Paying the penalty
The Comet Stevenage Sunday Football League Bottles won through to a KLM Challenge Cup semi-final meeting with Dun Cow by way of a penalty shoot-out against Mallard. They went in front after 25 minutes when keeper Andrew Palfreyman picked out Warren Grieve
The Comet Stevenage Sunday Football League
Bottles won through to a KLM Challenge Cup semi-final meeting with Dun Cow by way of a penalty shoot-out against Mallard.
They went in front after 25 minutes when keeper Andrew Palfreyman picked out Warren Grieve with a long goal-kick. Grieve volleyed the ball into the path of Lee Horsley who outpaced the centre-back and rounded the keeper to net his sixth goal in five games.
Mallard were unlucky not to be on level terms earlier, but were after 75 minutes when heavy pressure led to Wayne Daily handling a shot on the line. He was sent-off before Perry Phillips' spot-kick was saved by Palfreyman but Lee Noble scored from the rebound.
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Both teams were tired in extra-time but the 10 men of Bottles kept battling. Mallard missed two kicks as they went out.
The other quarter-final was a non-event. Ryan Skeggs bagged a first-half hat-trick for Station against Bottles Res. Eliot Bunn and Sam Gittings added two more either side of the break.
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In the Premier Division, AFC Proverbial took a shock lead with 25 minutes to go as Sam Spencer curled home from 25 yards. However, Mark Barnes showed his quality with a hat-trick as Nirankari Sports Sabha turned the game around.
Hermit of Redcoats took the lead through the exotically-named Guiseppe D'Angelo before Bedwell Athletic took over, with Joel Mason being the main architect of the rout. His hat-trick included a cracking strike from outside the box.
Brother Aaron Mason scored with his ear from an Andy Kelly corner. Liam Errington and Alex Headington grabbed goals before Steve Underwood came off the bench and netted with a delicate chip over near the end, John Vooght getting another consolation for Hermit.
In Division One, the happiest team was MBDA who went top without kicking a ball as Royal Oak could not field a side.
Pig and Whistle were well beaten as a Dan Gregory inspired Probuild took another three points. They went in front after 20 minutes when a goalmouth scramble led to Lee Allinson curling the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box. Within two minutes, Darren Bartlett restored parity from a tight angle.
A near-post flick from Gary Pomfret was met by Terry Pateman before the break to turn the game around. More pressure paid off as an Allinson cross was headed in by the diving Adam Mackenzie.
Straight from kick-off, John Johnston struck a penalty woefully wide as he failed to add to his haul on a bad day personally. Allinson scored directly from the corner to finish matters.
Danny Bowey was the hero with a terrific hat-trick as Aston Athletic beat a faltering Breachwood Lions. The opener came on the counter attack, when Bowey turned a defender and beat Wayne Gardner at his near post. Bowey added two more midway through the second-half before a consolation when Adam Jefferies surged forward from defence to let rip a 35-yard thunderbolt into the top corner.
Glenn Cook put Stevenage Colts Old Boys in front early on, the prolific James Khakpour-Smith earned Peartree a point.
SCS took the lead against Coopers through Dan O'Brien before Tom Bradshaw restored parity. Gary Hillard drilled a shot home at the near post with 20 minutes to go before a second equaliser from Brandon Whybrow. Veteran Sylvester Garner then poked home as Coopers grabbed three crucial points in their bid to avoid the drop.
The Division Two title is all but over as FC Rising Sun had an easy run-out against a nine-man ProCladd. However, a goal direct from a corner and two penalties showed that they did not win in style against the battling boys from the Pin Green area.
A sending-off left them with eight men before second-half pressure saw two more goals. Riyston Williams (two), Chris Bunker, Paul Harvey and Lee Kitching were the marksmen.
They will win the title if they beat Old Social on Sunday, and Norwich Union fail to beat King Pin United.
Norwich Union's challenge is almost over as Dalziel Geary's strike gave a resurgent Rapidsource all three points.
In the day's only double header, Jordan Mullen gave Newcotech the lead before Greg Bradbury pulled Granby St George level instantly. Martin Metcalf's 20-yard shot was helped home by Craig Longman before Tom Bilton gave Newcotech a point.
Match two was no contest as Adam Paine showed his class and experience to bag a hat-trick for Newcotech. Adam Pratt, Lee McCarthy and Bilton added the others as Granby St George only grabbed consolations through Paul Tully's tap-in and Bradbury from 15 yards.
King Pin United and Old Social gained walkovers against Crooked Billet and Triage respectively.
Division Three saw the biggest shock of the day as league leaders and previously unbeaten White Horse were battered by MC Racing.
Frazer Triggs levelled for them and Adam Crick pulled another one back with a header but Steve Teale was the star of the show with a hat-trick. Nik Tribe (two), Richard O'Donovan and James Cox were also on target.
MBDA Res initially made hard work against nine-man basement side Athletico Timebridge for whom Dave Herbert scored an excellent goal in reply to Matt Killian's strike direct from a corner.
Steve Stapleton smashed home his 18th of the season before Jamie Campany grabbed a quickfire hat-trick. An own goal from Stapleton's long throw-in, a fourth of the season for central defender Liam Boon and a first for the club for full-back Dave Pyke finished the scoring.
Lee Setterfield and Richard Veness netted in Fox's win over Rileys (Ben Coles).
A makeshift Twin Foxes side managed to get their fifth league win on the trot against North Herts Celtic. They went in front with an own goal from a corner, but a corner at the other end allowed Craig Smith to level.
In the second half, Foxes started to dominate the game. They went back in front when Andy Hares broke through and struck a great shot over the keeper for his first goal for the club.
Talented Pete Duffy made the game safe with another stunning goal. He beat a couple of defenders before rounding the keeper, taking on another Celtic player before slotting home.
Chequers gained a walkover against AFC Stevenage who were initially suspended. However, at Monday's meeting they were expelled from the league for playing ineligible players and concealing the fact.
In the Invitation Cup, Broadhall joined victims Old Red Lion at the top of the mini-league with six points after beating them in an eight-goal thriller.
Anthony Edwards (hat-trick), Paul Gasson and Michael Wells were on target. Keven Fehmi (two) and Gary Smith replied.
P Compiled by Darren Statto Jones
Sunday, April 1
Herts Sunday Senior Cup, final: Ashwell 2 Dun Cow 0.
KLM Challenge Cup, quarter-finals: Bottles 1 Mallard 1 (4-1 on pens), Station 5 Bottles Res 0.
Premier Division: AFC Proverbial 1 Nirankari SS 3, Bedwell Ath 7 Hermit of Redcoats 2.
Division One: Aston Ath 3 Breachwood L 1, MBDA v Royal Oak (off; home win), Peartree 1 Stev Colts OB 1, Pig and Whistle 1 Probuild 4, SCS 2 Coopers 3.
Division Two: FC Rising Sun 5 ProCladd 0, Granby St George 2 Newcotech 2, King Pin Utd v Crooked Billet (off; home win), Newcotech 6 Granby St George 2, Rapidsource 1 Norwich Union 0, Triage v Old Social (off; away win).
Division Three: Ath Timebridge 1 MBDA Res 8, Chequers v AFC Stev (off; home win), Rileys 1 Fox 2, Twin Foxes 3 North Herts Celtic 1, White Horse 2 MC Racing 7.
Invitation Cup: Old Red Lion 3 Broadhall 5.
Sunday, April 8
Premier Division Cup, semi-final: Bottles v Mallard (MP).
Division One Cup, semi-final: Probuild v MBDA (SP3).
Premier Division: AFC Proverbial v Station (KG3), Nirankari SS v Bedwell Ath (Bald), Old Red Lion v Dun Cow (10.00, PP1, double header).
Division One: Peartree v Pig and Whistle (PP5), Pin Green v Coopers (CW1).
Division Two: FC Rising Sun v Old Social (KG2), Granby St George v Triage (10.00, CP2, Double-Header), King Pin Utd v Norwich Union (HP2), Newcotech v ProCladd (HP3).
Division Three: AFC Stev v White Horse (off; away win; AFC Stev expelled from league), Ath Timebridge v Bottles Res (RE4), Fox v MC Racing (RE3), North Herts Celtic v Chequers (CW4), Rileys v Twin Foxes (PP3).
Invitation Cup: Aston Ath (0v1) Rapidsource (10.15, CP3), Broadhall (0v1) Breachwood Lions (10.30, SP4), Crooked Billet v Stev Colts OB (off).
(cup games kick-off 10am, league games 10.15am,
unless otherwise stated)