Sunday League: Atletico stretch their lead at the top
Atletico Europa made it five wins out of five to put a gap between themselves and the rest of the Michael R Peters Sunday League Premier Division clubs.
Their opponents this week were unbeaten Queensmen who helped make it an intriguing seven goal contest. Atletico dominated the first half and Queensmen found themselves four / one down at half-time, their only goal being scored by Shaun Cooksley. In a second half comeback Queens scored two more through James Slack and Ben Butler, but the equaliser eluded them. Second placed Haynes shared an unusual twelve goals in their drawn match at home to London Road Supreme, which was a first point for London Road this season, but a point dropped by Haynes desperate to keep up with Atletico. Oakley and Lawson Park Rangers scored one goal apiece to share the points in their game at Pavenham, both sides now populating the middle part of the division. Meanwhile, Esquires were climbing away from the foot of the table after their two / nil away win at Caldecote.
Meltis Mexicans won the top of the table clash in Division One against Constant & Co. Athletic. Constant remain top as they have played one game more that Meltis, but this four / two defeat puts them both on eight points. The first half was a tight tussle as both teams tested each other out, but the Mexicans went ahead to lead one / nil at half-time. Clarke headed number two for the home side but Constant pulled one back and then shortly afterwards a second to level the scores, with the Meltis defence found wanting. The turning point came when Constant were reduced to ten men, and Danny Pilgrim put Meltis ahead again with a shot at the far post. Clarke scored his second late on with a stunning volley to seal the points. Sharnbrook Casuals are in third after beating Bird in Hand Bedford, the Bird dropping down now to fourth. Stewartby beat Old Hastingsburians three / two, and in the only other game in the division, Newtown lost their fifth game in a row to 21st Century, the score being two / nil. Century’s scorers were Lorenzo Jordan and then Tony Miliotti who finished off a fine team attack.
Kempston Sunday lead the way in Division Two. Their six / nil hammering of Wootton Wanderers shows them a point clear of New Inn Biggleswade, who scored five at Marston Reds. Kempston went three goals up in the first half through a brace from Craig Richards and one from Shaun Winconeck. Craig completed his hat-trick in the second half, and further goals from Andy Latimer and Richard Howlett were added without reply from Wootton. There were no goals in the Cranfield versus Harrold & Carlton game, but there were goals aplenty in the other two matches, Sharks winning their first game five / four against Eagle Heating, and Crown Flitwick winning six / two at Ship Inn. Crown are now third behind New Inn on goal difference.
There were lots of goals in Division Three also. Leaders Renhold bounced back from their cup defeat last week piling in six goals against Dunton Reserves. Dale Matthews and Anthony Hubbard scored two apiece for Renhold, with Scott Mann and James Matthews getting the other two. Ben Kinsella was Renhold’s man of the match. Caldecote Young Boys Reserves bettered Renhold’s six goals with eight away to Salento, although they let Salento score three in reply. Bedford Allsters continue to find their form, this week getting past Flitwick Eagles five / three. Mowsbury Athletic are hot on the heels of leaders Renhold, beating Black Tom Rangers two / one at Bedford Park. Andy Klein scored two penalties for Mowsbury but just could not find the net from open play despite having several chances. Black Tom pulled one back ten minutes from time. Old Boys went to Wells Stars and won two / one. Peter Duffy slotted home the Boys’ first goal. Wells equalised but Jimmy Fay chose this week to score his first game for the club when he headed in the Old Boys’ winner at the near post.
Gardeners Arms dropped their first points of the season when they visited Bedford Panthers in Division Four. The Panthers are now level on points at the top with the Arms after their two / nil win. Rose Biggleswade held Moor Lane Meltis to a one all draw, and the two clubs now stand third and fourth a point behind the top two. Grafton Celtics got back on track with a five / one defeat of Bellini’s, whilst M & DH Clapham secured a mid-table slot after their six / one defeat of Bedford Albion. Grafton Celtics’ scorers were Sam Stewart with four, and Garett McTernan with the other one. Bird in Hand Lower Stondon were the other winners in the division, turning over Embankment two / nil.
GNG Tigers head Division Five with Shillington Pirates and Sandy Badgers clinging on to the Tigers’ tail, all on eight points. GNG won four / nil at Harrold & Carlton Reserves, whilst the Pirates had a day off. Sandy Badgers dropped down after a surprising five / four reversal against Goldington Rangers. AC Atletico made hard work of beating Bedford Cupids. It finished two / one, but Atletico should have been well in the lead by half-time after a powerful display which began in the first minute. In their first real attack, Atletico worked the ball up-field and a through ball to Carlo Garganese was clinically buried into the Cupids’ net. After being under a lot of pressure in the first half, the Cupids drew level a minute before half-time when a corner was not cleared and Stuart Ruggles nipped in to fire a shot into the far corner of the Atletico net. The Cupids came more into the game in the second half but Atletico were the stronger, quicker and more organised team, deserving their second goal when Vincenzo Iaciofano latched onto a through ball which he despatched firmly. Fox & Hounds Clapham secured their first win in the league with a two / one home win against Sir William Peel Sandy. Santaniello’s hit seven at Kempston Wanderers shooting themselves up the table to relative safety from the basement battle. Sunil Gharu scored a penalty for Wanderers to level the scores at one apiece, but a break in the play upset Wanderers’ rhythm and they conceded four goals in ten minutes to go in at half-time five / one down. The second half got back to normal but Santaniello’ made their tally seven, whilst Wanderers could manage only one more goal, a Jake Marvin effort near the end of the game.
More league action next week.