Saturday Football: United’s fighting leads to success
by STEVE GREEN SENIOR DIVISION B Soham United now have real hope of avoiding relegation after recording a 2-1 success at Cherry Hinton. They fell behind initially, but got back on terms when 18-year old Jamie Day scored following a defensive error. Vetera
by STEVE GREEN
SENIOR DIVISION B
Soham United now have real hope of avoiding relegation after recording a 2-1 success at Cherry Hinton.
They fell behind initially, but got back on terms when 18-year old Jamie Day scored following a defensive error.
Veteran striker Lee Heading then missed a couple of opportunities before Day wrapped up the points with a great finish in the 86th minute.
"We'll keep fighting, it's as simple as that," said player boss Andy Parker afterwards. "We did to them (Cherry Hinton) what everyone else has done to us this season by playing badly and winning, and we've now got to play all the sides around us in the table. I hope we can do enough to stay up."
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Haddenham Rovers meanwhile are now only seven points clear of safety after suffering an odd goal in five defeat against mid-table rivals Debden.
Geoff Buck was Haddenham's fourth goalkeeper in the last six weeks, and although he was beaten early on Kenny Holmes levelled from the penalty spot after being brought down himself.
Martin Pettitt then levelled after Debden had scored again, but with 12 minutes remaining the home side grabbed the decisive goal to make the final score 3-2.
Ely Crusaders helped the plight of both Soham United and Haddenham Rovers by winning 3-1 at the expense of JM Sports, but it was a match that could have gone either way.
Crusaders fell behind within five minutes, and although Jim Brown struck the bar twice before the interval his side still trailed with 20 minutes remaining.
Brown then beat several defenders to pave the way for Brett Fuller to score upon his return from injury, and much-improved Michael King made it 2-1 with a header shortly afterwards.
JM were denied an equaliser by Gavin Wiseman's reflex save, and Fuller then made the points safe for Ely with a stunning goal from just inside the opposition half.
Ely City Reserves showed no signs of relinquishing their lead at the top of the table as they won with plenty to spare in their trip to Willingham.
Dave Cornwell headed in the opener after Laurie Carter's shot had struck the bar, and he then nodded home a second goal before half-time.
Willingham never really looked like recovering after the break, and Cornwell completed his hat-trick midway through the second half to make the final score 3-0 to City.
Fordham moved eight points clear of the relegation placings after a vital 4-0 win at the expense of bottom of the table Hemingfords United.
It was a scrappy first half, and according to Fordham correspondent John Pryke the visitors ought to have been two goals to the good.
The hosts gradually got their act together however, and led at half-time thanks to Matt Almond's 20-yard shot into the corner of the net.
Almond then rose to head home Daren Pryke's cross on 65 minutes, and Pryke then scored himself before Almond completed his hat-trick from Howe's right-wing cross.
Littleport Town meanwhile kept their Invitation Cup flag flying with a 3-0 defeat of Eaton Socon, but it was not quite as easy as the scoreline suggests.
"For the first 20 minutes they ran us ragged," said 'Port boss Dave Cullum, "but although they looked sharper they lacked a bit of quality."
Jim Francis and Nigel Smith combined for Jack Jordan to steer the ball past the Eaton Socon goalkeeper against the run of play, and Smith's deft volley doubled the advantage at the start of the second half after the home side had survived a couple of scares.
Jordan then wrapped up the points from point-blank range after Smith's header had cleared the goalkeeper, and 'Port travel to Over Sports on Saturday with everything to play for.
"It will be tough over there," warned Cullum, "and just like last year we have got to play them back-to-back. To be honest I would settle for a draw."
SENIOR DIVISION A
Matt Ogden struck for Soham Town Rangers Reserves after just five minutes of his side's Friday night encounter with local rivals Mildenhall Town Reserves, but his side dropped two valuable points after being pegged back with just 15 minutes remaining.
Chris Brasher was outstanding in the heart of Soham's defence, and the 1-1 draw extended his side's unbeaten league run to nearly four months.
Stuart Seekings suffered a broken leg as Littleport Town Reserves slid further into the relegation mire with a goalless draw at Bottisham Sports.
Sutton United kept their faint promotion hopes alive by coming from behind to snatch all three points at the expense of visiting Longstanton.
Sutton missed a gilt-edged opportunity after just nine seconds and then found themselves 2-1 down inside nine minutes before establishing a 3-2 lead and going on to win 6-4.
Matthew Keys led the way with a brace, and he was joined on the scoresheet by Will Ludbrooke, Shane Freeland, Sam Oliver and Gavin Quarmby.
Ely City A won by the only goal of the game at Bluntisham Rangers Reserves, and Isleham United gave title hopefuls Huntingdon United RGE a real fright before going down by the odd goal in five at home.
Goals from Thomas Sheldrick and Matthew Stack overturned an early deficit for the hosts, but Huntingdon levelled before half-time and then snatched the points with a goal in the final minute.
Witchford '96 suffered only their second league defeat of the campaign as they dropped to third spot with a 3-1 reverse at Lakenheath Reserves.
Fordham Reserves were unlucky to lose 3-2 after goals from Ian Jellyman and Ian Butterworth had kept them on terms at Cottenham United A, and the same scoreline saw The Vine crash to defeat in their match at Dullingham.
Grant Spencer and 'Jez' Cutter pulled goals back in the last 20 minutes, but the Dullingham goalkeeper was in inspired form and managed to protect the lead that his side had managed to establish prior to The Vine's comeback.
Little Downham Swifts also scored three points and conceded none in their victory at Soham United Reserves.
Short-handed Wicken Amateurs now look certain to drop into the bottom division after a crushing 15-2 defeat at the hands of leaders Wisbech St Mary Reserves.
They kept Wisbech at bay for half-an-hour, but trailed 6-0 at the break and then 13-0 before goals from Dane Turner and Neil Bulman provided scant consolation towards the finish.
Pymoor FC kept their promotion hopes intact with an ill-tempered 4-1 victory against local rivals Mepal Sports.
The yellow cards went into double figures, and Mepal's Chris Silvain was harshly sent-off as Greg Saberton's hat-trick paved the way for a Pymoor victory.
Mark King was also on the scoresheet for the visitors, and David Harvey had a great 'goal' disallowed as Pymoor eventually managed to subdue the hosts in the second half.
Mark Abbott's dipping 10th minute drive from the edge of the box was as good as it got for Ely Crusaders Reserves in their 2-1 setback at Haddenham Rovers Reserves, and a dramatic match at Burwell Swifts saw Sutton United Reserves squander a 3-1 lead despite having a man extra.
Sean Bristow scored twice for Sutton before Lawrence Maskell replied for the hosts, but Richard Martin restored United's lead from the penalty spot and Burwell's Darren Lindsay was red-carded for protesting about the decision which led to the decision.
Gary Jenkins struck from close range to reduce Sutton's lead to a single goal however, and with 10 minutes remaining Steve Elmore found the net to make the final score 3-3.
Matt Bilinski scored twice for Isleham United Reserves at Earith United, but his side eventually had to settle for a share of the spoils after a dramatic finale.
Bilinski opened the scoring from Simon Leverington's left-wing cross, and Bilinski then turned provider for Stuart Freeland to make it 2-0 at the break.
Earith got back on terms within 10 minutes of the restart, but a headed own goal relieved the pressure as Isleham struggled to contain the home side's comeback.
Bilinski's mishit volley made it 4-3 to Isleham after Earith had equalised with a penalty, but in the final minute the hosts grabbed another goal to make the final score 4-4.
Burwell Swifts Reserves won 5-1 at Coldham United and Little Downham Swifts Reserves drew 2-2 at home to Outwell Swifts Reserves, but there were defeats for Littleport Town A (7-0 at home to leaders Wisbech St Mary A) and The Vine Reserves (4-2 at home to Fenstanton Reserves).