Sunday Football: Cullum injury mars Littleport derby victory
PUBLISHED: 11:08 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 11:27 04 May 2010
PREMIER DIVISION Littleport Town beat local rivals Fordham 3-0 in Saturday s local derby, but they will be without David Cullum (jnr) for up to eight weeks after the influential midfielder suffered a medial ligament injury. Port manager Dave Cullum descr
Littleport Town beat local rivals Fordham 3-0 in Saturday's local derby, but they will be without David Cullum (jnr) for up to eight weeks after the influential midfielder suffered a medial ligament injury.
'Port manager Dave Cullum described the first half as "instantly forgettable", and admitted that Fordham were perhaps the better of two poor sides in the opening 45 minutes.
Rob Foreman replaced Cullum at the midway stage, and Richie Murfitt also entered the fray as Kevin Hills dropped into a back four position for the hosts.
The substitutes managed to influence the game, and Sean Ambrose also took on more responsibility in Cullum's absence as the hosts displayed what the manager described as "a better, more positive attitude" in the second half.
Nicky Martin opened the scoring with a close range shot from Nigel Smith's pass, and with less than 10 minutes remaining Littleport struck again to make sure of the points.
Foreman headed Dave Beeton's pass over the advancing goalkeeper, and he was then on hand to place the ball into an empty net for his side's second goal of the afternoon.
Martin then fired home from the edge of the box for Town's third, and although Toby Robinson subsequently hit the bar for Fordham his side never seemed likely to salvage anything from the game.
"The referee was a little bit fussy," said 'Port boss Cullum afterwards, "and the game never had any rhythm to it."
Fordham secretary John Pryke was equally unimpressed with the match. "It was very disappointing," he said.
SENIOR DIVISION A
Soham Town Rangers Reserves had their promotion prospects placed in sharp perspective with a 5-0 home drubbing at the hands of title-chasing Needingworth United.
SENIOR DIVISION B
Haddenham Rovers took the lead at Castle Camps with a 15th minute goal from leading scorer Kenny Holmes, but they eventually had to settle for a share of the spoils as the hosts came back with a 75th minute equaliser.
Chris Gibson again proved an able deputy in goal for broken-finger victim Gary Thistlethwaite, but he then suffered an identical injury to leave Rovers without a recognised goalkeeper in the coming weeks.
Struggling Soham United were also in Senior B action at Milton, but they missed a glut of chances before eventually going down by the odd goal in three.
Stephen Bell pulled one back after Soham had conceded two goals in quick succession midway through the second half, but he was one of several United players to miss other gilt-edged chances in a match United should have won.
"Our back four has been superb all season," said player manager Andy Parker after his side's 2-1 defeat, "but we went to sleep twice and got punished both times. We are now 11 points behind Milton, but are better side than them."
Sutton United moved up to second in the table with an emphatic 4-0 defeat of Milton Reserves.
Matthew Keys led the way with a brace, and he was joined on the scoresheet by Ed Ideson and Shane Freeland as United enhanced their promotion claims in style.
Stretham Hotspurs could have helped Sutton by defeating top-of-the-table Fenstanton, but they let themselves down with a dismal first half performance that saw them trail 2-0 at the break.
Stretham improved dramatically after the break and saw a couple of efforts cleared off the line, but they had given themselves too much to do and failed to make an impact on the scoreline.
The Vine managed to establish a 15th minute lead at Newmarket White, but eventually crashed 7-2 against the 3B title favourites.
Simon Law fired them ahead from the penalty spot after Dan Cowley had been brought down, but The Vine had conceded seven goals before Cowley grabbed a late consolation.
Little Downham Swifts also lost in a nine-goal encounter as they suffered a narrow defeat at West Row Gunners Reserves, and Soham United likewise suffered defeat 4-1 at home to Brampton Reserves.
Downham had the majority of possession in their match at West Row Gunners Reserves, but goals from Steve Yarrow (2) and Mark Yardy (2) failed to stave off a 5-4 defeat.
Fordham Reserves meanwhile entertained Hemingfords United A, and a first half goal from Ian Butterworth was sufficient to secure all three points despite a host of squandered chances by the home side.
Wicken Amateurs took the lead at Barton Mills Reserves when Leigh Williams latched on to a 15th minute pass from Rory Woodroffe, but they eventually went down by the odd goal in three.
The hosts got back on terms when a cross bobbled into the far corner of the net, and the winner came in the second half when the ball flew up into the air and dropped just beneath the crossbar.
Amateurs player-manager Woodroffe felt that his side "deserved something," but his son Joshua, Tom Clayton and Ed Capstick all missed great chances to turn the tide in Wicken's favour.
Sutton United Reserves meanwhile took an early lead at home to Ely Crusaders Reserves, but eventually had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Richard Martin fired them in front after collecting Mark Talbot's defence-splitting pass, but United needed an 85th minute goal from Sean Bristow to salvage the point that their performance undoubtedly deserved.
The clash between Burwell Swifts and Pymoor FC also finished 2-2, with the hosts twice coming from behind to share the spoils against their local rivals.
Tom Higgs nodded home a free-kick to give his side the lead, and Jim Golding headed in a corner to make the score 2-1 after Kevin Driver had pulled a goal back for the hosts.
Burwell managed to grab an equaliser with 20 minutes remaining, Tom Thatcher scoring at the second attempt after the goalkeeper had saved his initial header.
Haddenham Rovers Reserves were also in action, but crashed 4-0 at home to St Ives Town A.
Former Ely City marksman Gareth Draper returned to the winner's enclosure with a first-half brace as Little Downham Swifts Reserves won their encountere with Cottenham United B.
Paul Bone was the other player on target for Swifts, as they eventually ran out winners by a 3-0 margin.
Littleport Town A lost 2-0 in their match at Outwell Swifts Reserves, and The Vine Reserves also came up short as they went down 5-1 at home to title-chasing Wisbech St Mary A.
JUNIOR CUP SECOND ROUND
Isleham United are out of the competition after going down by the odd goal in five at home to Litlington Athletic.
Littleport Town Reserves are through to the last four of the competition after a Sam Warner goal put paid to Needingworth United Reserves in the last minute of Saturday's Third Round clash.
LOWER JUNIOR CUP (NORTH) THIRD ROUND
Witchford '96 progressed to the Quarter Finals after coming from behind to beat Guyhirn 3-1.
Colin Coulson tapped home Witchford's equaliser at the start of the second half, and Aaron Spencer made it 2-1 by converting Coulson's right-wing cross.
Veteran defender Shaun Gimbert then made the tie safe with a far post header in the closing stages.
Mepal Sports are out of the competition however, losing 3-2 in their clash with Parson Drove '92 Reserves.
Giles Peacock (penalty) and Chris Silvain with a header from a corner turned the tables after Drove had gone in front, but two second half goals cliched matters in favour of the home side.