Super Sutton unlock Keys to hit rapid half-century
SATURDAY FOOTBALL By Steve Green DIVISION 2B SUTTON United took their goal tally to 50 from their last eight league and cup outings as Wisbech St Mary Reserves – hampered by an early dismissal – became their latest victims. Matthew Keys has accounted for
By Steve Green
SUTTON United took their goal tally to 50 from their last eight league and cup outings as Wisbech St Mary Reserves - hampered by an early dismissal - became their latest victims.
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Matthew Keys has accounted for more than half of that half-century of goals, and on Saturday contributed five in a thrilling 8-3 win.
The scoreline may have been much closer but for the red card, and Wisbech played their part in an end-to-end battle during which both teams - at times - forgot how to defend.
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Russell Mansfield scored twice for the visitors, and Courtney Harrison was the other United player to find the target.
In the same section Stretham Hotspurs ended a six-match losing streak at home to Over Sports Reserves, but threw away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw.
They led at the interval thanks to a diving header from Gary Careless, and the same player doubled Stretham's advantage with 20 minutes remaining.
Substitute Josh Ashman hit the bar after the visitors had pulled one back, and that proved the difference between one point and three as Over snatched a late goal to share the spoils.
The Vine are easing themselves into the promotion race, and on Saturday had little difficulty taking all three points at the expense of Milton Reserves.
'Jez' Cutter, Dan Cowley and Dave Martin all scored twice in The Vine's 8-0 win, and they were joined on the scoresheet by Jon Cutter and Mark Higginbottom.
Witchford '96 are also in contention at the top, and their latest success came at the expense of Needingworth United Reserves.
Aaron Spencer's early goal was cancelled out, but a Ross Spencer header made it 2-1 at the interval - largely against the run of play.
Ben Barnwell's volley extended Witchford's advantage, and Ross Spencer scored with another header to make it 4-1 before a Billy Bowers penalty put the result beyond doubt.
Aaron Spencer's second goal of the game was sandwiched between a Needingworth brace as Witchford eventually ran out 6-3 winners.
Isleham United lost 3-1 at Newmarket White Lion however, and Pymoor FC's struggle continued as they went down 5-2 at home to Somersham Town Reserves.
CLIFF BULLEN CHALLENGE CUP
ELY City Reserves are the only East Cambridgeshire side through to the Quarter-Finals of the competition after a 1-0 victory at Fulbourn Institute.
They had plenty of chances to score, but were kept at bay by good defending and a great performance by the Fulbourn goalkeeper.
City were not to be denied however, and with two minutes remaining Joe Barham's cross was nodded home by Danny Mitchell for the only goal of the tie.
Scott Fretwell's double - including a penalty - failed to stem the tide as Soham Town Rangers Reserves crashed 8-2 against clinical Great Shelford, and Fordham also departed after missing a number of openings in the 1-0 defeat at Wimblington.
Littleport Town are also out after an odd-goal-in-nine defeat against a Great Paxton side they defeated 6-2 only a week earlier.
"We just can't defend at the moment," said manager Dave Cullum after witnessing his side's 5-4 defeat. "It beggars belief how naïve we are at times."
Nigel Smith and Will Ludbrooke twice reduced the deficit to a single goal, and 'Port got back on level terms when Jamie Linney grabbed his first goal for the club - a stunning effort after cutting inside from the right wing.
Paxton restored their lead with a breakaway goal after Chris Lupson's shot had been blocked at the other end, and a free header put them further in front before Matt Nixon contributed the best goal of the game.
Only 40 minutes had elapsed at this stage, and there were no further goals in the tie as Paxton ran the clock down at every available opportunity.
SENIOR DIVISION B
THERE are now three East Cambridgeshire sides in the bottom five of this section after Saturday's results.
Soham United claimed their second league win at the expense of Haddenham Rovers to move level on points with their local rivals.
"It was a 2-0 thrashing," said player-manager Andy Parker after contributing the second goal to his side's crucial victory.
Dan Simmons broke the deadlock after volleying home from Mark Allen's through ball, and Parker made it 2-0 after good work by Chris Lam and Shane Feltwell.
Littleport Town Reserves went down by the odd goal in seven at home to promotion-chasing Helions Bumpstead, despite goals from Mark Talbot (2) and Paul Starling.
LEADERS Ely City A kept up their momentum at the top of the table with a 1-0 success at Wisbech St Mary.
A hard-fought game was decided late in the second half, with Tom Hoppitt coming off the bench to grab the late winner.
LITTLE Downham Swifts' leading scorer Gareth Draper was on target again, but his side went down 6-2 at home to leaders Lakenheath Reserves.
Haddenham Rovers Reserves meanwhile, were unable to raise a team for the visit of Soham United Reserves.
WICKEN Amateurs are up to third spot after ending the unbeaten league record of hosts Willingham Reserves.
Wicken's early pressure came to fruition in the 28th minute, with Josh Woodroffe finishing at the far post after Ed Richardson's shot flashed across the face of the goal.
Ed Richardson then made it 2-0 just before the interval from Sam Richardson's through ball, and that was enough to secure the points as the Amateurs soaked up Willingham's second-half pressure before finishing strongly themselves.
BURWELL Swifts Reserves continued their fine run with a 5-3 victory at Dataracks Elite.
Tom Thatcher scored their first four goals, but it was not all plain sailing and Swifts had been pegged back to 2-2 at the midway stage before asserting their authority.
LOWER JUNIOR CUP SECOND ROUND
JAKE Drake clinched victory for Burwell Swifts with a cheeky back-heel as his side overcame local rivals Fordham Reserves in extra-time.
Nathan Hull had opened the scoring in normal time for the hosts, but Fordham - reduced to 10 men by the dismissal of Jamie Peacock - grabbed an equaliser through Steve Newman.
Carl Saxby restored Burwell's lead however, and Hull's 12-yard shot made it 3-1 before Shane Woodcock replied for the visitors and Drake had the final say.
Mepal Sports are also through after a 3-1 victory at Wimblington A.
Martin Pettitt, Chris Silvain and Luke Wilson were all on target in the opening 45 minutes, and the result was never in doubt despite a disappointing second half.
Littleport Town A went down 4-2 at home to Cottenham United A and Ely Crusaders also departed, losing 4-1 to a Supercue side two divisions below them.
ELY Park Rangers and Triple-S took three points in their Senior Division matches.
Andrew Lee, David Cornwell, Jamie Alsop and Rob Smart were the players on target in Ely's 4-2 win over Sawston Keys, and the same scoreline took Triple-S to victory in their match at Kingston Foresters.
A late equaliser earned Ely Park Rangers Reserves a 1-1 draw at Cambridge Magpies in Division 1A, whilst in 2A a Mark Heading goal wrapped up Village Inn's 3-0 win at Chippenham.
QPR Ely lost 1-0 at Grove in the same section, but there was better news for local teams in Division 3A.
Will Ludbrooke (4), Sam Oliver and an own goal earned Wilburton Albion a 6-0 win at home to Girton Eagles Reserves, and Fox Burwell won 3-1 at Brinkley Red Lion.
Substitute John Sherwood scored with his first touch and then grabbed the winner as Wicken Maids Head came from behind to edge out Teversham 2-1 in Division 4A, but Little Downham United crashed 6-1 at home to Cambridge Cosmos Reserves in the same section.
In the Tucker Gardner Partnership League Division Two, Ely Pymoor Rangers held leaders NCI Reserves 2-2 thanks to goals from Stephen Evans (penalty) and Stephen Footer.