The Comet Stevenage Sunday Football League round-up
Sunday saw a pivotal day of the season as the much-anticipated KLM Challenge Cup semi-final between Dun Cow Res and Nirankari Sports Sabha saw a game which lived up to its billing. A couple of early chances for unbeaten Cow saw Adam Paine go close. Howeve
Sunday saw a pivotal day of the season as the much-anticipated KLM Challenge Cup semi-final between Dun Cow Res and Nirankari Sports Sabha saw a game which lived up to its billing.
A couple of early chances for unbeaten Cow saw Adam Paine go close.
However, Nirankari turned the screw, Scott Waters had to be at his best to turn a shot around the post, before being awarded a free-kick when the ball was adjudged to have been kicked from his grasp, before it was tucked home. Jimmy Erwood also kicked a shot off the line.
After the break, Danny McIver struck a beautiful free-kick to give Cow the lead, but Nirankari won the day with Ben L'honore striking a couple.
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Their day was tarnished somewhat when Mark Yearwood was sent off.
The Division Three Cup final at the Boro saw Stevenage Leisure race into a two-goal lead early on despite self-confessed big nerves.
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Carl Smith scored the opener when he rounded the keeper and finished with class. The lead was soon doubled when the keeper misjudged the flight of the ball and, in the wet conditions, it slipped from his grasp and Rich Williams took advantage. When the rain came, they fell apart.
Alex Lucy in goal made some great saves but on the flip side of that did produce some mistakes.
King Pin United got themselves back in the game when a corner fell for Derek McGivern to power the ball into the net. With the momentum firmly swinging their way, they levelled after some good inter-play between Adam Bannister, James Wyatt and Dave Holmes, and it was Bannister who notched.
The second half started as brightly as the first had finished as Bannister netted again. Not to be denied, Smith restored parity again as more mistakes came as a result of the wet pitch.
Pin tore them apart from now on and Wyatt netted to put them back in front.
Leisure went to a 3-4-3 formation with 10 minutes to go, but were caught on the break as Holmes netted to give King Pin United the cup on a day both sides had put on a great spectacle.
In the Premier Division, a late Lee Allinson penalty for Probuild confined Bottles to relegation after Gary Pomfret was fouled. Pomfret had thumped home just five minutes from time from a great through ball from Jamie Campany, playing in defence. Piers Le-Grand's brace had earlier put Bottles 2-0 up.
This all means DC Out Bar can relax in their final game(s) on Sunday, but will still attempt to gain the three points needed to prevent Nirankari winning the league.
Pied Piper became Division One champions after a thrilling win over Pin Green, for whom Adam Stevens bagged a hat-trick. Riyston Williams (two), Dwayne Lee and Luke Mitchell grabbed the important goals.
Putterills attempted to dent the feint title hopes still harboured by Pig and Whistle, eventually losing to a solitary goal.
A pretty even first half saw chances at both ends and plenty of battle in the middle of the park.
With a whisper going round at half-time that Pin Green were holding Pied Piper, Pig came out with renewed enthusiasm and eventually found the breakthrough with a flicked Richard Griffiths header, deceiving Jon Pace in the Putterills goal.
Pace is now retiring from Sunday morning football after playing well over 100 games for the club and plans to become a referee.
Old Social found themselves two down with half an hour remaining, but came back strongly when Matt Keane bundled a Scott Taylor corner over the line. Josh Watson and Gary Henniker netted for Fox, who seemed to have taken the second automatic promotion slot.
However, Morecambe Wanderers have that honour after it was revealed Dun Cow Res played a player while under suspension against them on April 3.
Royal Oak battled with nine men for an hour and were well chuffed to earn a point. Up at the break thanks to Gavin Bush, their opponents Bottles Res equalised on the hour through Chas Bailey moments after Oak had gained another player.
A game between the bottom two in the final Division Three game of the season saw Hogshead win through in a keenly-contested encounter against MC Racing. Ricky Dowse and Karl Donaghue were on target.
King Pin Utd's game with champions ProCladd was called off due to the former's arranged cup final, and will not be played.
The Division Four title went down to the final day, Stevenage Fencing needed to win and took a half-time lead through Tom Bowgett. However, Nirankari Sports Sabha Res turned it around in the second-half to win the title thanks to Glen Lamacraft, Lee Pateman, Adam Lamacraft and Mark Outram. Marv Hall netted a consolation late on.
North Herts Celtic edged out Coach and Horses thanks to Darren Curry and Paul Cockburn, the consolation came from Gavin Davis.
Roebuck Gate closed out their inaugural league season with a win by a comfortable margin over Rileys, but made hard work of it in the opening stages given that their opponents only had nine men!
Stuart Rowe scored the only goal of the first half but after the break it was a totally different story. Matt Jackson, Ian Levy (two), Mark Edwards, Richard Pomroy, Mark Hollis, Danny Bacon, and Ben Watson all netted, with Levy also scoring at the wrong end.
Last Thursday saw the Invitation Cup semi-finals on a waterlogged Shephalbury Park! A downpour shortly before kick followed by a hailstorm minutes into the games made for soggy conditions.
Athletico Timebridge added a Terry Lock strike to their already one-goal advantage. King Pin Utd stormed back to win comfortably through, despite another late Lock goal.
At the fourth time of asking, Probuild finally overcome Bedwell Athletic with a man of the match performance by Barry Greenaway.
Steve Underwood's strike was cancelled out by Greenaway and Lee Pateman gave his side the lead.
With seconds remaining, Chris Matthews fired home from a corner to take the game to extra-time. In the last minute, Aaron Mason handled and Kenny Slack fired the penalty down the middle.
The remaining cup final dates have been confirmed. See below for details - entry to all matches is £3 adults and £1 concessions.
* Compiled by Darren 'Statto' Jones
Thursday, April 24
Invitation Cup, semi-finals: Ath Timebridge 3 King Pin Utd 5, Bedwell Ath 2 Probuild 3 (aet).
Division Two: Dun Cow Res v Bottles Res (off; game scrapped).
Sunday, April 27
Division Three Cup, final: King Pin Utd 5 Stev Leisure 3.
KLM Challenge Cup, semi-final: Dun Cow Res 1 Nirankari SS 3.
Premier Division: Bottles 2 Probuild 2.
Division One: Pin Green 3 Pied Piper 4, Putterills 0 Pig and Whistle 1.
Division Two: Old Social 1 Fox 2, Royal Oak 1 Bottles Res 1.
Division Three: Hogshead 2 MC Racing 0, King Pin Utd v ProCladd (off).
Division Four: Coach and Horses 1 North Herts Celtic 2, Rileys 1 Roebuck Gate 9, Stev Fencing 2 Nirankari SS Res 4.
Sunday, May 4
Herts Sunday Intermediate Cup, final: Dun Cow Res v AC Finchley Select B (3pm, at Herts FA headquarters, Letchworth GC).
Premier Division: DC Out Bar v Nirankari SS (10.15am, double header, Thomas Alleyne School).
Monday, May 5
Invitation Cup, final: Probuild (0v3) King Pin Utd (Hitchin Town FC, 7.30pm ko).
Tuesday, May 6
Division Four Cup, final: Nirankari SS Res v Roebuck Gate (Hitchin Town FC, 7.30pm ko).
Thursday, May 8
Division Two Cup, final: Dun Cow Res v Royal Oak (at Hitchin Town FC, 7.30pm ko).
Friday, May 9
Premier Division Cup, final: Nirankari SS v Bottles (Stevenage Borough FC, 6.30pm ko).
Sunday, May 11
Division One Cup, final: Pig and Whistle v Pied Piper (Stevenage Borough FC, 10.30am ko).
KLM Challenge Cup, final: Nirankari SS v Dun Cow (Stevenage Borough FC, 2.30pm ko).