Sunday saw the preliminary round of The Comet Stevenage Sunday League s KLM Challenge Cup. Some would argue that the Premier Division leaders (Bottles) beating the team lying third is not a shock but everyone knows the pedigree of Nirankari Sports Sabha.

Sunday saw the preliminary round of The Comet Stevenage Sunday League's KLM Challenge Cup.

Some would argue that the Premier Division leaders (Bottles) beating the team lying third is not a shock but everyone knows the pedigree of Nirankari Sports Sabha.

The game lived up to its pre-match expectations with a lively first-half but nothing to separate the two sides.

The deadlock was broken on the hour mark when a Bottles corner led to Piers Le-Grand volleying into the roof of the net.

They kept up the pressure with Lee Horsley and Dean McCullagh going close, before a McCullagh header put them two up. Sabha piled on the pressure and got one back through Tarj Aujla. They pressed for the equaliser but Bottles' defence held firm to complete a fine victory for the new-look side.

The only 'giant-killing' did not surprise many as second placed in Division Two Emperors Head won a 12-goal thriller against the second bottom in Division One, Stevenage Celtic Supporters.

Tony Webb (hat-trick), Ollie Roworth (two), Craig Braine and Tom Roworth netted, the replies coming from Ashley Reynolds (two), Gary Hillard (two) and Hayden McColm. They now meet Probuild.

Adam Furness (two), Ian Thorne (two), Shaun Marshall and Ryan Jenner netted as Dun Cow saw off Crooked Billet with ease.

MBDA Res set up a dream date with the Cow after Dave Dawe sliced a Sam Bickerstaff cross into his own net, Matt Killian then lobbed home before half-time and Dave Byatt's rocket from 25 yards proved to be the winner. They also hit the post, but Fox did so twice, and also fought back though Ross Randall and Gary Henniker's free-kick to set up a frantic finish.

After shipping 16 against the same opponents last week, Aston Athletic were beaten by just a handful this week by MBDA.

Tom Younger (two), Gav Bowler's 25-yard strike, Olly Rice and Alan Kenney's first goal for the first team pushed them through to the last 16 as they gained a bye at the last draw.

A horrible start to the game saw MC Racing goalkeeper Richard Edwards clash with a striker, fall unconscious and be rushed to hospital. Having woken up, he thought he was injured at training and does not remember the match.

Thankfully, as we went to press, he was much better and out of hospital.

With agreement from both sides to continue, Karl Akers opened the scoring for FC Rising Sun before James Cox's equaliser, another from Akers, a curling shot from the edge of the box gave the Division Two leaders the lead again before the break.

MC centre-half Dave Coates put through his own net before Lee Kitching finished them off, netting the rebound after Michael Hatch's 35-yard strike came back off the bar. Steve Teale grabbed a late consolation.

They now meet Bedwell Athletic, who saw the return of Joel Mason, and he promptly grabbed a brace.

Paul Underwood, Ned Wickham and Alex Headington were also on target before half-time. ProCladd grabbed a double second-half consolation through Carl Fletcher.

Granby St George grabbed an extra-time win thanks mainly to Greg Bradbury (four). Si Longman grabbed a goal to mark a superb personal game, while Ben Watson was also on target. Rapidsource replied through Si Moore, Gary Pitts and Paul Gair.

Station cruised to an expected victory, Sam Gittings (four), Ian Woodfield (two), Chris Simpson and Elliot Bunn on target against Chequers (Ricky Wilson).

Christian Goodyear opened the scoring for Coopers in bizarre circumstances as the ball took an awful bobble in front of the Triage keeper. Brad Harrison drilled a free-kick home shortly before the break.

The Triage keeper's day was compounded with a straight red card for foul and abusive language towards the referee before the 10 men pulled one back through Nikki Clements. Harrison lobbed the keeper for his second before Dave Herbert rounded off the easy win in stoppage-time.

Timothy Smith, a volley from Perry Phillips and Riki Dance gave Mallard a comfortable half-time lead. Keeley Ridge headed in an Alan O'Neill corner to give Twin Foxes hope but Ian Baker and a 25 yard free-kick from Tom Henry finished it off to set them up with an interesting trip to meet White Horse.

In the Premier Division, Broadhall's recent misery continued as they made it 20 goals conceded in three matches. Danny Delasalle (two, one from the spot), Danny Hillard and Joe Chilton netted for a first league win of the season for Old Red Lion.

John Vooght was the star again, half-volleying home a cross by Craig Gilbert to give Hermit of Redcoats the lead. However, a Russell Bull brace turned the game around for AFC Proverbial by the break.

A through ball by Gilbert into Vooght saw him slide the ball past the keeper for the equaliser. They won it through Tawhid Juneja, a coolly taken lob in a crowded penalty box, Gilbert completing a hat-trick of assists.

Division One leaders Pin Green won again. Sean Soards volleyed the ball home for the opener via a post.

Just before half-time, Danny Jefferies made a decisive move to the edge of the box and lifted the ball over the defender's leg for Ian Canning to curl the ball into the far corner to take Breachwood Lions off level.

Soards regained the lead when he chipped the ball over the keeper after brother Steve had done all the hard work after going past three defenders.

Gazzan Affana cut in from the left, dummied and beat the keeper at the near post before Steve Soards ghosted past three defenders and fired past the keeper into the far corner from 20 yards.

Pig and Whistle took the lead as Stuart McKenzie scored an own goal. Probuild were denied an equaliser when Michael Bunker had a penalty saved before Craig Hadley scored from 30 yards out.

Dan Gregory had a chance in the last minute but failed to convert as they lost ground and are seven points off the lead, albeit with three games in hand.

Hogshead's Calvert Garnes scored the only goal of the game with a bullet header against Peartree.

In Division Two, Old Social were surprise easy winners. Stuart Archer (hat-trick), Dan Pinkerton, Dave Stroomer, Paul Staines and Martin Matthews netted against Norwich Union (Stewart Duff).

It was a good day all round for White Horse. Despite a goalless first-half, Darren Lovelock's header, brother Jason Lovelock (two), Frazer Triggs and Jason Butler netted for the Division Three leaders before Darren Curry's consolation in the last five minutes for North Herts Celtic.

Second-placed Bottles Res were denied three points in the last few minutes. Crown had the lead at the break through Ben Coles, but Rob Duckworth struck his 16th goal of the season before a 20-yard drive from Justin Brown put them in front.

Complacency set in, not for the first time this season, and the old heads had victory snatched away via a Darren Matthews penalty.

Athletico Timebridge took an early lead through Dean Cooper before Terry Lock scored his seventh of the season after beating the offside trap and slotting in to pull AFC Stevenage level at the break.

Ryan Gregory lobbed the ball into the top corner to put them in front, but Timebridge snatched a point with two minutes to go when a quick free-kick saw an unmarked Cooper put the ball away.

* Compiled by Darren Statto Jones



(Sunday, October 22)

KLM Challenge Cup preliminary round: Aston Ath 0 MBDA 5, Bottles 2 Nirankari SS 1, Crooked Billet 0 Dun Cow 6, FC Rising Sun 4 MC Racing 2, MBDA Res 3 Fox 2, ProCladd 2 Bedwell Ath 5, Rapidsource 3 Granby St George 6 (aet), Station 8 Chequers 1, Stev Celtic Supps 5 Emperors Head 7, Triage 1 Coopers 4, Twin Foxes 1 Mallard 5.

Premier Division: AFC Proverbial 2 Hermit of Redcoats 3, Broadhall 0 Old Red Lion 4.

Division One: Hogshead 1 Peartree 0, Pin Green 4 Breachwood L 1, Probuild 1 Pig and Whistle 1.

Division Two: King Pin Utd v Newcotech (off), Old Social 7 Norwich Union 1.

Division Three: Ath Timebridge 2 AFC Stev 2, Crown 2 Bottles Res 2, North Herts Celtic 1 White Horse 5.


(Sunday, October 29)

Herts Sunday Senior Cup second round: AFC Hornets (Studham) v Station (10.30), Bar Absolute v Bottles (10.30), Dun Cow v Brookmans Pk (10.00, MP), Mallard v Whitwell AFC (10.00, KG3), Nirankari SS v Riverside AFC Royals (10.30, Bald), Red Star ICL v Bedwell Ath (10.30), S&N Fairway v Broadhall (10.30).

Herts Sunday Intermediate Cup second round: Cannon Res v MBDA (10.30), Golden Lion v Peartree (10.30).

Division One Cup preliminary round: Hogshead v Pin Green (10.00, CP3).

Division Two Cup preliminary round: Granby St George v Old Social (10.00, CP2), King Pin Utd v Norwich Union (10.00, HP3), Newcotech v Rapidsource (10.00, HP2).

Division Three Cup preliminary round: Ath Timebridge v Chequers (10.00, RE4), Crown v MC Racing (10.00, PP3), White Horse v North Herts Celtic (Alle).

Premier Division: Old Red Lion v Hermit of Redcoats (PP5).

Division One: Aston Ath v Coopers (CP1), Breachwood L v Probuild (Brea), Pig and Whistle v Stev Celtic Supps (RE5).

Division Two: FC Rising Sun v Emperors Head (KG2), ProCladd v Crooked Billet (CW4).

Division Three: Bottles Res v MBDA Res (KG1), Fox v Twin Foxes (RE3).

Invitation Cup: Stev Colts OB (0v2) AFC Stev (10.00, SP1), Triage (2v0) AFC Proverbial (10.30, SP3).

(all games kick-off at 10.15am unless otherwise stated)