NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Agony for St Ives Town and St Neots Town - ecstasy for Godmanchester Rovers and Huntingdon Town
- Credit: Archant
St Ives Town suffered late heartbreak in a Southern League Premier Division Central thriller yesterday.
Ricky Marheineke's men succumbed to a 4-3 defeat at high-flying Rushall Olympic in a match they twice led.
They looked set to be on the way to a first league success of the season thanks to two goals in the space of four minutes just past the midway point of the first half.
Captain Robbie Parker opened the scoring from the penalty after Jack Snelus was wrestled to the ground and new signing Matt Foy then struck for the second time in as many Saints appearances.
But the hosts came roaring back, cutting their arrears within three minutes of Foy's effort thanks to a contentious Levi Rowley penalty and then levelling three minutes before half-time through Jonathan Letford.
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But it was then Saints' turn to deliver an instant response as Parker restored their advantage with a stunning 25-yard strike straight from the kick-off.
Once again the lead proved to be short-lived as Rushall replied just 90 seconds into the second half when Daniel O'Callaghan struck - and the sides then remained deadlocked until the hosts snatched victory in the dying moments.
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Rushall man Asa Charlton pounced from point-blank range to break the resistance of a Saints side by then reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of defender Charlie De'Ath.
He was dismissed late on when collecting a second caution for timewasting after earlier being booked on the stroke of half-time for kicking the ball away.
Saints are second-bottom of the Premier Division standings after collecting only one point from their opening seven games.
Fellow locals St Neots Town occupy the same position at Division One Central level.
Marc Abbott's side suffered a third reverse from their opening five league games when going down 2-1 at Didcot Town yesterday.
Saints hit the front thanks to Joe Sutton's strike in the 13th minute but were pegged back five minutes before half-time by Mark Francis.
And the same Didcot man then completed the Oxfordshire side's turnaround with a winner 10 minutes from time in a game marred by an ugly second-half incident.
Unused Saints substitute Stevan Shaw was sent off for his part in a melee which followed an altercation between forward Tim Nkala and Didcot defender Liam Talboys. Those two players were both booked.
It was a case of high-fives all round for Godmanchester Rovers.
Ollie Drake's men cruised of a fifth consecutive Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division by slamming Cambridgeshire rivals Ely City 5-1 at the David Wilson Homes Ground.
An early double from Tom Spark put Rovers in command before James Hall got in on the act.
Young substitute Gianni Cantone and free-kick wizard Ross Munro added further goals in the second half before City claimed a last-gasp consolation.
Huntingdon Town enjoyed FA Vase success.
An Adam Richardson penalty and an Odie Wason strike earned Town a 2-1 victory against Mulbarton Wanderers in the second qualifying round.
Both Town goals arrived in the opening half at Jubilee Park and they stood firm in a tense finish after seeing their advantage halved.
Eynesbury Rovers will attempt to join them in the first round proper today when travelling to Edgware Town for an all-Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division tie.