LOCAL FOOTBALL: Clarke and Clark are already forming a successful alliance as Alconbury start superbly

The Alconbury side are, back row, left to right, Nathan Pond (coach), Matty Pond, Alex Norman, James

The Alconbury side are, back row, left to right, Nathan Pond (coach), Matty Pond, Alex Norman, James Mackrell, Ryan Palmer, Matty Claxton, Kristien Strickson-Head, Paul McFarlane, Greg Cooper, Ross Sommers, front row, George Pearson, Ben Arnold Darrell Clark (joint manager), Jaydon Sommers, Dan Matthews, Jess Clark, Mick Clarke (joint manager), Simon Pearce, Will England and Jack Goodall. - Credit: Archant

Alconbury chief Mick Clarke reckons the appointment of a joint boss and the captures of a couple of new players have inspired their perfect start to the season.

Clarke drafted in Darrell Clark (the man he actually succeeded in the hotseat in the summer of 2016) to work alongside him during the summer - and their partnership has begun with three successive victories to catapult their side to the top of the Cambs League Division 1B standings. Alconbury also negotiated the first round of the Creake Charity Shield with the minimum of fuss.

The latest success was a 7-3 league drubbing of fellow locals Fenstanton last Saturday, which featured braces from Greg Cooper and Alex Norman.

Cooper is one of two key new arrivals, along with fellow former Offord United man Simon Pearce, which Clarke believes have had a positive impact.

Clarke said: “Darrell returning is a massive reason for our amazing start. He is a proven manager with a fantastic attitude who also does great work behind the scenes to make the lads feel wanted.

“We had a few old players return to add extra quality and new players – notably Greg and Simon – are great additions.

“The morale is good and everyone is enjoying their football.

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“Nathan Pond is putting on some well structured training sessions to help the lads to focus and want success more.

“It’s a bit early to be talking about promotion as there are a lot of top teams in this division, but we’ll certainly try our hardest to be in with a shout.”

Kristien Strickson-Head (with his seventh goal of the season already), George Pearson and substitute Jack Goodall were the other Alconbury scorers against a Fenstanton side who are yet to win this term under new manager Mark Buckingham.

Houghton & Wyton also boast a 100 per cent start after two Jordan Brockett goals helped them see off St Ives Rangers 4-2 on a day of Division 1B derbies.

AFC Barley Mow have made a fine start to their debut season at this level.

A Josh Turner double helped them to a 4-1 derby win at Hemingfords United Reserves. Luke Gove and Dean Legg also found the net for a Barley side chasing a third successive title as they rapidly climb the Cambs League structure.

Eaton Socon A scored six goals last Saturday . . . and still crashed out of a Cambs League knockout competition.

The locals fell at the first John Ablett Cup hurdle after a 9-6 reverse at the hands of fellow Division 3A side Comberton United Reserves.

Jake Dexter hit a hat-trick for the Socon outfit in a match where the two teams shared a dozen goals in 90 minutes, but it was the visitors who struck three more times in extra-time.

Greg Lapare and Jordan Nicholson both hit braces as Great Paxton beat Buckden 4-1 to progress, while a Will Abrams hat-trick helped Papworth Reserves to a 5-3 success at Cherry Hinton A.

Jackson Bonny bagged four goals and also claimed two assists as St Ives Rangers Reserves continued a high-scoring start to their debut season last Saturday.