Josh Moreman has started to justify all the hype.
The local lad forced a few eyebrows to raise when dropping two levels to join Peterborough Sports from Spalding United earlier this month. Big things were expected from one of the most naturally gifted players on the non-league scene.
And after a slow start to his career with the United Counties Division One title certainties, Moreman delivered in style by shooting Sports into the Hinchingbrooke Cup Final with a two-goal burst last night (February 23).
Sports beat Premier Division outfit Yaxley 2-1 at PSL, but such is the strength of the city squad few would regard the result as a shock.
Moreman struck four minutes after the break and midway through the second-half, before Phil Stebbing replied for Yaxley 15 minutes from time. Sports now face a lenghty wait to find out who their final opponents will be.
Peterborough Northern Star tackle Stotfold in a quarter-final on March 15 with Deeping Rangers awaiting the winners of that tie.
It was a fast-paced contest last night that proved frantic at times. On chances Sports deserved to progress although the Cuckoos displayed the greater fluency for spells.
The early stages were even with Cuckoos ‘keeper Josh Lynch saving from Moreman who latched onto a Karl Gibbs pass. At the other end Matt Gearing found Dan Cotton whose low shot was tipped onto the post by Sports’ keeper Lea Jordan.
Stebbing had a gilt-edged chance for the Cuckoos as the ball broke to him in the box, but stabbed wide of the target.
The next chance fell to Sports with David Cobb winning possession in midfield and finding Avelino Vieira who played in Moreman who pulled his shot wide of the far post.
A good spell for the hosts saw Josh Lynch tip over Dan Bucciero’s diving header and the Yaxley ‘keeper was again in action to tip over from Moreman in less convincing fashion.
Vieira’s lay off created another chance for Moreman who forced Lynch to save low at his near post.
The home breakthrough arrived four minutes into the second half, Moreman was given too much space on the left of the box to fire a low angled shot just inside the far post.
Sports went further in front after 66 minutes with Vieira racing onto a long ball into the inside right channel and cutting the ball back into the path of Moreman who drilled a low shot beyond Lynch from the edge of the box.
With a quarter of an hour to play Yaxley found themselves back in the game out of nothing. Stebbing spread the play to Matt Gearing on the right and then raced into the box to turn in the cross to the far post at full stretch.
The goal changed the game completely with Sports dropping deep to defend their lead as Yaxley poured men forward.
But when Liam Hook fired over from the edge of the box their comeback chances were over.
Sports are already through to the final of the Northants Junior Cup where they will tackle Peterborough Premier Division side Netherton United. They are also in the last four of the United Counties League Cup where they are awaiting the winners of a quarter-final tie between Premier Division sides Cogenhoe and Eynesbury.
In the United Counties Premier Division Holbeach United were 4-1 down at Rothwell Corinthians when the match was abandoned after 73 minutes because of a serious injury suffered by Tigers’ player Nick Jackson. He suffered a badly-torn calf muscle.
Wisbech are now six matches unbeaten after seeing off Boston Town 3-2 at Fenland Park. The Fenmen fell behind early on, but scored three times in 20 minutes before the break through Danny Beaumont, Scott Johnson and Michael Frew.
The visitors pulled a goal back soon after the re-start, but a late red card scuppered their comeback hopes.
Spalding, who have completed the signing of Stuart Eason from St Ives, lost for the second game in a row in Evo Stik Division One South. The Tulips went down 2-0 at Gresley to slip to eighth in the table.
RESULTS Tuesday, January 23
EVO STIK LEAGUE
Division One South
Spalding United 0
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE
Rothwell Corinthians 4
Holbeach United 1
(Abandoned after 73 minutes, injury).
Wisbech Town 3 (Beaumont, Johnson, Frew)
Boston United 2
HINCHINGBROOKE CUP (Semi-final)
Peterborough Sports 2 (Moreman 2)
Yaxley 1 (Stebbing).