Former Peterborough United manager Ian Benjamin started his reign as Yaxley FC manager with a 3-1 United Counties Premier Division win at Harborough Town last night (July 31).
The match was played in front of a record Harborough crowd of 313 and the home sisde responded with a goal inside two minutes.
But reigning Peterborough Telegraph Footballer of the Year Dan Cotton was in inspired form for the Cuckoos and he finished expertly to drag Yaxley level after just nine minutes.
Cotton then created two goals for Matt Gearing at either end of the second-half to seal a Yaxley.
The match was played early as part of the ‘Ground Hopper’ programme, an initiative created to allow non-league football fanatics to visit numerous local grounds on the same weekend.
Blackstones also hosted a ‘Ground Hopper’ match in Stamford in front of an excellent crowd of 327 and they battled back to secure a Division One draw against Rushden & Higham with a second-half goal from the penalty spot by former Posh youngster Dan Evans. This was the first competive match in charge for new ‘Stones’ boss Phil Gadsby.
There was also a Peterborough League match on the schedule and hosts, newly-promoted Ketton, would have been pleased with a 2-2 draw against Premier Division big hitters Netherton.
Ketton opened the scoring with a Ben Waldron header, but Tom Randall and Dwayne Rankin saw Netherton in front before a late equaliser from the penalty spot from Alex Brockbank.
Ketton were aggrieved to see an early Ash Clipston strike disallowed.
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE
Yaxley (Gearing 2, Cotton) 3
Blackstones 1 (Evans)
Rushden & Higham 1.
Ketton (Walden, Brockbank) 2
Netherton United (Randall, Rankin) 2
Peterborough Sports got the better of neighbours Northern Star in all-city friendly clash today, writes Mark Plummer
A 3-2 triumph at PSL provided a third success of the summer over higher-level opposition for hot United Counties League Division One title favourites Sports.
It also meant a seventh friendly outing without victory for Premier Division outfit Star as they go through a rebuilding process.
Star did hit the front though as Chris Jones broke the deadlock with a shot from the edge of the box after just 90 seconds.
Their lead lasted until the mid-point of the opening period when Andy Boome swept Sports level.
Star squandered a glorious chance to go back ahead on the stroke of half-time when Jacob Joyce’s weak penalty was easily saved by Sports keeper Luke McShane.
Sports hit the front amid confusion early in the second half. Avelino Vieira pounced as Star goalkeeper Dan George failed to deal with a back-pass.
With the ball already heading to the empty net, George pulled back Vieira to be shown a red card and Sports awarded a penalty.
But, after protests from both sets of players and management, the goal was allowed to stand and George remained on the pitch.
An ankle injury did force George off before long though with Star physio Sam Palmer, himself a keeper of some repute, donning the gloves.
Palmer couldn’t prevent Lewis Webb (one of only four Sports players in their starting line-up not to have played for Star previously) adding a third goal for the hosts.
Star finished the game brightly with a slick passing move producing a goal for Craig Smith.
The two teams begin their league campaigns next Saturday (August 8).