Goalkeeper Dave Beeny was the March Town United hero as they advanced to the semi-finals of the Thurlow Nunn Division One League Cup semi-final yesterday (January 23).
March caused a major quarter-final upset by toppling unbeaten leaders Wivenhoe 5-4 on penalties following a goalless draw. Wivenhoe have won 17 of their 18 matches in the league and would have fancied their chances of beating mid-table March, particularly with home advantage.
But Beeny and his defence stood firm for 90 minutes and then the goalkeeper came to the fore in the shoot-out. Josh Jackman, David Jackson, Liam Merryweather and Kieran Evans scored the first four March penalties, but the home side converted their first four also.
Beeny took the fifth March kick himself and sent the opposition number one the wrong way before saving the next Wivenoe penalty to send his side through to the last four.
March deserved their win after dominating most of the first-half. Ondre Odain came closest to scoring with a header against the crossbar.
It was another great day for Deeping Rangers in the United Counties Premier Division. Michael Goode’s men are up to third after beating local rivals Peterborough Northern Star 4-2 at Outgang Road.
It could easily have been a more emphatic win for the home side. They led 4-0 at the break with goals from top scorer Scott Coupland (2), Scott Mooney and Chris Hibbitt. Star ‘keeper Dan George also saved a David Burton-Jones spot-kick in that one-sided first half. Coupland now has 21 goals for the season.
Star rallied after the break with a Craig Smith goal and an own goal from Deeping defender Spencer Tinkler, but it was too little too late for the city side who are stuck in 10th place.
Eighth-placed Yaxley had hopes of making it four Premier Division wins in a row, especially after Jon Stead fired them in front against leaders Leicester Nirvana at In2itive Park, but the visitors were level by half-time and scored twice in the final 12 minutes to seal a 3-1 win.
Huntingdon slipped to a 15th-straight defeat, 4-0 at Desborough, but Wisbech Town blew a golden opportunity to end the unbeaten record of AFC Kempston Rovers. Kempston were ahead at half-time, but they were reduced to 10 men just before the interval so when Billy Smith equalised with a 25-yard screamer in the 77th minute, a shock result was on the cards.
But the 10-men finished the stronger and won the game five minutes later to leave ‘The Fenmen’ in a lowly 16th position.
In Division One Peterborough Sports’ scheduled fixture at Wellingborough Whitworth was controversially postponed early on a sunny day - Sports’ chairman Tommy Cooper visited the ground at 2pm and felt it was very playable - while Bourne lost at home to Lutterworth and Blackstones were held to a 2-2 draw at Lincoln Road by Potton.
Zak Munton opened the scoring for sixth-placed Bourne, but Potton had scored three before Craig Rook netted a late consolation. Stones, who are 14th, led twice through Dan Evans and an own goal.
Stamford AFC’s big relegation clash with Whitby Town at the Zeeco Stadium was eventful. The visitors were 2-0 up early on before Jake Newman pulled a goal back for ‘The Daniels’ from the penalty spot.
Substitute Chris Bacon equalised 15 minutes from time with his first touch of the ball in a Stamford shirt - he was transferred from Wisbech 24 hours earlier - before veteran debutant goalkeeper Paul Bastock was sent off.
Stamford held on for a point which moved them up one place to 22nd in the table, two points from safety, but having played many more games than their relegation rivals.
Spalding dropped out of the Division One South play-off places after a goalless bore draw at home to Sheffield. Tulips ‘keeper Michael Duggan at least kept a clean sheet on his 150th appearance for the club.
Northern Premier Division
Stamford 2 (Newman, Bacon)
Whitby Town 2
Division One South
Spalding Utd 0
Sheffield FC 0
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE
AFC Kempston Rovers 2
Wisbech Town 1 (Smith)
Deeping Rangers 4 (Coupland 2, Mooney, Hibbitt)
Peterborough Northern Star 2 (Smith, Tinkler og)
Desborough Town 4
Huntingdon Town 0
Yaxley 1 (Stead)
Leicester Nirvana 3
Postponed: Holbeach United v Kirby Muxloe
Blackstones 2 (Evans, og)
Potton Utd 2
Bourne Town 2 (Munton, Rook)
Lutterworth Athletic 3
Postponed: Wellingborough Whitworth v Peterborough Sports
THURLOW NUNN EASTERN LEAGUE
Division One KO Cup
Wivenhoe Town 0
March Town United 0
(March won 5-4 on penalties)