Paul Jackson reviews the past week of UCL fixtures
Tuesday 13th February 2018
Just one game survived the midweek rain, but it was a big one. Wisbech Town entertained new leaders Yaxley at the Fenland Stadium and moved to just one point behind them courtesy of a 1-0 win. Michael Frew proved to be the match-winner with his 37th minute drive on a heavy pitch and that was enough to lift the Fenmen up to second spot.
Saturday 17th February 2018
Arguably the biggest game of the day came at Willen Road where 3rd met 2nd and the honours were shared in a 2-2 draw. Wisbech Town took a seventh minute lead when Dan Bendon drilled home at the far post following a corner, but it was level on 22 when Newport Pagnell Town caught them on the break with Greg Ling finishing well. It looked like the Swans may have grabbed a much-needed victory with another breakaway goal as Josh Winters forced a good save out of Paul Bastock but Fazel Koriya was on hand to net the rebound on 82. The Fenmen weren’t beaten yet though and Newport didn’t deal with a corner two minutes from the end and Alex Beck was on hand to bundle home his 30th goal of the season to keep his side in second spot.
Yaxley remain top after a convincing 4-1 win at Daventry Town. Dan Cotton put them in front after just 5 minutes direct from a free-kick just outside the box and Ross Watson headed home from a corner on 18 to double the lead. Cuckoos’ keeper Oli Sutton saved Adam Moussi’s spot kick on 39, but James Harrison smashed home the rebound to reduce the arrears, but three minutes later Cotton made no mistake from the penalty spot to re-establish the two-goal advantage into the break. The league leaders had luck on their side six minutes after the restart as Matt Sparrow’s cross eluded Iustin Cerga in the home goal and ended up in the back of the net and the three points were on their way back to Cambridgeshire.
Holbeach United moved above Newport into third after Spencer Tinkler hooked the ball over the keeper after a long throw had been nodded across the box in the dying minutes to give them a 2-1 win at O.N Chenecks. The Tigers took the lead through Danny Brooks, but the home side had levelled the scores thanks to an Adam Spalding penalty.
Deeping are fifth but still very much in the title hunt after a 3-0 home win over Whitworth. A Charlie Coulson corner was met by Michael Simpson and although his effort was stopped, Chris Hollist pounced to fire the rebound into the roof of the net on 17 minutes. Scott Coupland made it safe with a quickfire double after 52 and 56, the first coming as he ran onto strike-partner Scott Mooney’s flick to beat Lee Baxter from the edge of the area and the second with a well-executed lob after the pair played a one-two. Baxter certainly played his role in keeping the score respectable and he denied Coupland a hat-trick at the death with a very good save.
Eynesbury Rovers are sixth, although whipping boys Sileby Rangers kept them down to just the one goal. Almost inevitably it was Dom Lawless who proved to be the match-winner.
Down at the bottom, it was a great day for Sleaford Town who ran out 4-1 winners at bottom club Oadby Town. Luke Hollingworth put a penalty wide on the quarter-hour mark, but The Greens didn’t have to wait too long to take the lead as Liam Harris turned in a George Couzens shot five minutes later. Oadby’s striker Sam Burton had been a hand-full during the first half and he made the score 1-1 on the stroke of half-time, but the second half went very much in favour of the visitors. Couzens set up Mike Hayden on 61 minutes, Charlie Hart scored his first goal for Sleaford with a twenty-yard volley two minutes later and finally subs Tom Figura and Jacob Fenton combined to send Couzens free and he duly obliged with a deserved goal for himself.
St Andrews were comfortable 3-0 winners at home to Leicester Nirvana with the visitors almost certainly rusty after so many postponements due to the weather. Sam Taylor gave the home side the lead after 12 minutes and late goals from Lewis Turland (86) and Callum Sankey (88) made the scoreline a convincing one. The only blot on St Andrews day was the red card for Luke Day.
Cogenhoe United won 2-1 at Desborough Town to make three wins on the trot. Ryan Dove gave them the lead from the penalty spot on 28 minutes after Liam Boath had brought down Matt Long, then Dove grabbed a second on 41, turning home a low Montel Dore ball from the edge of the six-yard box. Jason Turner reduced the arrears on the stroke of half time with the game’s second penalty, but Cogenhoe looked comfortable from then on and keeper Stuart Lutter only really had one save to make from a late free-kick that he dealt with very comfortably.
Dennis Greene is still searching for his first win as Boston Town manager following their 0-1 home reverse to Kirby Muxloe. Aidan Black scoring the game’s only goal with a solo effort.
Nathan Marsh is enjoying a much happier time since becoming Wellingborough Town boss and he watched on as his side completed the double over Harborough Town at the Dog & Duck. The game had been a close one up until the last fifteen minutes, but Wellingborough eventually ran out 4-1 winners over the Bees. Deven Ellwood headed them in front from a Michael Cirelli cross, but they had to wait until the second half before doubling it through Albert Akinremi whose long run saw him beat the full-back and score at the near post. Ben Williams pulled one back when he headed home from close range from a corner, but Justin Dowling’s half volley into the top corner and Ellwood’s second, sweeping home Carlos Lewis’s squared pass saw, the Doughboys home.
Rothwell Corinthians and Peterborough Northern Star drew 1-1 at Sargeants Lawn. Arjan Hundal put the home side in the lead from close range after 13 minutes, but a misplaced defensive header in his own box by a home defender gave James Hill-Seekings the opportunity to blast home the equaliser eleven minutes into the second half.
Pinchbeck United went ten points clear at the top after their 4-0 home success over Melton Town. Aaron Eyett bagged a double alongside efforts from Oli Maltby and substitute Liam Ogden.
The reason they extended their lead was the second-placed Raunds Town’s 2-1 defeat at Olney Town. A Drew Mitten double put the Nurserymen into a match-winning position and all The Shopmates could manage was Ty Clark’s consolation goal.
Potton United are third, four points adrift of Raunds but with two games in hand. The Royals were 2-1 winners at Lutterworth Athletic, Danny Webb netting from ten yards after being set up by Murrell on 36 minutes and the roles were reversed six minutes into the second half for the second. Ryan Don’s good ball gave Webb the chance to run at the defence before pulling the ball back from the by-line for Murrell to score from three yards out. Atho did manage to get on the scoresheet with a superb effort from Dom Ivens on 78 minutes after Potton hadn’t dealt with a corner, scoring a stunning volley from a tight angle for what sounds like the goal of the weekend.
Blackstones are still going well and they won 2-1 at Irchester United. Jones De Souza put the visitors ahead on 25 after Mathew Carter’s through ball had split the home defence and Joe Papwoth made it two on the half-hour when he drilled a low shot home from the edge of the box. The Romans pulled one back ten minutes from the end through Raphael Brown, but it was too little too late to take anything from the game.
Burton Park Wanderers were surprise 2-1 winners at Buckingham Town with Stuart McMichael grabbing both their goals. He put them ahead on 22 when he converted from Paul Caswell’s header across the box and was celebrating again soon after with a well-taken second. He was through on goal and looking for his hat-trick, but was brought down by a Robins defender who was shown the red card, but despite their man disadvantage, Buckingham did manage to pull one back.
Thrapston Town were surprisingly comfortable 6-0 winners at home to Huntingdon Town. Luke Cummins and Wayne Brown both bagged hat-tricks for the Northamptonshire side.
Bourne Town won 2-1 at struggling Bugbrooke St Michaels. Zak Munton (43) and Adam Rothery (65) getting the Wakes goals.
Harrowby United went 0-2 down at home to Oakham United, but bounced back to inflict yet another defeat on their visitors. Goals from Steve Jucikas and Scott Waumsley gave the Rutland side a great start, but an Ewan Fieldhouse double and a 90th minute heartbreaker from Sam Grouse gave The Arrows the points in a hard-fought 3-2 win.
Two of this season’s strugglers met at Station Road with the home side twice coming from behind to win 3-2. Stewarts & Lloyds had Michael Byrne and Ray McMillan on target after 14 and 33, but Scott Sandy (26) and Jordan Featherstone (44) made it 2-2 at the break. The only goal of the second half came from Sandy whose 78th minute effort proved to be game’s decider.
Lutterworth Town and Rushden & Higham United fought out a goalless draw on a very heavy pitch at Dunley Way that wasn’t really conducive to good football.