On the Sunday before Christmas McDonald Property FC and the Sanctuary FC drew 1-1 at Boundary Park. These two teams look good bets for promotion to the Prem going into February. A win for either side would have been be a major step towards winning the title but maybe it was just as important to avoid defeat.
McDonald's Mark Jackson back to form after suffering an injury earlier in the season.
Sanctuary FC's Tony Pearson. Playing up front alongside Carl Faber today. Yesterday, he also had a good game for Mechanics in their home draw against Maine Road.
McDonald captain Mike Hartley (Front).
The game, like many in Division 1 this season was closely contested and ended up finishing 0-0. There was nothing between the teams with very few clear cut chances at either end. McDonald remain ten points behind Sanctuary but still have those four games in hand. The match was played in great spirit and well refereed by Mr Eagle. I'm already looking forward to seeing these two teams competing in the top flight next season if they can go on to achieve promotion.
Jordan Black (Left) and Danny Gregson.
At the top of 3B leaders the Subway took on second placed the Shovels. Earlier in the season the Subway had trounced today's opponents 7-1 in the reverse league fixture so the Shovels were all up for some revenge.
Shovel's keeper Micky Hall jumps highest to collect the ball.
The first ten minutes were scrappy to say the least with both linesmen stealing the show but then the game came alive. Firstly, the Shovel's Ian Squires' deflected clearance fell to Pygrum who hit a first time strike from outside the box that flew over Hall and into the net for one of the top goals of the season. Less than a minute later and the Shovels were level. Ian Squires redeemed his error with a great ball over the top for Danny Taylor who's pace took him away from the defenders. He looked up before smashing past the Subway keeper to level the score at 1-1. Taylor, only 18 is a real talent who's surely likely to receive attention soon from some of the bigger clubs in the Alliance.
Subway's Pygrum leaps highest for the ball.
Referee Mr Martin Rogers in charge of the game today.
Just before I moved on the Shovels took the lead. A neat pass down the right channel beat the Subway's flat back four and Tony Burke went through and slotted the ball under the keeper. The Shovels went on to win the game 4-2 and top the table tonight.
In the last of the Division 3 Cup second round ties 3A leaders Little Fat Jacks were up against Athletico Plough. The first league fixture between the two had ended up with Jacks snatching all three points following a contentious last minute winner so another close fought battle was expected today and that's exactly what we got.
Tempers boil over in the game.
It takes a brave man to wear tights for a Sunday Alliance fixture, especially when the camera is about. I expect this ensured some extra attention from the Jack's defenders.
After ninety minutes the score was 1-1 and referee Mr John McDonald took the game into extra time. With the wind advantage Jack's scored twice but just before the interval the Plough made it 3-2 with a great goal. In the second half of additional time Athletico pushed hard for an equaliser but despite a couple of nervy moments Jacks held out and progress through to the Quarter Finals. A great game of football.
At the foot of 2B Dudley Industries FC were at home to Stanley Arms, Wesham. Dudley, without a win since August had drawn two and lost eleven out of their last thirteen games in all competions. Stanley's season hasn't been all that much better. Additional spice, as if it were needed, was provided by the fact that ex Dudley striker Dave Bamber was back playing against his old team mates after recently moving to the Stanley.
There was talk of Bamber not being picked due to recent form but Stanley manager Sevens had him in the starting line up and this proved to be the correct choice. Bamber settled his nerves with a first half goal and it was Stanley who went into the interval 2-0 up. Shortly into the second half Bamber scored his second with a great one on one finish. Stanley went on to finish the game 5-1 winners. There were a few people out to stir things up in the build up to this game but thankfully the match passed by without any problems for referee Mr Harvey.
Stanley's Joseph Reeves. He'd come over to the sideline complaining of a knock. The Stanley fans, unconcerned, emptied the freezing contents of the water bucket over his head. Reeves' quickly forgetting about any injury.
At the final whistle the Dudley players were gracious in defeat not slow to shake hands with ex striker Bamber pictured left.