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Sunday 31st March 2013
Britannia Cup Joy for AFC Biggleswade and M&DH Oakley
Britannia Cup Semi-Finals
Oakley Sports M&DH will defend their defence of The Britannia Cup against AFC Biggleswade after they both emerged comfortable semi-final winners. Oakley with two goals from Mark Smith and strikes from Shaun Barnett and Jack Hogstraten winning 4-1 at Flitwick Town for whom Rob Tapley netted. Whilst AFC Biggleswade were 4-0 home winners over Bedford Hatters. Ahead as early as the third minute with a goal from Bryn Williams, they as good as sealed the tie with strikes from James Martin and Hadyn Essam in the opening eight minutes of the second half before Josh Murray completed the scoring five minutes from time.
Premier Division supported by Sportsform
With league leaders Caldecote sitting the afternoon out and second place Oakley Sports M&DH away on cup duty, start of play third placers Arlesey Town Reserves failed to take advantage when beaten 1-0 at home by Ickwell & Old Warden. Dean Hamilton netting the goal to jump the men from the Green up into second spot in the league table and drop the Town down two places to fifth after AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College took over their third spot by ending Lidlington United Sports seasons unbeaten home ways with a 1-0 victory, all thanks to a goal from John Guiney to give his side their fourth away win on the bounce.
Elsewhere, Shefford Town & Campton moved to within two points of Arlesey Town Reserves in sixth spot with a 12-1 home win over bottom of the table Bedford Sports Athletic. Opening half action saw Michael Jones net three times for The Town against a lone reply from Paul Garrard before the home side rattled in nine second half goals, Andrew Hayday and Chris Clark both joining Jones in the hat-trick stakes alongside a brace from Jordan Robbens and a goal for Jake Renney.
The days other top flight action saw Sharnbrook remain deep in the relegation mire after losing their sixth consecutive home encounter and their eighth game on the bounce when beaten 4-0 by Wilshamstead. Colin Marshall with a hat-trick plus a rare goal from Jim Struthers doing the damage.
Shillington are now the firm favourites to lift the division one title after they stretched their lead at the head of the league table to five points by recording their ninth home win on the bounce in a 2-0 victory over Pavenham with goals from Christopher Slough and Adrian Fontenelle and then learning second place Leighton United had been beaten for only the second time on home soil this season 3-2 by a Luton Boys side who are now unbeaten in their last six away outings. Nashon Bennett with a brace and Alex McDade on the victors scoresheet against home replies from Ashley Wadhams and Luke Dolan. The Boys victory all the more meritorious having played the last 55 minutes of the game with 10 players following the sending off of Famir Gabriel.
The biggest winners of the day were Henlow, for them it was a 5-0 home win over second from bottom of the table Kings AFC who have now failed to win any of their last 10 league outings. Russell Ayles netting three times alongside Jonathan Rowe and Joe Spencer to bring up the nap hand. Whilst bottom of the table AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Reserves shared the spoils from a 1-1 draw at Sandy. Jamie Paxton shooting them ahead in the 55th minute before Ryan Gregory levelled matters for the home side 10 minutes later.
There was also a stalemate at The Warren where visitors Caldecote Reserves came from 2-0 down to share the spoils in a 2-2 draw with Elstow Abbey. Travis Joseph after 20 minutes and Dave McCarthy after 65 minutes shooting The Abbey in front until goals from Aaron Kersey and Gary Allum in the closing 15 minutes squared matters level before the final whistle.
Elsewhere, Brickhill Tigers are now without a win from their last eight outings after going down 2-4 at home against Shefford Town & Campton Reserves. Ryan Dobson with a brace plus Sam Welton and Scott Frusicanti netting for the Town against Tigers replies via Matt Phelan and Matty Ward.
After moving to the top of the league standings on Thursday evening following their 2-1 victory at Eastcotts AFC, Marabese Ceramics stay on the summit of the table became one of just 48 hours after they were beaten for the first time in 12 outings when defeated 4-2 on home soil by Bromham United. Ben Robinson twice plus Phill Kempsell and Shane Canzano on United's scoresheet against a brace in reply from Gary Hillard.
Taking over the top spot on goal difference only are Goldington, they being awarded the three points after St Joseph Reserves failed to raise a side to meet them in Mowsbury Park. Also off but due to an unfit Weston Park pitch was the clash between Eastcotts AFC and Sundon Park Rangers.
Elsewhere, Queens Park Crescents took their winning ways up to six games with a 6-2 home victory over a Westoning side losing its fifth consecutive game. Shah Rahman leading the way with a hat-trick to go alongside goals from Fabio Sattar, Ayaz Hussain and Mehrban Hussain against two in reply from Dean Gadsden.
Whilst Oakley Sports M&DH Reserves returned to winning ways with a 4-2 home win over Potton United Reserves. Daniel Lupton with a brace plus Alex Liburd and Raymond Patrickson on their scoresheet against United replies via Bradley Vooght and Lee Adams.
For bottom of the table Meltis Albion it was a most welcome point from a 2-2 home draw against Woburn Athletic. Adam Cranney and Daniel Smith the Albion marksmen against Safari Boys replies from Ryan Northwood and Daniel McClaren.
It was a good day for current division three league leaders Potton Town after they claimed a 6-3 victory at Wilshamstead Reserves and then discovered all but one of their promotion rivals had dropped points. Chris Cooper with a hat-trick, Jamie Hutchinson with a brace plus Jesse Mayo on The Town scoresheet against home replies from Jay Hall twice and Luke Pursey.
Town now leading the table by six points from Riseley Sports who were held to a 3-3 draw at Westoning Reserves who themselves are now unbeaten in their last four outings and in fifth place in the league table thanks to goals from Sean O'Donnell, Scott Gadsden and Steve Garner.
Elsewhere, third place Clifton were beaten for just the second time on home soil this season when defeated 2-1 by Stevington. Gavin White and Sam King netting the vital goals against a lone home reply from Daniel Bean.
There was also a promotion setback for Great Barford, they in the record books will go down as beaten 5-2 at Ickwell & Old Warden Reserves but due to the state of The Green, the game was played on their own Fishers Close pitch. Marcus Ingham and Daniel Whitten both netting twice and Gavin Stackman once for the winners against a penalty from David Mulvhill and a goal from Josh St Clair Pierre in reply.
The only promotion hopefuls other than Potton Town to win were Renhold United Reserves who netted a 4-1 home win over Royal Oak Kempston. Ashmet Chana netting three times and Justin Patterson once against an Oak own goal in reply.
For Dunton, it was a return to winning ways for the first time in five starts with a 3-1 victory at second from bottom of the table Kempston Hammers Sports.Laurence Bosher netting twice and Liam Brophy once against a lone Hammers reply from Jimmy Grandidge.
Bedford Panthers are just a maximum of four points away from lifting the division four league title after winning 4-0 at Kempston Con Club Sports. Aaron Perrett netting twice alongside Simon Wade and Sean Allison to do the damage. Whilst Kempston Athletic did their promotion hopes no harm at all by winning 3-1 at Shefford Town & Campton A, Gary Whitbread, Nicholas Ememe and Mo Banda on their scoresheet against a home reply from Daniel Cullerton.
Yet Clifton Reserves chances of a top three finish took a big jolt after they were beaten 4-2 at Dinamo Flitwick. Tom Hynes, Jamie Burton, Michael Bruce-Kirkland and Chaz Lee-Martin on the home scoresheet against replies from Adam Norris and Nick Thomas.
For bottom of the table Wootton Village, it was just their third home win of the season with a 4-2 victory over a Flitwick Town Reserves side who have now lost all of their last seven away games. Dwayne Simpson twice plus Jayden Johnson and Ryan Stocker on target for The Village against a brace in reply from Ben Wallington.
Alas for second from bottom of the table Dunton Reserves, its now 11 games since they tasted the scent of victory after losing 1-4 at home against Caldecote A. The visitors goals coming with a brace from Andrew Spiers plus Tom Cookman and Scott Lankester against a lone reply from Ben Williams.
Preview for Saturday 6th April 2013
With these notes being written ahead of the midweek programme of games on the 1st and 3rd April at kick off time, clubs by now will perhaps have a clearer indication of their afternoon's requirements of what is required of them if they are to remain in various championship/promotion races or indeed relegation battles right up until the close of the season in a months time.
In Premier Division supported by Sportsform action both of the leading title contenders face trips on the road. Caldecote on paper having the more difficult fixture when they hit the road to face Lidlington United Sports at Hurst Grove,whilst Oakley Sports M&DH head for a Grange Road outing against bottom of the table Bedford Sports Athletic.
The quest for Arlesey Town Reserves since the turn of the year was to obtain a top five placing to qualify for an application to The Football Association to move upwards to Level 6 football in season 2013-14. So the three points from their home Armadillo Stadium encounter with Flitwick Town would be most welcome, if not indeed a must.
Of the other clubs still in the hunt for a top three finish, Ickwell & Old Warden entertain Bedford Hatters on The Green and its also home action at their Playing Field headquarters for Renhold United when they are paid a visit by AFC Biggleswade.Whilst AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College make the short journey down the A421 to be entertained by Marston Shelton Rovers.
The final top flight encounter coming at Jubilee Playing Fields where Wilshamstead host Sharnbrook just seven days after beating them 4-0 on their own Lodge Road patch to leave them with a real relegation battle on their hands.
In Division One it's been a two way fight for the title since the turn of the year and both of the contenders this weekend will be hitting the road.Shillington now perhaps the title favourites looking to have the easier of the two fixtures when they journey to Mowsbury Park to face Brickhill Tigers as Leighton United face a re-match with Luton Boys at Chaul End Lane having lost to them on their own patch just last weekend.
Down at the other end of the table both of the bottom two sides will enjoy home advantage, but on paper both will start second favourites to collect the spoils. At Hillgrounds, the visitors to face AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Reserves are Pavenham and at King George VI Playing Fields, Elstow Abbey will be the visitors to face Kings AFC.
The final action in this division being a local derby affair at Harvey Close between hosts Caldecote Reserves and the visiting Sandy.
In Division Two, the puzzle of finding the championship winners is just as difficult as completing The Times crossword. However, the outcome of the Mowsbury Park encounter between hosts Goldington and the visiting Sundon Park Rangers might well help that quest. Whilst for two of the other probable title winners its trips on the road, Marabese Ceramics heading for a tricky looking fixture at Crawley Road against Cranfield United Reserves and Eastcotts AFC making tracks to The Hollow to be hosted by Potton United Reserves.
Other action coming at Greenfield Road, where Queens Park Crescents are the visitors to take on Westoning. Whilst at the other Crawley Road, Woburn Athletic host Bromham United plus for St Joseph Reserves, its a journey on the road to take on Oakley Sports M&DH Reserves at their Playing Field headquarters.
The situation to find the division three champions also being just as difficult as the puzzle in division two.Thus many eyes this weekend will be switched onto the Whiston Crescent clash between hosts Clifton and the visiting Potton Town.
Elsewhere if they are all to stay in the title/promotion race until the death, then the full three points will also be essential for Westoning Reserves when they host Ickwell & Old Warden Reserves at Greeenfield Road and for both Renhold United Reserves who journey to Cutler Hammer to face hosts Kempston Hammers Sports plus for Great Barford who hit the road to Jubilee Playing Fields to be hosted by Wilshamstead Reserves.
Other action in this division coming at Horseshoes Close where Dunton are paid a visit by bottom of the table Bedford Park Rangers and at their Playing Field headquarters Stevington play hosts to Royal Oak Kempston.
In Division Four, the title could well be settled this afternoon in favour of Bedford Panthers should they collect the full three points from their home encounter at The Hockey Centre with Dinamo Flitwick and Elstow Abbey Reserves fail to do likewise when they play hosts at Kempston Athletic at The Warren.
Whilst at Wootton Recreation Ground, the visitors to face bottom of the table Wootton Village will be Shefford Town & Campton A, with fellow strugglers Caldecote A at Harvey Close being visited by a Clifton Reserves side still on the outlook for a top four finish.Elsewhere at Bedford Road Recreation Ground, Sandy Reserves will be playing hosts to Kempston Con Club Sports and at Steppingley Road, Flitwick Town Reserves entertain Dunton Reserves.
We then move onto Monday evening April 8th when there is a programme of just four games. The most important of which sees Division two title chasing Sundon Park Rangers host Cranfield United Reserves in Stockwood Park and Eastcotts AFC entertain Westoning at Weston Park.With other division two action coming in Mowsbury Park where Queens Park Crescents play hosts to Oakley Sports M&DH Reserves.
The fourth encounter being Division Four action at Steppingley Road where Flitwick Town Reserves play hosts to Kempston Con Club Sports.
Then on Wednesday night April 10th, its a programme of another eight games. Five of those coming in the top Premier Division supported by Sportsform section. The best of which could be the game on The Green between hosts Ickwell & Old Warden and the visiting Shefford Town & Campton.
Elsewhere, at their Playing Field headquarters there is local derby action for Oakley Sports M&DH when called upon by Sharnbrook. Whilst Arlesey Town Reserves head to Steppingley Road to be hosted by Flitwick Town and Renhold United hit the road for a Grange Road meeting with Bedford Sports Athletic.
The fifth and final top flight game taking place at Hillgrounds where Bedford Hatters are the visitors to be hosted by AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College.
In Division Two, Sundon Park Rangers are back in action with a home Stockwood Park local derby against St Joseph Reserves.Whilst at Crawley Road, Cranfield United Reserves play hosts to Woburn Athletic.
The final game of the evening being a Division Three encounter between Stevington and promotion seeking Great Barford.