Saturday Football: Littleport clinch best ever’ victory
KERSHAW PREMIER DIVISION LITTLEPORT Town moved up to fifth spot in the table with a 3-1 victory at the expense of third-placed Cottenham United. Manager Dave Cullum described the result as: The best we ve had all season — possibly the best we ve had sin
LITTLEPORT Town moved up to fifth spot in the table with a 3-1 victory at the expense of third-placed Cottenham United.
Manager Dave Cullum described the result as: "The best we've had all season - possibly the best we've had since being in the Premier Division."
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Port were under intense pressure in the opening half, and it was no surprise to Cullum that they went a goal down. "We were defending quite deep," said the Town boss.
Cottenham took the lead with what Cullum described as "a towering header," and goalkeeper Mark Brown made a one-on-one save soon aftewards that kept the visitors in contention.
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Central midfielder Rob Foreman had a greater influence on the game in the second half, and after 55 minutes Richie Murfitt levelled the scores with a cool finish.
"They (Cottenham) started to get a bit rattled after that," said Cullum, and a first-time effort from Murfitt soon had the visitors in front at 2-1.
The hosts did their best to get back into contention, but with five minutes remaining Murfitt completed his hat-trick by lofting the ball home after a fine run down the left-wing, making the final score 3-1.
Murfitt and Jim Francis played particularly well for Littleport, and substitute Jack Jordan - making his first-team debut - also did well after coming on for injury victim Nicky Martin.
Port entertain bottom of the table Hemingfords United on Saturday, and Cullum is by no means over-confident about the result. "This will be a real test for us," said the Town manager, "and I'll be reminding them (the Port players) that our luckiest game of the season was snatching a draw over there."
Fordham, meanwhile, eased their relegation worries with a great 1-0 victory over high-flying Cambridge University Press.
"They pulverised us for 20 minutes," said Fordham secretary John Pryke, but Fordham held out thanks to the woodwork and a fine save from goalkeeper Jimmy Watson.
Fordham improved in the second period, and Ollie Foreman - who always looked dangerous on the break - had a great 25-yard strike saved before his side grabbed the winning goal six minutes from time.
Substitute John Sands provided a glorious pass, on his debut for the club, and Daren Pryke clipped the ball over the goalkeeper from 25 yards for the only goal of the game.
SENIOR DIVISION A
Soham Town Rangers Reserves got their season back on track with a 4-1 victory at Lakenheath.
SENIOR DIVISION B
Ely City Reserves extended their lead at the top of the table with an emphatic win at JM Sports, whilst their nearest pursuers Fulbourn Institute Reserves dropped points at Haddenham Rovers.
Dave Cornwell's free-kick gave City the lead after a poor opening spell, and Andy Moyes made it 2-0 with a header before Andrew Lee fired home number three from 12-yards.
JM pulled a goal back to make it 3-1 in the closing stages, but then had their goalkeeper sent off for throwing a punch at Liam Hart as City eased their way to the final whistle.
Ely Crusaders meanwhile kept their promotion hopes alive with two late goals in the home clash with Castle Camps.
They trailed 2-0 inside the opening 20 minutes, but pulled a goal back when Ben Fuller drove home from the edge of the penalty area,
Crusaders got back on level terms when Fuller scored again after Lee Moll had nodded down a Matt Brodie corner, but the visitors scored against the run of play to make it 3-2.
Ely came back again with a cool finish from Jonathan Brown in the 82nd minute, and with two minutes remaining Brodie curled a fabulous drive into the far corner of the net to make the final score 4-3.
Haddenham's 0-0 draw with Fulbourn Institute Reserves helped both Ely sides, and Soham United boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation by hammering fellow strugglers Great Chesterford 6-2 at home.
Chris Lam's opener was cancelled out as the visitors both missed and scored successive penalty kicks in establishing a 2-1 lead, but Sean Hogg's sensational 30-yarder made the interval score 2-2.
It was one-way traffic in the second half for Andy Parker's side however, and further goals from Lam and Hogg fired United into a 4-2 lead as Lee Heading made a difference on his return to action.
Neil Brosnan added a fifth goal from the penalty spot after Parker had been brought down, and Stephen Bell wrapped things up with goal number six in the closing stages.
"It was a must-win game for us," said the player-manager afterwards, "and so far we haven't played one side - apart from Ely Crusaders - who have been better than us."
Littleport Town Reserves at last showed some form in the league, with Lee Anderson scoring twice in a 4-0 victory over Eaton Socon Reserves.
Clive Lee and Rob Smart were also on target for the hosts, and 'Port also welcomed Ben Layn back from a lengthy lay-off after injury.
Isleham United fielded two new signings on Saturday, and one of them - David Holmes - scored twice in his side's 2-1 victory at Over Sports Reserves.
Holmes scored either side of the break, and although Over pulled a goal back in the closing stages it was Isleham - also parading ex-Wicken striker Sam Richardson - who held on to claim all three points.
Sutton United were also in action at Huntingdon United RGE, but found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline despite performing well in the second half.
Matthew Keys pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after Ed Ideson had been brought down, but Huntingdon were already three goals up at the time and never really looked likely to surrender the points.
Witchford '96 are still favourites to claim the Division 3B title after a comfortable 3-0 victory at the expense of local rivals Soham United Reserves.
Ally McDonald crossed for Aaron Spencer to head home the only goal of the opening 45 minutes, and Spencer doubled Witchford's advantage with a fine half-volley as soon as the second half got underway.
Michael Ward then wrapped things up with a fine 80th minute lob on his debut, and at this stage it looks like a straight title match between Witchford and Newmarket White Lion, who won 8-0 at Little Downham Swifts.
The Vine came through by the odd goal in nine against Huntingdon United RGE Reserves, and Fordham Reserves had two 'goals' disallowed before eventually securing a 1-1 draw at Hemingfords United A thanks to Duncan Precious.
Pymoor FC were the only local winners in this section, coming through by the odd goal in seven at the expense of visiting Barton Mills Reserves.
They trailed 3-0 at the break, but Greg Saberton started the fightback and 'Pip' Ball soon reduced the deficit to a single goal as Pymoor confidentally set about their task.
Substitute Tom Higgs played an influential role and scored the equaliser, and in the closing stages Sean Butcher grabbed the 4-3 winner to complete a marvellous comeback.
Short-handed Ely Crusaders Reserves crashed 5-0 at St Ives Town A, and Mepal Sports also lost without scoring as they ran leaders Wisbech St Mary Reserves close before eventually going down 2-0.
Burwell Swifts were involved in a scrappy game against local rivals Exning Athletic before eventually losing 2-1.
Tom Thatcher hit the post in the first half and new signing Chris Grant scored with his first touch after coming on as substitute, but Swifts were unable to claw back the deficit despite dominating the last 20 minutes.
Little Downham Swifts Reserves were the shock-merchants of the day in this section, as they held leaders Wisbech St Mary A to a 3-3 draw away from home.
Few would have expected lowly Swifts to gain a result at this particular venue, but Paul Bone's hat-trick ensured that Downham would earn a deserved share of the spoils.
The Vine Reserves went down by the odd goal in seven at Walsoken United, and Isleham United Reserves also lost by a single goal in their home clash with Newmarket Town A.
Nick Samuels put them 2-0 up with strikes either side of the break, but he subsequently made the mistake which allowed Newmarket to get back into the game.
They subsequently scored twice more to run out 3-2 winners, and the same scoreline saw Fenstanton Reserves take all three points at the expense of hosts Burwell Swifts Reserves.
Simon Hurrion missed a glorious first half chance before Fenstanton took the lead, but Alan Nash's right wing cross deceived the goalkeeper at the start of the second half to make it 1-1.
Burwell missed subsequent chances however, and the visitors established a 3-1 lead before Ollie Williams rounded the goalkeeper to pull another goal back towards the finish.