United edge it in derby drama

DIVISION 2B IT was one hell of a local derby. Those were the words of manager Paul Wells after his struggling Stretham Hotspurs lost 3-1 at home to high-flying Sutton United. The visitors struck twice early on through Russell Mansfield and Matthew Keys


"IT was one hell of a local derby." Those were the words of manager Paul Wells after his struggling Stretham Hotspurs lost 3-1 at home to high-flying Sutton United.

The visitors struck twice early on through Russell Mansfield and Matthew Keys, but were pushed back in the second half as Michael Beeby grabbed his first Stretham goal with a great solo effort.

"We ran the second half," said Wells. But Sam Oliver's goal made it 3-1 just moments after Beeby's breakthrough and that was the final score.

Central midfielder Ryan Bate - a former Sutton player - was outstanding for Hotspurs, and his shot against the bar was the nearest his side came to pulling another goal back.

In the same section Witchford '96 lost 3-2 at home to Over Sports Reserves when a win would have taken them to the top of the division, and struggling Isleham United lost 4-2 at Pymoor FC despite goals from Nathan Payne and Chris Murphy.

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The Vine expected to win at bottom-of-the-table Lode, but eventually had to settle for a draw after leading 4-1 at one stage.

James Angier was red-carded during a competitive first half, but goals from Dan Cowley, Dave Martin, Jon Cutter and Mark Higginbotham fired The Vine into a commanding lead before a Lode comeback made it 4-4.


ELY City Reserves are third in the table after hitting five goals in successive games against Newmarket Town Reserves and Littleport Town.

Newmarket, who shipped 11 goals at Histon A on Saturday, restricted Ely to a Martin Grey header in the first half of the midweek encounter, but were doomed from the moment Jose Monteiro - a recent signing from neighbours Fordham - doubled the advantage on his full debut.

Substitute Steve Pollard then grabbed a brace for the hosts, and fellow substitute Liam Hart, returning from a lengthy lay-off, added another in the closing stages to make the final score 5-0.

City entertained local rivals 'Port on Saturday, with each team fielding several players who had been on the books of both clubs at one time.

David Cornwell opened Ely's account after just five minutes, but Nigel Smith - a former City player-manager - responded with a brilliant 30-yard equaliser.

Jamie Linney's well-taken goal then made it 2-1 to 'Port at the break, but Steve Pollard levelled the scores against his former club and Cornwell's clinical finish then put the hosts back in front.

A harsh penalty decision proved decisive as Grey made it 4-2 from the spot, and Richie Murfitt - another ex-Town player - grabbed number five before Chris Lupson hit a late consolation against his former Ely team-mates.

Fordham lost 2-1 at Over Sports Reserves despite a late header from Dan Langley.


SOHAM Town Rangers Reserves made it five wins out of five after coming from behind to beat visiting Brampton.

Tommy Crawford pulled one back after his side trailed 2-0, and Liam Eley levelled the scores before half-time.

Eley went on to complete his hat-trick for the hosts, and Harley Day extended the lead before the visitors struck a late consolation.


SOHAM United gained what manager Andy Parker described as a "thoroughly deserved win" in the home clash with Bluntisham Rangers.

The visiting goalkeeper kept Soham at bay for an hour, but Steve Dalby combined with Jamie Day for the latter to score the only goal of the game.

Haddenham Rovers crashed 5-0 in their match at Helions Bumpstead.


ELY City A returned to the top of the table by defeating Fenstanton 4-0.

Tom Hoppitt, Matt Brodie and Liam Hart were amongst the home goalscorers.


SOHAM United Reserves ended a run of seven straight defeats in all competitions by winning 3-0 at Bluntisham Rangers Reserves.

A change of kit and formation did the trick for United as Jonathan Brooks opened the scoring with a free-kick and Stuart Freeland made it 2-0 following a fine move.

Soham found it hard going after the break, but Greg Shearer's breakaway goal made the points safe.

Fordham Reserves recorded a 2-1 win over Huntingdon United RGE Reserves with goals from Clive Boucheron and Grant Pearson, but high-flying Mepal Sports had their wings clipped at home to Little Downham Swifts.

Aaron Hodson and Gareth Draper put the visitors two up, but their goalkeeper James South departed through injury in the second half as Chris Silvain and Giles Peacock (penalty) earned Mepal a 2-2 draw.

Ely Crusaders proved no match for Lakenheath Reserves, losing 4-0 at home.


WICKEN Amateurs manager Rory Woodroffe was a disappointed man after watching his side's eight-match unbeaten run end at Exning Athletic.

"We shot ourselves in the foot," groaned the Wicken boss after the 4-3 defeat.

Ed Richardson pulled one back with a fine solo goal in the 58th minute and Jamie Palmer twice capitalised on Josh Woodroffe set-ups, but Wicken were already four goals adrift and couldn't quite retrieve the deficit.

A goal from substitute Giles Hennebry failed to save The Vine Reserves from a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Barton Mills Reserves, and Littleport Town A were beaten 2-0 at home by West Row Gunners Reserves.


A STRONG all-round performance saw Burwell Swifts Reserves win 5-2 at the expense of Longstanton Reserves after falling behind to Glen King's unfortunate own goal.

Marcus Carrod struck either side of the break, and other goals from Clive Metcalfe, substitute Jacob Adams and Tom Thatcher - his 30th of the season - sealed the points.

Little Downham Swifts Reserves were also in winning action at the expense of Dataracks Elite.

Nicky Martin set up Richard Scott for a great opener, and a double from Paul Bone made it 3-2 before Andy Lister made the game safe.


TRIPLE-S are back in the Senior Division title hunt after beating Sawston Keys 4-1.

Ben Fuller struck either side of a goal for the visitors, and Andrew Short converted a Wayne Bell cross before Stephen Bell scored with another breakaway effort.

Ely Park Rangers were unable to raise a team for the trip to Bar Hill in the same section, but their Reserves won 6-2 against Magpies 2001 in the Third Round of the M & E Freeman Cup.

Fox Burwell beat Ashwell Reserves 3-2 at the same stage of the Shelford Energy Cup, and the same scoreline saw Division 3A rivals Wilburton Albion take three points at the expense of Brinkley Red Lion.

Simon Rudnicki's cracking header opened the scoring, and Simon Jones added a second before Will Ludbrooke grabbed what proved to be the winner.

Little Downham United shared eight goals with Alma Reserves in Division 4A, but Village Inn went down 2-0 at Exning United Reserves in Division 2A.

Goals from Stephen Evans (3), Stephen Footer, Joe Featherstone and Neil Garner saw Ely Pymoor Rangers beat Littleport Rovers 6-2 in the Second Division of the Tucker Gardner Partnership League.