[A]nother county football report starts with the words ‘in a weekend of football decimated by the weather’. It’s Cumbria after all.
The heavy rain on Friday night, and, in some parts of the county on Saturday morning prompted another spate of cancellations, although not everyone was convinced, with AFC Carlisle tweeting a picture of Appleby’s home ground saying “No game today for us!! It was meant to be waterlogged and deemed unplayable @ApplebyAFC res???? Not sure who made that decision but it was definitely wrong” after their with match Appleby Reserves was postponed.
Both of the Westmorland FA Senior Cup and Junior Cup Quarter Final matches postponed from last weekend (Shap v Endmoor, and Kendal United Reserves v Keswick Reserves) were again cancelled and Keswick were left doubly frustrated after their home league match in the James Cropper Westmorland League to Kendal County Reserves was postponed, with part of Keswick’s Fitz Park pitch under water on Saturday morning. Smurfit Kappa Cumberland football did better, with less rain and because of the availability of 3G pitches which usually ensure games can go ahead.
Two Quarter Final matches in the Westmorland Benevolent Trophy did manage to get the go ahead, and in a high scoring and entertaining match, Appleby overcame Penrith Reserves 2-8 away at Frenchfield.
Appleby, reduced to ten men after a deliberate hand ball on the Appleby goal line, scored four in the first half and four in the second and those goals were from Jordan Crawford (2), Ben Jackson (2), Jack Overs, Dan Robinson, John Coward, and Antony Lund. Penrith scored one in each half, and their goals were from a Hayden Wilson penalty and Connor Shields. In the second match, Westmorland Division two side Carleton Banks had an impressive 1-0 win over Division One’s Ambleside United in a game that went to extra time. The winning goal came on 115 minutes from Nathan Moorhead with his 23rd goal of the season. The Quarter Finals between between Dent and Kirkby Stephen, and Windermere against Sedbergh Wanderers were both postponed.
In the James Cropper Westmorland League there was just one match in Division One, with third placed Kirkoswald 5-0 winners over Wetheriggs United, with Kirkoswald’s goals from a Niall Renwick brace against his former club, Rob Whitton, Jimmy Stobart and a first ever Westmorland League goal in six seasons for Jack Mounsey.
In Division Two, Braithwaite notched up another win, this one 2-0 over Windermere SC Reserves with BFC’s goals coming from Jack Farley and Sam Robinson. Staveley United also had a 2-0, win, beating Greystoke thanks to a great second half performance, a freak wind assisted goal and a late own goal. It’s another 3 points for Staveley, and their fourth win on the bounce. Staveley are now seventh, Braithwaite eighth, Greystoke ninth and Windermere Reserves are in the basement slot. Along with the postponement of Appleby Reserves against AFC Carlisle, Ullswater Utd against Castletown Utd was also a casualty of the weather.
In Division Three, Langwathby United lost 0-2 at home to Ibis Reserves, whose positive spirit meant goals for Josh Ford and Korkoey Fiamor-Young, and Ibis stay top of the Division Three table. Penrith Saints lost 0-2 at home to Burneside, who moved into third spot behind second placed Kirkby Stephen. The League matches between Ambleside United Reserves and Penrith Royal, and Sedbergh Wanderers Reserves and Kirkoswald Reserves, along with the Peter Daws Memorial Shield tie between Endmoor KGR Reserves and Lunesdale, were all postponements.
In the Smurfit Kappa Cumberland County League there were two Benevolent Cup Quarter Finals. In a match sensibly moved to the Netherhall astroturf pitch, Aspatria had a 3-1 win over Cockermouth, and Aspatria’s goals were from a Malc Graham brace and Will Hodgson, with Cockermouth’s reply from Dan Burns. in the second match, Pirelli had a 2-0 win over their then closest rivals in Division One, Gosforth, with the Jordan Irving netting for Pirelli along with an own goal.
In the Premier Division, Carlisle City Reserves recent run of good form ran out as they lost 0-2 at home to Workington Athletic at Melbourne Park. Matthew Perry scored both of the visitor’s goals, and Workington close the gap on the Division’s top two, Wigton Harriers and Aspatria. Carlisle stay fourth thanks to their three League wins on the bounce over Cockermouth, Silloth and Cleator Moor Celtic before this loss.
In Division One, Bransty Rangers had a 4-1 win over Borough with an early kick off at the Lakes College 3G pitch in Workington. Dan Fowler scored a brace for Rangers and Liam O’Pray and Jamie Thursby were on the scoresheet. Lee Woolfe scored for Borough. With Pirelli top, Bransty move into second place, Gosforth are now third and Borough Fourth.
Crown Newlaithes are in fifth spot after a 5-0 win at home against Windscale, and two wins in a row is a nice way to start off 2018. Callum Plunket scored two and Tom Freind, Euan Chandler and Ronan Irving all hit the back of the net. Finally UniSun Athletic are in sixth spot after their 2 -1 win over Whitehaven Miners in a match buffeted by the strong winds, with David Osbourne and a Miners’ own goal giving Unisun the points in a very even match.