First half forgettable, second half memorable – that’s been the story of Fenstanton’s season so far.
The Cambs League Division 2B title-chasers are rarely at their best before the break, but they tend to be different beasts in the second period.
And that was the case again last Saturday when they twice had to rely on the woodwork to keep them level at Cottenham United Reserves before all the goals in a 4-0 victory arrived after the interval.
Leading scorer Ben Hall’s quickfire brace set them on the way to victory before substitute Ross Fairley and Dion Lee added further strikes late on.
It means 35 of the club’s 44 goals this season have arrived after half-time in matches, but it is still shaping up to be a successful campaign.
Player-boss Adam Buckingham said: “I think the reason we start slowly is that we are too cautious in the first half of games.
“I tend to give a strongly-worded teamtalk at half-time, but I think the fitness of the team usually has a big part to play in the strong second halves. Also, the depth of the squad always gives me decent options on the bench.
“We were once 1-0 up at half-time against Mildenhall and I wasn’t happy so I dangled a carrot of ‘I’ll buy a round at the pub after the game if we score more than seven goals’.
“Unbelievably we won 8-0 and the round cost me £52 so I won’t be doing that again!
“I will encourage the midfield to push on and contribute to the attacking slightly more in the first half, but as long as we keep winning I’ll be a happy man.”
Only an inferior goal difference keeps Fenstanton off the top with fellow locals Houghton & Wyton currently occupying pole position.
Simon Osborne was a frequent supply line as they saw off Wisbech St Mary A 6-0.
Osborne’s set-piece delivery created five of their goals and he also scored one as well.
Lloyd Howard hit a hat-trick for the leaders while John Morris and substitute John Johnson also got their names on the scoresheet.
AFC Barley Mow man Adam Lacey experienced a spot of bother as his side continued their Saturday football winning spree.
The Barley boys extended their perfect Cambs League Division 3B start to seven matches – and recorded an 11th successive victory in all competitions – by thumping Lakenheath Casuals.
Lacey struck twice and missed two penalties during the 6-1 win while leading scorer Josh Turner also bagged a brace.
Player-boss Sean Sweeney and Adam Armstrong, who also had a hand in three other goals, completed the scoring.
Alconbury Reserves boosted their survival prospects at that level with a second win of the season.
George Garner, Joel Kirschner and Mick Clarke hit the goals in a 3-0 success against Benwick Athletic.
A tactical tweak and a stunning save helped Offord United preserve their unbeaten start in Division 3A.
Kacey Nicholson hit a crucial winner after being shifted into a central position from his usual wide berth.
Nicholson’s strike with 15 minutes to go sealed a 2-1 success over Clare Town for the table-toppers although Offord were reliant on a terrific last-gasp stop from goalkeeper Matt Lees to keep their noses in front.
They had earlier gone ahead through Dan Taylor only for the visitors to level before the break.
Offord lead the way from local rivals Eaton Socon A by virtue of a superior goal difference.
The Socon side were victorious without even taking to the pitch last Saturday as opponents Wilbraham were unable to raise a side.
Elsewhere, Ben Taylor bagged four goals and Alex Norman hit a hat-trick as Alconbury retained second spot in Division 1B following an 8-3 win at Milton Reserves.
Needingworth Reserves got their Division 5B promotion bid back on track with a 9-0 drubbing of
Needingworth United Reserves got their season back on track with a 9-0 drubbing of Upwell Town Reserves.
New signing Marco Galea climbed off the bench to hit a hat-trick with Brett Swales and Thomas Dines both striking twice.