Peterborough Sports Reserves have cleared the toughest hurdle in their race to the Peterborough Premier Division title.
Sports, who received plenty of social media stick for fielding members of their all-conquering first team in recent big midweek games, beat Moulton Harrox, the team that started the day in third place, 1-0 at PSL with a more recognisable reserve side.
An early goal from Carl Bird. whose free kick was deflected into the net, was enough to win a competitive contest and maintain Sports’ four-point lead at the top.
The city side are among several top-flight sides to still have six games to play and they are crammed into the next 17 days. They are at AFC Stanground Sports on Wednesday (April 26) before tackling Deeping Rangers Reserves (away, April 29), Holbeach United Reserves (away, May 2), Stamford Lions (home, May 6), ICA Sports (home, May 9) and Wisbech Town Reserves (away, May 13).
Second-placed Pinchbeck United are the only serious challengers, but they almost blew it at relegation-threatened Uppingham where they needed a cracking late goal from Liam Ogden to secure a 1-0 win. Top scorer Ollie Maltby had failed to convert a penalty a few minutes earlier.
Pinchbeck also have six league games to go, starting at Deeping on Wednesday, but they have to fit all their remaining matches into a 13-day spell as they have two cup finals to play within four days in May.
Netherton United, whose title challenge ended with defeat at the hands of Sports last week (April 19), are back up to third after two goals from Adam Scott helped secure a 3-0 win at Sawtry.
The big winners at the bottom of the table were Stilton United who won 3-0 at Langtoft United thanks to goals from Liam Rodden (2) and Richard Baines.
Two go down from the top flight and third-bottom Stilton are now four points clear of bottom two Uppingham and Crowland. All have two games to play.
Stilton’s Kris Kefford was sent off. Langtoft management pair Ryan Hunnings and Jimmy Brattan have agreed to manage United Counties League side Huntingdon.
After a long unbeaten run stretching back to October 1, Stamford Lions have now lost three matches in a row. Two goals from Harley Williams were key in a 3-1 defeat at ICA Sports.
Saturday, April 22
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES PETERBOROUGH LEAGUE
Deeping Rangers Res 4 (Evans 2, Hutton, De La Russo), Leverington Sports 1
Holbeach United Res 1 (Allen), Ketton 0
Langtoft United 0, Stilton United 3 (Rodden 2, Baines).
ICA Sports 3 (Williams 2, Wayte), Stamford Lions 1 (Forster)
Peterborough Sports Res 1 (Bird), Moulton Harrox 0
Sawtry 0, Netherton United 3 (Scott 2, Brisbourne).
Uppingham Town 0, Pinchbeck United 1 (Bird).