Michael R Peters League: Sunday, January 8

It was a bad day for the League’s teams in the County Cup.

However, in the Beds FA Sunday Cup, Premier sides Lawson Park Rangers and Caldecote Young Boys finally got their game played at Jubilee Park with the Rangers going through with a three / nil win. There was no score in the first ninety minutes of the tie, although Lawson Park could have settled it had they got their scoring boots on, but it all happened in extra time when Iain Asplin produced a cracking free kick for the first goal. Charlie Betts scored number two and Daniel Smith made it three with a very rare goal for him. Lawson will now travel to Club Lewsey next week for round three of this Cup.

There was only one piece of good news in the Beds FA Sunday Junior Cup 3rd round when Kempston Sunday were the only local winners, and that was a three / two victory away in the depths of Luton. Kempston played CSFC Luton and were one down after twenty minutes, but Shaun Winconeck scored an equaliser five minutes later. Kempston took the lead in the second half when Marc Umney cut in from the left wing shooting fiercely into the net from the edge of the penalty area. CSFC drew level again from the penalty spot after Richard ‘Howler’ Howlett had slid in to tackle but missed the ball. Eddie Haddow secured the win in the eightieth minute when he headed into the net from a finely placed Scott McGregor free-kick. Meanwhile Meltis Mexicans were eliminated after extra time, four / two, by FC Houghton Centre, which left Kempston Sunday gutted as they would have been playing the Mexicans in the next round where they had a score to settle after last season’s Cup defeat by Meltis in a penalty shoot-out. Instead now, Kempston will be playing FC Houghton Centre in the next round. Bird In Hand Bedford succumbed to Houghton United two / nil, and Wootton Wanderers were pipped at the post by Brache Green Man five / four away from home. Constant and Co. Athletic played a quarter final in this cup competition and went down two / nil at Polhill Avenue.

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It was not much better in the Beds. FA Lower Junior Cup where previously in- form Bedford Panthers were beaten three / one at home to Peguform-Icknield. Caldecote Young Boys Reserves maintained some interest in the competition for the league with a fine five / two victory over Bushmead Rovers at Harvey Close.

Santaniello’s have progressed through the Beds. F.A. Sunday Centenary Cup after hammering Luton Borough Sunday six / nil. Sandy Badgers missed out on going further in the competition when they were beaten two / one at home to Elm Park Houghton Centre.

The one outstanding fixture in the third round of the league’s M & DH Insurance Cup has finally been played, Harrold & Carlton Reserves beating BMC three / one.

A mixture of overnight freezing weather and poor ground conditions put paid to only a few games this week. Only two games were played in the Premier Division, with London Road Supreme catching Queensmen cold and starting the New Year with a fine three / nil win at Lawrence Park. Atletico Europa started their year off with another victory, beating Haynes on their patch four / one, to take top spot above Oakley.

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There were a load of goals in the three games played in the First Division. 21st Century hit seven past London Road Supreme Reserves, London Road replying with three of their own. Deep Banghard was the tormenter-in-chief getting another hat-trick for Century, with Tony Milioti not far behind with a couple. Sanjay Mall and man of the match Sundip Jhand grabbed one goal apiece. Earl Patterson was among the scorers for London Road Supreme. Old Hastingsburians also hit the net seven times, but Newtown Rangers could manage only two in reply. Sharnbrook Casuals were also in seventh heaven when they trounced Stewartby seven / one away from home, thereby cementing their place at the top of the division by six points.

There was only one game in Division Two, and the nine / four scoreline in Eagle Heating’s favour has launched them up to level par with leaders New Inn Biggleswade, who have a superior goal difference.

Renhold still lead Division Three after their commanding eight / two sting of Bumble Bee Flitwick. Dale Matthews weighed in with four goals, James Matthews rifled in three, substitute Nik Mistry scored one and Jason Thompson also scored one, and was adjudged man of the match by Renhold. Bedford Allsters missed the chance to leap over Bumble Bee into second place when the Allsters lost four / one to Old Boys. Old Boys deserved their win although it was all square at half-time. Michael Fry opened the scoring for the Boys with a bullet of a shot, only for an Allsters’ free kick to level it by the break. Mark Weir converted a Pete Duffy cross to put Old Boys into the lead, and this was followed by number three which was a Nick Scott free kick. Darren Barrett made the Boys’ fourth goal with a great cross. Allsters had chances to narrow the gap but they missed a penalty and Adam Piper kept out a goal-bound shot with a defensive header on the line. Mowsbury Athletic are now third on the same number of points as Bumble Bee after beating Salento five / two changing places with the Allsters who have dropped to fourth place. Mowsbury got off to a good start when Matt Barnes scored after a flowing move. Five minutes later it was two / nil when Chris Thorman poked in a loose ball after a bit of a scramble in the Salento goal area. Salento pulled one goal back but Matt Barnes scored his second goal after latching onto a fine through ball. Salento made Athletic’s keeper work to keep them at bay before half-time with some fine saves. Salento were the first to score in the second half when a free kick came back off Mowsbury’s bar, hitting the back of the keeper before being touched into the net. An Andy Klein penalty steadied the ship to make it four / two to Mowsbury and the game ended five / two after Arran Wright bent in a fine shot from 15 yards.

The top two teams met in Division Four. Gardeners Arms Biggleswade hosted Moor Lane Meltis and soon found Meltis worthy of their place. Meltis settled the quickest, taking on a slow-starting Gardeners’ team and scoring only six minutes into the game. The Arms’ defence went missing allowing Kelly to slide a low shot into the net. The Arms’ attack was lively enough without being able to level the score in the first half, but Moor Lane controlled the midfield. It was a different story in the second half when the Arms’ came out with more zip and were gifted an equalising goal within ninety seconds of the re-start. Barton, in the Meltis goal, only had to pick up the ball in his goal area, but he let it glance of the goal-post to the feet of Lee Sells who tapped the ball into the net. Gardeners scored again two minutes later through Tom Burton with the Moor Lane defence all at sea and it was all downhill from there with Meltis visibly tiring and it was no surprise when they conceded again, Liam Murray driving the ball into the Meltis net, an experience that Liam is not accustomed to. With this result, Gardeners Arms have taken over at the top, with Moor Lane Meltis dropping down to second place. Rose Biggleswade could have gone above Meltis, but Rose lost five / three to M & DH Clapham. In the only other game in the division, Bird in Hand Lower Stondon beat bottom club Bellini’s three / one.

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There was a surprise in Division Five. Unbeaten Shillington Pirates lost their first points of the season when Bedford Cupids beat them four / one at Howard Park. Goldington Rangers hit nine past Fox & Hounds Clapham, who replied with three of their own, and Sir William Peel defeated pointless bottom club Kempston Wanderers five / two. Wanderers are now four points adrift.

Next Sunday there is league interest in three County Cup games, but otherwise there is a scheduled full league programme.