Eaton Socon wary of April backlog, while Fenstanton and others challenge for Cambs League promotion
- Credit: Archant
WITH another round of Saturday matches snowed off, Neville Cooper is worried about a busy April. Quite simply, April could make or break Eaton Socon’s season – because the team at the bottom of the Cambridgeshire FA County League’s Premier Division are currently scheduled to play 13 games in that month.
“It’s a nightmare,” said manager Cooper, who is currently asking around to see if there are any teams with floodlights that can help them out.
Eaton may be bottom of the division, but they have only played 13 games in the league – and Chatteris Town, one place and three points above them, have played 20. In fact, Eaton have played four fewer games than any of their Premier Division rivals.
This Saturday (February 2) they have an important home semi final in the Hunts FA Scott Gatty Intermediate Cup against Hemingfords United (1.30pm kick off).
“We have got 21 league games and three semi finals left to play,” said the manager. “Our first month was horrendous because we had players away.
“We have only lost two of our last 10 league and cup games – but if we get lumbered with 13 matches in April, our season is scuppered.”
Brampton have fared only slightly better in the same division after a half-decent start suggested they would do well. Adam Burnley’s side have a record of four wins and six draws from 18 games and haven’t picked up three points since they beat Lakenheath in September.
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Optimism is high at Fenstanton with the Senior A side aiming for a second successive promotion – this time to the top flight.
Manager Dom Moody said. “Once again we find ourselves challenging for the league title at this mid-season stage. We are fourth and only six points off the top of the table.
“After winning the Senior B title and the Percy Oldham Memorial Cup last season, we have followed our usual protocol as make a name for ourselves within the Cambs League by getting the results we require.
“With strikers Josh Turner and Ollie Barnard on top form, scoring the goals each week, I am sure we have got rid of our sloppy slow start to the season.
“With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work I am confident that we can challenge for the title once again and make it three promotions in a row.”
Hemingfords United sit in ninth, but Needingworth United find themselves as the division’s whipping boys, and after having three points deducted, the bottom club have just two points from their 15 games.
Hemingfords boss Brett Swales said: “We have struggled having two or three players out with long-term injuries. But they have all have started to filter back now.
“We lost three key players from last season, including the club’s top goalscorer, so we have been lacking up front.”
Bluntisham Rangers, St Ives Rangers and Hemingfords United Reserves all sit in the middle of the Senior B table – possible ready to pounce in the second half of the season.
In Division One B, Chris Bailey has been rebuilding at Somersham Town, a club that made the tough decision to scrap its first team and rebrand its reserves at the end of last season.
“This was done to keep the club in a strong position for the future,” said spokesman Sam Thompson.
And, so far, with the team at the top of the table having won nine of their 11 league games, things seem to be going swimmingly. Justin Ives, who joined the club from Ramsey, has scored 13 of their goals.
Buckden and Huntingdon United RGE sit in mid-table, while Godmanchester Rovers Reserves are one from the bottom with eight points from their 10 games.
Both Brampton Reserves and St Ives Reserves are challenging for promotion from Division two B. St Ives are looking particularly strong under the management of Gary Tharme. Sitting in fourth, they have won all eight of their games, having played fewer than Brampton, leaders Milton Reserves, and Bar Hill Sports & Social in third.
Callum Mackay has been scoring the goals for them, and the young striker may be pushing on the door of the first team soon, if that form continues.
Great Paxton Reserves and Little Paxton are also challenging in their prospective divisions, Three B and Four A, while brand new team Houghton & Wyton are top of the Five C table with 11 wins from 12 games.
Things have taken a bit of a downturn in the Premier Division of the Peterborough & District League for Ramsey Town, who won the title in 2011 before challenging for some of the following season. In fact, Paul Taylor’s side are only four points off the bottom of the table at the moment with 14 points from their 16 games.
Sawtry are pushing for promotion from Division One, while Warboys Town, are currently fourth in Division Two.
Alconbury, who took the decision to drop to Division Three after a disastrous 2011-13 season saw them finish bottom of the Premier Division, are second with only Baston above them.
Second in Division Four are Sawtry Reserves.