SATURDAY FOOTBALL: Three-sey home win for Soham
KERSHAW SENIOR DIVISION A Soham Town Rangers Reserves put themselves firmly in the Senior Division A promotion picture with a 3-0 home win against Wisbech Town Reserves. Alex Irvine, Paul Jones and Matt Ogden were the players on target, and Soham manager
Soham Town Rangers Reserves put themselves firmly in the Senior Division A promotion picture with a 3-0 home win against Wisbech Town Reserves.
Alex Irvine, Paul Jones and Matt Ogden were the players on target, and Soham manager Steve Bye felt that the result was long overdue for his side.
"We've been playing some great football, but have not been scoring," said Bye afterwards. "They (Wisbech) never got into it, but we played them off the park to be honest."
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Littleport Town secured their fourth win in five Premier Division outings by defeating bottom of the table Hemingfords United in convincing style.
"It was a comfortable win really," said 'Port boss Dave Cullum after witnessing his side's 6-2 victory, "and within 10 minutes you could see we were going to win."
The visitors enjoyed a good spell of possession before Richie Murfitt's shot somehow eluded the goalkeeper's grasp to give 'Port the lead, and he then doubled the advantage with a left-foot lob-volley.
Murfitt was then brought down, but instead of giving the youngster his hat-trick chance Nigel Smith stepped up to dispatch the resulting spot-kick.
Impressive Jack Jordan finished neatly to put the hosts further in front, and although Hemingfords hit the target either side of the interval to make it 4-2 there was never any doubt about the final outcome.
Smith beat three players before ramming the ball into the top corner of the net, and he then completed his treble with another penalty after Rob Foreman had been bundled over.
Sixteen-year-old Gary Eastwood came on as substitute to make his first team debut, and he looked the part despite playing out of position on the right side of midfield.
"Nigel (Smith) worked hard and deserved his hat-trick," concluded Cullum, "and overall our finishing was really good."
Short-handed Fordham expected little from their trip to Waterbeach, and with six first-teamers missing they duly went down by a 2-0 margin.
Fordham had their chances, but the hosts grabbed a goal in each half to claim the points. "The Reserve players that came in gave their all," said club secretary John Pryke afterwards, "but it's disappointing because they (Waterbeach) are a team we would expect to take points off."
SENIOR DIVISION B
Ely Crusaders' high-scoring exploits continued with an odd-goal-in-nine victory at struggling Sawston United Reserves, but they actually played better than the scoreline suggests.
Seventeen-year-old Jonathan Brown took his season's tally to 10 with a brace, and he was joined on the scoresheet by Matt Brodie (2), and Michael King, as Crusaders survived a second half Sawston revival to win 5-4.
"Generally speaking, it was a good performance," said Ely's Vaughan Moll after the game.
Haddenham Rovers have lost two goalkeepers through injury in recent weeks, and on Saturday they lost a third when Paul Burton suffered a gash to his knee at Comberton United.
Haddenham battled to stay in contention, but eventually conceded two goals to surrender the points.
CUP QUARTER FINAL
Littleport Town Reserves are still marooned at the bottom of the 1B table nine points adrift of safety, but on Saturday they reached their second semi-final of the campaign by beating Duxford United 2-1 away from home.
Stuart Seekings and Clive Lee were the players on target for 'Port, but the visitors were frequently under pressure and were ultimately thankful for a series of fine saves from goalkeeper Andrew Smart.
Sutton United moved up to second spot in the table after twice coming from behind to take the spoils against Lode.
Ed Ideson scored in the first half, but Sutton still trailed 2-1 at the break and by no means looked a certainty to get back into the game.
Peter Wallace equalised when his mis-hit shot was helped into the net by a Lode defender however, and further goals from player-manager Sam Oliver (2), Matthew Keys and substitute Will Ludbrooke - with a cracking drive - made the final score 6-2 in favour of the hosts.
Ely City A also came from a goal down before claiming all three points in their match at Over Sports Reserves.
City trailed at the interval and then survived a second half penalty kick before going on to win 3-1 with a hat-trick from experienced striker Steve Pollard.
Stretham Hotspurs entertained St Ives Town A, but never really recovered from going 2-0 down in the first seven minutes.
Richard Gray responded with a first-time shot from outside the box, and captain John Lewis again reduced the deficit to a single goal after St Ives had led 3-1, but other chances went begging and the visitors eventually came through 4-2.
Witchford '96 strengthened their position at the top of the table with an excellent 5-1 victory at Fordham Reserves.
Aaron Spencer scored twice before Ben Barnwell made the interval score 3-0 with a deflected shot, and he then completed his hat-trick when the ball broke loose from a Ross Spencer free-kick.
Fordham pulled one back through an Ian Butterworth penalty, but Aaron Spencer and Michael Ward combined for Ross Spencer to score Witchford's fifth goal in the closing stages.
Soham United Reserves beat Dullingham 4-2 at home, but Little Downham Swifts lost by the odd goal in five at Brampton Reserves despite scoring twice through young Sam Murfitt.
Matt Johannson scored within 48 seconds as Mepal Sports ran out convincing winners at Willingham Reserves.
His early opener was cancelled out when an underhit Darren Murfitt back-pass let in Willingham for the equaliser, but Murfitt made amends with a great run and scoring shot less than two minutes later.
Johannson made it 3-1 at the break, and Rob Rudolph wrapped things up with a scrambled fourth towards the finish.
Haddenham Rovers also scored four times to win an ill-tempered match at home to local rivals Wicken Amateurs.
Robert Day and Alan Harding (penalty) put the Amateurs 2-1 ahead, and Haddenham looked down and out when their goalkeeper was sent off for a foul outside the box - particularly when Neil Bulman dispatched the resulting free-kick into the net.
Day's attempted clearance rebounded into Wicken's net off an opponent to give Rovers a life-line however, and Mark Tuck's unfortunate own goal made it 3-3 before 10-man Haddenham grabbed a late 4-3 winner.
Pymoor FC remain on the fringes of the 4B promotion race after goals from Greg Saberton (3), Tom Higgs (2), 'Pip' Ball, David Harvey and Jason Cridford secured their 8-3 victory at Exning Athletic, and Ely Crusaders also won their home clash with Barton Mills Reserves.
Luke Schunmann was brought down after five minutes and missed the resulting penalty, but Jim Rolph and substitute Jason Fretwell - with a scorching 20-yard drive - eventually saw Crusaders through 2-1.
Littleport Town A travelled to Coldham United under new management, but have been dragged down towards the foot of the table after losing 2-1.
Gary Hunt and Mark Scott have taken joint control of the team, but a Paul Anderson goal - his first ever for the club - was not enough to stave off defeat against second-from-bottom Coldham.
The Vine Reserves recorded only their second victory of the campaign against Burwell Swifts Reserves, coming from behind to win 5-2 after Lee Hobbs had put the visitors in front following good work by Simon Hurrion and Alan Nash.
Substitute Gavin Jones scored with his first touch to reduce Burwell's deficit to a single goal in the second half, but the hosts struck twice more to clinch the points.
Ryan Collen with a header and Thomas Sheldrick were the players on target for Isleham United Reserves at home to Fenstanton Reserves, but the visitors scored twice early on and always had their noses in front in a 4-2 win.
REG HAIGH & ARTHUR PECK CUP QUARTER FINAL
Little Downham Swifts Reserves lost two key players at Lode Reserves, and never really recovered as they lost their Quarter Final tie 2-0.
Richard Driver and Andrew Jenkins both departed through injury in the first 45 minutes, and Downham never managed to get themselves into realistic contention.