The all-city final in the Northants Junior Cup has been confirmed.
United Counties Division One top dogs Peterborough Sports will start as hot favourites to beat Peterborough Premier Division side Netherton United, but they will do well not to under-estimate the underdogs.
Netherton collected their fourth UCL Division One scalp in a row in the competition by beating Raunds Town 1-0 at the Grange in their semi-final yesterday (February 6). Herbie Panting’s super strike just before the break proved decisive on the club’s 3G surface.
Sports were far less impressive as they needed a marathon penalty shoot out to finally see off lower level Weldon United following a goal-less draw after 90 minutes. Weldon came closest to winning the game in normal time when firing a shot against a post in the 80th minute.
The conditions were a great leveller though and Sports were grateful to come through a penalty shoot out that saw seven players miss from the spot. Sports’ former Peterborough United goalkeeper Luke McShane saved four penalties before Karl Gibbs finally stepped up to take the city side through.
Sports’ lead at the top of Division One was reduced to 12 points while they were on cup duty, but Bourne and Blackstones failed to make significant progress after battling to 1-1 draws.
Bourne’s was the more worthy as they held a Long Buckby side that had won their previous seven matches. Top scorer Zak Munton claimed the equaliser 10 minutes into the second-half.
Defender Matt Simpson gave Stones an early lead, but lowly Buckingham Town equalised soon after the re-start.
In the Premier Division 10-man Holbeach delivered a stunning first-half display to see off Peterborough Northern Star at Carter’s Park.
A third home defeat in a row for Holbeach looked likely when Tigers defender Nick Jackson was dismissed while conceding a 30th-minute penalty. Callum Madigan equalised an early Jack Smith goal from the spot, but the team with 10 men promptly scored three more goals before the break through player-coach Andrew Tidswell, young debutant Jenk Acer and Jordan Thomas. Tidswell netted with a trademark set-piece strike.
A goal early in the second-half from Chris Jones proved a mere consolation for Star.
Holbeach are fifth in the table, just a place and two points behind Deeping Rangers who have played seven more games. Deeping signed former Posh winger Ryan Semple last week, but they became the latest victims of in-form Eynesbury Rovers at Outgang Road yesterday.
A goal in each half from a team now unbeaten in 12 matches secured the points.
A six-point deduction for an admin error has sent Yaxley tumbling into the bottom half of the table and they didn’t make up much ground with a 1-1 draw at Wisbech.
Scott Carter gave Yaxley the lead before the break, but Adam Millson levelled on 51 minutes.
And there was rare joy for Huntingdon who picked up just their third positive result - and their first draw - of a 31-game season by collecting a point from a goalless encounter at home to Harrowby United. It was the first game in charge for Bob Warby, Huntingdon’s third manager of the season.
Liam Merryweather scored twice as March Town United thumped Dereham 5-2 in Division One of the Thurlow Nunn League. Ondre Odain, Matt Barber and Shane Cooke also netted.
Stamford AFC’s match at Sutton Coldfield was one of only two matches to survive the rain in the Evo Stik Premier Division, but two first-half goals for the home side secured the points and left ‘The Daniels’ even closer to relegation.
Spalding are possibly heading in the other direction. They beat Kidsgrove Athletic 2-1 at the Sir Halley Stewart ground to maintain their place in the Division One South play-off spots. A Tom Waumsley strike and an own goal in the first 12 minutes delivered Spalding’s victory.
Saturday, February 6
Northern Premier Division
Sutton Coldfield Town 2
Division One South
Spalding Utd 2 (Waumsley, og)
Kidsgrove Athletic 1
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE
Deeping Rangers 0
Eynesbury Rovers 2
Holbeach United 4 (Smith, Tidswell, Acer, Thomas)
Peterborough Northern Star 2 (Jones, Madigan)
Huntingdon Town 0
Harrowby United 0
Wisbech Town 1 (Millson)
Yaxley 1 (Carter)
Blackstones 1 (Simpson)
Buckingham Town 1
Long Buckby 1
Bourne Town 1 (Munton)
THURLOW NUNN EASTERN LEAGUE
March Town United 5 (Merryweather 2, Odain, Cooke, Barber)
Dereham Town Res 2
NORTHANTS JUNIOR CUP
Weldon United 0
Peterborough Sports 0
Sports won 7-6 on penalties
Netherton United 1 (Panting)
Raunds Town 0