Wanderers retake top spot just in time for Christmas

It was the first Sunday of the winter in which several matches were postponed due to frost and, having lost the epic confrontation expected between the Premier Division’s top pair, the game between the top two Division Two sides took centre stage in a 12 goal thriller this week.

Mowsbury Athletic had beaten Renhold 5-3 to take top spot the previous weekend to drop Renhold to third while second placed Wootton Wanderers sat the morning out.

On Sunday, Wootton slayed Caldecote Young Boys Reserves 11-2 to leap-frog above both Mowsbury and Renhold to go top in time for Christmas while the return fixture between Renhold and Mowsbury saw the former win 7-5 to go back into second place, thus dropping the Ath back to third.

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It would appear that this game was not one for the purest to enjoy – or the defensive coaches to drool over! – but one cannot but revel in the number of goals scored and the good manner in which the game was played.

Renhold went 4-0 up in the first half but Athletic’s Rhys Allen pulled one goal back by half time. It became 4-2 after 55 minutes while Mowsbury’s keeper then saved a penalty.

There was more to come with man of the match Shaun Cafferty and Andy Latimer both completing hat-tricks while Rhys Allen, Harry Weller, Arran Wright, Matt Barnes and Curtis McGall all scored for Mowsbury.

Afterwards both managers agreed that the score could have been even more as Renhold made silly defensive mistakes to leak five while Mowsbury had key players missing but still netted five times.

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The only Premier Division game between Caldecote Young Boys and London Road Supreme was quickly reversed when Supreme’s pitch became unavailable, but the effort to swap grounds by London Road was unlucky for them when Caldecote beat them 5-1.

In Division One the only game to survive was that between Old Hastingsburians and Newtown Rangers which the llatter side won 2-1.

Division Three also had just the one game with Grafton Celtics and Old Boys drawing 2-2. Seven day’s previous Old Boys had been hammered 8-1 and fearing a repeat, they kept it tight and went ahead courtesy of Peter Duffy. Celtics equalised almost immediately only for Michael Fry to make it 2-1 with a sizzling free kick. The Boys then squandered the gilt-edged chance but Grafton equalised to snatch a point.

Three games survived in Division Four. High-flying Rose Biggleswade lost at home to Oakley Reserves 3-2 while Bird in Hand Lower Stondon picked up two useful points in their fight to get out of relegation trouble. They beat Bellini’s 3-1. Elsewhere Fox & Hounds Clapham lost 2-1 against Goldington Rangers.

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In Division Five, Sir William Peel Sandy beat Bedford Old Boys 3-1 to go on level pegging with the Boys just behind the leaders.

It all started cautiously as the players tested out the pitch, but the Peelers soon found their rhythm and Jesse Moyo (equipped with some natty gloves), prodding in a free kick which Dave Trundley served up exquisitely while the Old Boys equalised almost immediately.

Sir William Peel took the lead again in the new half when a poor goal kick by the Bedford keeper was intercepted by the alert Conor Green, who nodded on for Dean Hamilton to lob home with aplomb. And it was Ben Fry who the Peelers’ third with, his first for the club.

In the Under 21 Division there were two surviving games. Barton Rovers beat Brickhill Wanderers ‘A’ 3-1 with goals from Bryn Reynolds, Charlie Colbourne (two). However indiscipline crept in and with five minutes left it was abandoned by the referee which means the league committee will have to decide the final outcome.

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The other match was won by Shefford Saints who beat Brickhill Wanderers ‘B’ 6-0 at Russell Park.

As there have been a number of recent games postponed, there will be only one Manager of the Month award for December and one in January, both to be announced at the end of January. The action recommences on Sunday, January 8 after the festive break.

Clive Milton