XPO win derby clash

JM XPO 2 Fowlmere Metals 1 XPO remain unbeaten after edging out local rivals Fowlmere Metals in the M&E Freeman Cup. Higher division Fowlmere started the brighter of the two sides and had plenty of the ball without managing to carve out any clear scoring


Fowlmere Metals 1

XPO remain unbeaten after edging out local rivals Fowlmere Metals in the M&E Freeman Cup.

Higher division Fowlmere started the brighter of the two sides and had plenty of the ball without managing to carve out any clear scoring chances

Gradually with the XPO back four holding solid the midfield began to impose themselves on the game and began getting more and more possession.

Mark Poulter, in particular, was finding space out on the left and was able to beat his man and whip in a cross on more than one occasion but the game remained goalless and tight as the half progressed.

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All 20 outfield players were finding it difficult to find any sort of rhythm in what was becoming a scrappy and stop start game not least because of an over pedantic referee who refused to let the game flow at anytime and was happy to blow up for the slightest physical contact.

As the half came to a close XPO received a little luck and took the lead after Mark Poulter's long range shot was deflected into the opposite side of the net to give the keeper no chance.

The second half saw a similar pattern as frequent free kicks saw the game broken up which suited neither side but XPO began to dominate possession and had the territorial advantage, the problem was no clear cut chances were being created.

Smeeton made way for Shilton on the hour, and his hold-up play allowed Emmett and Galvin to link up and start to cause Metals some more problems.

As XPO looked to kill the game off Shilton had a header just wide and also narrowly missed the target after lobbing the keeper when clean through but Metals response was to come back into the game as they searched for an equaliser.

It duly came with 15 minutes left as a good finish left Kimsey beaten after not being troubled for most of the game.

XPO pushed for a winner but it never came and for the second time in this cup were forced into extra time.

Metals again started the brighter of the two sides in extra time and forced a number of corners and set pieces but Kimsey was not forced into any serious action.

Again JM fought back and began to get on top as tired players created space all across the pitch.

The winner came as a lovely ball was whipped in to the Metals area, Brett Purkiss just failed to get on the end of it but before it reached Kenny Poulter for a tap in the Metals centre half bundled into his own net.

As Metals pushed for a late equaliser Galvin smashed the crossbar after a great lay off from Shilton but the score remained 2-1 and another hard fought victory for XPO who will face a tough challenge in Girton Eagles in the next round.

Royston & Diamonds 2

Wilbraham 5

DIAMOND'S poor start to the season continued as they slumped to a fourth straight defeat at home to Wilbraham.

With several key players missing, including skipper Ian Burt still sidelined with fractured fingers, Diamonds gave debuts to Rob Doubleday and David Sands and were still able to get a solid side out.

However within minutes Diamonds were behind when the defence failed to deal with a long clearance and a Wilbraham forward beat keeper Chris Rawles.

Diamonds' heads did not drop and after some good possession play striker Kev Crook held the ball up in the opposition box before releasing full-back Geoff Crane who scored his second goal in two matches, following on from the screamer he scored against Newmarket Carpenters last week.

Wilbraham bounced back netting twice more, and when centre-back Adam Page scored an own goal shortly before half-time Diamonds could not help but feel dejected.

But at half-time man-of-the-match Matt Maslen switched to centre-back and Diamonds started to dominate.

Within minutes Diamonds clawed a goal back from a bicycle kick by Kev Crook.

Royston continued to maintain possession but could not find the final ball through on goal and were unable to reduce the deficit further.

In the final minutes Wilbraham scored an unstoppable free-kick making the final score 5-2.

Steeple Morden 8

Barrington Res 0

A HAT-TRICK from skipper Nick Carlton helped Steeple Morden progress comfortably through to the next round of the John Ablett Cup.

Steeple started brightly when Ben Holt lifted the ball over the advancing keeper to open the scoring after only four minutes.

He then turned provider to lay on the first goal for Carlton who slotted past the keeper from 15 yards.

Young striker Joe Morris benifitted from his own perseverance to score his first of the season to make it 3-0.

The advantage could have been greater at half-time but for goal-line clearances which denied both Andy Smith and Karl Parr.

On the hour mark, top scorer Ben Holt broke clear of his markers and confidently beat the keeper for his 14th goal of the season.

Substitute Nick Burr whipped in a great cross from the left which was met by a towering header from Nick Carlton to extend the lead to five.

Shortly afterwards, Carlton completed the first hat-trick of his career with an impressive diving header.

It was soon 7-0 when Damian Pennel diverted a speculative Paul Hutley effort beyond the flat footed keeper.

The home fans were then treated to the goal of the game when Charlie Prothero fired sweetly into the roof of the net from 30 yards to complete the scoring.

Steeple return to league action on Saturday with a home game against second placed Ashdon Villa.

Great Chishill 5

Great Shelford A 4

BOTH defences had an off-day, in this nine goal cup thriller, which Chishill won thanks to a hat-trick from Jonathan Drury.

The hosts seemed to be cruising after half an hour, with Drury giving them the lead with a neat finish after sidestepping his marker.

He then squared the ball for Steve McGee to slide in a second goal, before Oli Fitzgerald scored his first for the club, running on to an Elliot Drury pass after excellent build up play in midfield.

However, complacency then seemed to begin, with Shelford pulling a goal back with a free-header.

The visitors, a young and energetic side, who had played well in the first half, despite their deficit, got themselves right back into the game just after the break, when Dan Manning deflected a shot, that looped over Ian Gallagher in Chishill's goal.

This, sparked the hosts into life, and McGee and Drury were creating good chances at the other end.

They looked to have put the game out of reach, when McGee pulled the ball back for Drury to hit a left foot shot into the corner to make it 4-2.

An unstoppable 30-yard free-kick flew into Chishill's net to give Shelford renewed hope, and the home side had to survive some nervous moments before Drury followed up a long range shot that the keeper fumbled, to claim his third.

Just when it looked like they had finished the game off for good, another free-header for Shelford made for a shaky closing minutes, but Chishill held on to progress to the next round.

Haringey Borough 2

Royston Town Ladies 4

AN evening game on Thursday meant that Royston had to travel down the A10.

A last-minute shuffle of the defence due to Gemma Barlow being ill resulted in a slow start by Royston, and they found themselves 1-0 down after 15 minutes.

After that, Royston started to take the game to Haringey and a great through ball from Sharon Pinner resulted in Caroline Lambert smashing the ball past the opposing keeper.

This seemed to rally Borough and after five minutes of sustained pressure, they again put the ball past Royston's keeper Amy Walker, meaning Royston were 2-1 down at half-time.

From the off in the second half, Royston's midfield of Jody Scott, Wendy Webster, Pinner and Laura Foulger denied Borough any time or space.

Emma Chaffey then took it upon herself to score three goals in the space of 20 minutes to put Royston 4-2 up.

From there Royston were in the driving seat. However it took some great saves from Walker and last ditch defending from Royston's back line of Claire Draper, Leanne Buchannon, Victoria Foulger and Marie Miller to secure the three points.

Royston Town Ladies 5

Kempston Rovers 0

AFTER Thursday's victory Royston named an unchanged side except Gemma Barlow returning for the absent Webster.

With confidence high among the team, Royston played some good football. A great ball through from Miller in defence was met by Lambert, who rolled the ball past the keeper into the bottom corner.

Some good defending by Kempston and Royston players wandering offside meant that Royston went into the break only 1-0 up.

The second half went Royston's way with Chaffey lobbing the keeper with a sublime volley after only a few minutes.

After some good passing football, a determined run by Jody Scott saw her saved shot tapped in by Chaffey.

Strong defending from Draper, Barlow, Buchannon and Miller meant that Royston's midfield could push higher up the pitch and another through ball from Miller resulted in Lambert scoring her second of the game.

After more good work from Pinner, Scott and Laura Foulger, Vicky Foulger completed the scoring with her first goal of the season.

Inevitably, having used all their substitutes, Royston's Walker got injured when coming to collect a ball, resulting in Chaffey pulling on the goalkeeping jersey and Royston finishing the game with 10 players.

However, hard work from the remaining playes resulted in a clean sheet and three more points.

Royston Town Vets 9

Joff Dobson XI 0

THE answer to Town's first team goal scoring problems, was there to be seen by a large crowd at garden Walk on Sunday, as Saffron Walden striker Peter Flack grabbed a hat-trick, with fellow striker Kevin Barhrop going one better with a four goal feast.

Joff Dobson bringing his newly formed team for their first ever completive game was an unparallel success, backed and enjoyed by huge following support, making it seem like one of biggest crowds seen at Garden Walk for a long time.

The Vets were strengthened for this one game by Jason Nash and Chris Geldhart, with Jason Clark making his first appearance of the season along with Ian King from Fowlmere.

Royston arrived to see the opposition looking most professional, in a long and elaborate warm up, although this seemed to have taken its toll on Joff's team as the Vets looked far sharper in the early exchanges.

The game evened itself out, with the visitors looking threatening on the break, with the Vets more controlled in midfield with Carlo Silenti and Nash dominating.

The difference was the skill, power and pace of Barhrop, Flack and Clark up front for the Vets as Town went in at half time 2-0 up.

The second half saw the visitors forced to make a number of substitutions, with Colin McArthur replacing Merv Chaffney in gaol and Ian King making his Vets debut.

It was Barhrop and Flack who terrorised the visitors defence with a fine display of clinical finishing, joined on the score sheet by Silenti and Darryl Quinn.

- On Sunday, the Vets are at home to Birchanger Vets, kick off 10.30am at Garden Walk.