SportsReach Football league results – 31st March
This weekend was the penultimate weekend for most teams in the SportsReach football league, with it now all coming down to the ‘Race for the title’ thriller next Saturday when Great Ecc travel up to Wray. This weekend, however, three games took place, with Moorlands vs. Quernmore called off. Fulwood made the journey up to Salt Ayre to face Lancaster, whilst a depleted Loko traveled to Great Ecc and finally Wray made the trip to Preston City Mission.
Wray run riot
Preston City Mission 2 – 15 Wray
2, Own goal 26 // Fawcett 7, 19, 46, 55, 69, 76, 80, 89 Talbot 27, 31, Lawson 56, Ibbetson 68, Whitaker 72, Taplin 75, Dawson 85,
A wonderful free-kick put the home side in front after two minutes, but Fawcett struck twice to make it 2-1 after 20 minutes, his second goal coming from the spot. But an unfortunate own goal from Mark Ellershaw levelled the scores again as Wray battled to get on top. The ever-willing Phil Talbot wrestled control back for Wray as his persistence earnt him two quick goals to make it 4-2 at the break. Some personnel changes and some encouraging words from their young supporters gave Wray renewed energy for the second half.
And once Fawcett got his hat-trick within a minute of the restart, it was all Wray from then on in, despite valiant efforts from the PCM squad. The excellent Nick Taplin set up Fawcett (55), then James Lawson finished well for 7-2 (56). George Ibbetson (68) tapped in to make it double figures before Fawcett rounded off a powerful run for his fifth (69). George Whitaker (72) returned off the bench to finish precisely while Taplin’s cool finish (75) was richly deserved. Four goals in the last 13 minutes included three more from Fawcett, his last one being a penalty in the last minutes. The other Wray goal came from marauding centre-half Matt Dawson, who struck from range for his third goal of the season. Credit to PCM who worked hard as a team and remaining in good spirits throughout in their final match of the season.
Ruthless Great Ecc hammer Loko
Great Ecc 11 – 0 Loko
Leech 5, 80 Sharples 10, 26, 55, 83 Greenhalgh 28, Ball 50, 53, 57, Hogarth 65 //
Great Ecc came into this game high on confidence after recent good form. They knew they needed a good result as their rivals Wray were playing Preston City Mission and would potentially score a few goals, eating into Eccy’s +8 goal advantage, whilst Loko turned up with a threadbare squad of just 11 men. Gt. Ecc started brightly, forcing Loko into conceding possession and gave away a corner. Full Back Adam Moat drove in a low delivery that eluded the Loko defence and fell to Daniel Ball whose scuffed shot found it’s way to Jonny Leech (5) to prod home. 1-0. Eccy’s next goal was probably the goal of the game from the team’s perspective. Some great passing saw the ball bypass the Loko team freeing Jack Sharples (10) to ghost clear and fire into the far top corner! Great Ecc kept up the pressure and soon had their 3rd when Dan Ball unselfishly passed the ball across goal for Jack Sharples (26) to tap in. Then life got that bit harder for Loko as midfield playmaker Brad Rodwell pulled his groin and had to go off. Two mins later Capt Simon Greenhalgh (28) ventured forward and and let rip with a belter that took a wicked deflection off a Loko defender to completely wrong foot the keeper. Great Ecc knew more goals were for the taking and Jonny Leech crossed a great ball for Sharples, unmarked to finish with an easy tap in, but somehow Jack completely mis-kicked it allowing the keeper to sweep up. Loko’s life got all the more harder when Glen Hamner tweaked his hamstring and had to go off, before another Loko player was sent off. With Loko down to 9 men, Eccy went to 3 at the back and pushed 3 up top. Loko’s Glen Hamner bravely came back on to bring their number back up to 9. It would have been very easy for Loko to have thrown the towel in and forfeit the game, but they showed amazing character and determination to finish the game.
A great one two from Dan Ball and Den Pulford saw Ball(50) cooly slot the ball past the keeper. Great Ecc then found their rhythm. Tom Shield’s inch perfect cross field ball was met by a peach of a header from Ball (53) as he directed the ball into the far corner past the despairing dive of the Loko keeper. Sharples (55) finally got his first league hat-trick of the season as he hit a half volley through a crowded box into the back of the net. Dan Ball (57) then claimed his hat-trick as Dennis Pulford rounded the keeper and selflessly squared for Ball to tap home. Not to be outdone by Eccy’s strikers, midfield powerhouse Sam Hogarth (65) let fly with a trademark piledriver into the far corner. To their credit, Loko continued to look to release their solitary striker, and at times, he caused the otherwise quiet Eccy defenders some work to do. From a cross the ball fell kindly to Jonny Leech (80) to fire home from close range into the roof of the net. Dennis Pulford tried his best to get on the scoresheet by hitting the bar twice. But it was left to Jack Sharples (83) to finish the scoring with a lovely bending shot from the edge of the area. Eccy were ruthless today, knowing that goal difference could play an important part in the title race run in. I can say the boys took little joy in the way the game played out, but again credit to Loko for showing tremendous character in very difficult conditions for them.
Fulwood overcome Lancaster
Lancaster 1 – 4 Fulwood
White 1 // Atkinson 28, 76, Garratt 65, Mansfield 86
Fulwood came into this game knowing that victory here would still leave the door open for them to take third place this season, taking it off a Lancaster side hoping for a better result that their last league game – their loss to Preston City Mission. Lancaster had a great start, netting within seconds of the game starting through White. The perfect start for Lancaster. Fulwood looked to get the equalizer and in the 28th minute they found it through striker Atkinson. That was how it stayed at half time, 1-1. In the 65th minute player-manager Garratt was able to finish to put Fulwood into the lead. The next goal in this game would be crucial, if Fulwood were to get it, it would be tough to look past them for the win. And it was Fulwood who found the next goal, through Atkinson again, in the 76th minute. Finally, in the 86th minute the scoring was complete through Fulwood player Jack Mansfield. Full time and it was 4 – 1 to Fulwood.