5th February – Match reports

Premier Division

 Newton United 2

Metheringham FC 1

Metheringham were looking to maintain their unbeaten record in 2017 as they visited a Newton United side who themselves were looking for their first home win in this re-arranged fixture. Metheringham were with without 5 senior players from the side which won at Wragby last week in the Kelly Read Cup and both teams pre-match plans were changed when the game was delayed due to the referee going to the wrong ground. Their cause wasn’t helped further when another senior player, skipper Andy Anderson, had to leave the field after just half an hour due to an urgent family commitment. Despite all this Meg scored what was possibly the fastest goal of the day as Josh Gibson, in his first game of the season, tucked the ball away inside 45 seconds following a quickly taken free kick down the left by Miles Lynch and a cross into the box by Jayden Driver which was only half saved by the home keeper. From this early goal play was then very much end to end with chances created by both sides but the respective defences stood stalwart. Meg keeper Wayne Greaves pulled off what was the save of the match and Newton also saw a header clip the Meg woodwork from a header. Newton then lost their keeper to an arm injury but their stand-in keeper did an excellent job for his side with some timely saves. On the resumption from the lengthy delay for this injury Meg seemed to lose their concentration and Newton levelled on 40 minutes with a free header at the front post from a right wing corner.

In the second half both sides were happy to play the long ball, utilising the speed of their respective front men. With Meg missing their seniors players Newton always looked the more likely to score a second goal and it came on 65 minutes when danger man Paul Leeder cut in from his unfamiliar position on the right to shoot home to the keepers left.

Despite Megs never say die attitude they just could not manufacture an equaliser as Newton etched out their first home win of the campaign.

Division Two

 Waddington United 3

Newton United Reserves 1

Waddington United continued their run of recent good form, recording their third straight victory with a home win against Newton United Reserves. Playing some of their best football of the year Waddington deservedly took the lead after 20 minutes after Rikki Peterson set up seasoned campaigner Jason Brothwell to score from 10 yards out, following excellent work by Chris Greene. They doubled their lead five minutes later through Luke Smith who’s intended far post cross went in off the woodwork, much to his own surprise.  Newton stepped up their game and pulled a goal back before half time but Rikki Peterson struck with his first goal for over two months with a superb left footed drive from outside the box to restore the two goal margin.

Newton refused to rollover and it took great stops from stand-in keeper Dean Newland along with solid defending by the back four led by Marc Strickson to maintain the advantage and earn three well deserved points. Credit also goes to referee Ady Jones for a very commendable performance in the middle.

Crows Athletic 1

Red Lion Dunston 2

The game kicked off in cool conditions and with a bit of fog around the pitch. Both teams started off fairly evenly but as the first half wore on Crows were gaining the ascendency and creating a few chances. An early substitution for Dunston had to be made with Mark Oshea coming off with a hamstring injury sustained from the previous week and he was replaced by Tim Robinson in midfield. This enforced change caused temporary disruption for the visitors and the changed line up took a while to settle in.

Crows opened the scoring after about 20 minutes when a ball was put over the top for their striker to battle with centre back Sam Fixter before producing a fine lob which crept in just under the bar evading keeper Steve Brumpton. Only the post came between the home side and their second goal as the game progressed. In the last ten minutes of the half Dunston slowly started to claw their way back into the game and they thought that they had done so when they got the ball in the back of the net two minutes before half time but the goal was disallowed by the referee.

After a bit of a clear the air talk between the team at halftime the visitors came out a completely different team in the second half, creating chance after chance with even their management and supporters saying “if we could score we’d be well in front”. However their chances continued to go begging but after 15 minutes Dunston were level after a pass back was latched onto by Shinny Williamson to shoot home with a sweetly driven strike with his left foot. Unfortunately the manager did not have his camera out for that rarity.
Jake Ellis continued to torment the Crows defence during this second period but it was one of those days when it was never going to go in for him. With 25 minutes remaining Dunston made their final substitution with JB Broughton coming on for Williamson and George Shores moving up front. What proved to be the winning goal was well worth waiting for when Shores picked up the ball some 5 yards from the touch line and 25-30 yards out. He then unleashed a superb strike that flew over the keeper into the bottom corner.
Crows, as expected, started to look to rescue the game and to their credit continued until the final whistle creating quite a few chances but the Dunston team held firm with Captain Craig Spence once again leading his team by example. The game ended 2-1 to Dunston and was a most enjoyable game to watch from the sidelines with both teams giving their all in making it an end to end match.

 Division Three

Dynamo Varsity 4

Lincoln RNA 0

Dynamo Varsity had the dream start against Lincoln RNA after a month’s lay off when a long throw was flicked on by Vincent Van Doninck with Aiden Vaughan bundling home at the far post. RNA would then have the better of the game but would be ruthlessly punished when against the run of play Sean Melton cut inside and smashed in off the post to double the home sides lead.

The second half began with both teams exchanging chances with RNA probably the better side but again Varsity would ruthlessly put the game to bed on the hour mark when Van Doninck flicked on another set piece giving Jamie Earls the chance to nod home at the back post. Paul Norris, a former RNA player, then dispatched a penalty won by Derek Wyld late on to cap off a comfortable fifth win in a row in the league.

Varsity Man of the Match was Paul Norris and Varsity nominated the visitor’s Lee Buttery who was a constant menace to the Varsity defence throughout the game

Newtoft Terriers 1

Turks Head 2

A last minute venue change due to a waterlogged pitch at Newtoft saw this game played at Heighington. Last season Newtoft had ran riot on the big pitch, registering a dominant 4-1 win. This time around however it was the ‘home’ side who came out on top, recording a narrow 2-1 win. The game commenced with ball-playing central midfielder Danny Dixon continuing to deputise in goal with regular ‘keeper Martin Ziller still unavailable due to injury, although Turks were able to welcome back fit-again winger Liam Welsh following a long layoff. It was Welsh who opened the scoring on the half-hour mark, carrying the ball the length of Toft’s half before neatly evading a lunging challenge on the edge of the area. Picking his spot he gave the keeper no chance with an accurately placed finish from around 8 yards out. This goal came at a good time for the hosts as Newtoft had started the game much the brighter of the two sides, their attacking formation and lively wingers belying their current league position.

Turks doubled their advantage early in the second half, player-manager Stu Cook prodding the ball home after a corner was not cleared fully. Soon after the hosts had the chance to put the result beyond doubt after the referee awarded a penalty for a foul in the area. Welsh stepped up confidently but opted for power rather than placement and he smashed the ball straight down the middle but the goalkeeper stood his ground and got a strong hand to keep it out. Momentum then swung back in favour of the visitors as they sensed a chance to turn the game around. Eventually their pressure paid off and they halved the arrears from close range. There was no more scoring and so the game finished 2-1 to Turks Head with the visitors surely feeling aggrieved to have not scored more than one goal despite their attacking pressure.

Ian Stephenson