pryer's header gave Albion the early initiative, but with less than 10 minutes remaining Jordan Lenham nodded in a Neil Cullum cross to equalise.
LTFC threw everything at their hosts and Cullum hit the underside of the bar before, deep into added time Lenham bundled the ball home for a dramatic winner.
Ely Park Rangers Reserves have virtually secured the Division 2A crown with victory against basement club Boathouse Rangers.
Peter Munns scored four times in the opening 10 minutes as Rangers quickly assumed command. Steve Pollard's hat-trick, Richie Murfitt (2) and goals from Darren Brodie, Simon Farrow and Ian Walters secured a 12-1 win.
On Sunday they faced their closest rivals Magpies 2001, but the threat to their leadership was purely mathematical owing to their massively superior goal difference.
Rangers trailed 1-0 at the break but a disputed penalty kick from Leigh Follen put Ely back on level terms.
Pollard put Rangers ahead and Murfitt lobbed the keeper to make it 3-1.
Magpies scored a consolation in the 88th minute, but Rangers were at last able to celebrate their league and cup double.
Danny Mitchell and Darren Brodie are taking over the managerial reins next season, with the first team likely to be run by the Brady Stone and Martin Gray combination.
Ashwell - already crowned champions - came up three short of their 100 league goals target despite beating 2004/2005 champions Triple-S last Sunday.
Ben Fuller (2) and Wayne Bell were on target for the visitors, but they ended up 7-3 adrift at the final whistle.