Friday night football returned in the Samba Nottinghamshire League this past weekend when at Cotgrave Seniors, they entertained Keyworth United, in Group A of the Premier Division round-robin cup competition.
An entertaining contest ensued and four goals were witnessed, the visitors eventually running out victors by three goals to two; it was a game that also bore witness to the continued return of fans, and those erstwhile, and hardy folk, known as groundhoppers.
Having shared four goals in the first meeting of the two sides earlier in the competition, goals were an odds-on certainty, and so it proved again in the return game at the Welfare Ground. Leading at the break, the visitors would strengthen their hold on the game in the second period when adding two further goals.
Taking a three-goal lead, the second coming from distance via a free-kick, Keyworth scoring through Cameron Gray, Daniel Hough, and Scott Litchfield and, although Ryan Plummer pulled a goal back prompting hopes of a comeback but that was scuppered when the hosts found themselves down to ten men with the dismissal, via two yellows, of substitute James Leach.
The other Group A game would also see an away win as Bingham Town win 2-1 at Aslockton & Orston, Rob Lakin and Tom Spencer scoring as they, and Keyworth, are separated by a point at the top of the group, Cotgrave a further three points back.
The one game in Group C saw a five-goal thriller between hosts Magdala Amateurs, and visitors FC Cavaliers, both sides finishing with ten men after the dismissals of Ethan Lespeare (Magdala) and Liam Taylor (Cavaliers); Lespeare was also one of the three scorers of the victors, alongside that of Ellis Carter and Tom Haw.
Victory moved the Amateurs onto nine points from their four matches, level with Woodthorpe Park Rangers at the top of the group, the unbeaten leaders with a game in hand.
Ilkeston FCB hit the ten point mark in Group D after goals from Ayleal Dill and Lamin Manneh, gave them a 2-0 win away to Awsworth Villa, victory ensuring a three-point lead over second-placed Sandiacre Town, who were held to a 3-3 draw at Attenborough.
Of the First Division Cup matches, in Group C, Beeston moved joint-top with Wollaton Reserves after they won 2-1 away to Stapleford Town Reserves, the victors netting through Tom Coupe and Thomas O’Regan whilst in Group D, West Bridgford through that wide-open when winning by the odd-goal-in-nine away to United Grays, Radcliffe Olympic taking advantage of the slip to move level after a 1-0 win at home to Southwell City Reserves.
Blidworth Welfare move top of the Second Division North Group B after they romped to an 8-2 home win over AFC Cresswell, leapfrogging their visitors, whilst in Group D Pythian Reserves picked up their first victory when claiming a 4-3 success away to Bilborough Town Development.
In the Second Division South, Group B, there’s currently a two-way tie between Ruddington Village Reserves and East Leake Robins, who now have ten points apiece after victories at the weekend, the former winning 4-1 at home to Cotgrave Reserves, whilst the latter won by the odd-goal-in-five at Keyworth United Reserves.
AC United and Burton Joyce Reserves are battling it out atop of Group C, United holding on to top spot with a 5-2 home win over Pythian, Joshua Osafo with a brace; meanwhile AFC Vernon, they’re on twelve points atop of the Foundation Division Group B after they won 2-0 at home to Stapleford Town Development, Kian Leavesley and Alan Levers registering.
Upcoming, in the Premier Division Cup, Bingham Town host Keyworth United and Cotgrave welcome Aslockton & Orston in Group A; Burton Joyce face Southwell City in Group B, Woodthorpe travel to FC Cavaliers in Group C; and in Group D, Ilkeston FCB are at Sandiacre Town whilst Attenborough host Awsworth Villa.
The First Division Cup, Group D, sees United Grays host Radcliffe Olympic at Greenwich Avenue, in a clash of the top two sides.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @JimBethell action at Woodview as Keyworth win at Cotgrave.