Cumbria Crack

Appleby and Wigton both stumble in county football title battles

[I]n both of Cumbria’s senior men’s county football leagues there were setbacks for title challengers, with both Appleby and Wigton Harriers dropping points in games they needed to win, on yet another sodden weekend of postponements.

In Division One of the James Cropper Westmorland League, title chasing Appleby lost 0-1 Kirkoswald at home, a result which saw third placed Kirkoswald close in on the second placed home side thanks to a Nicholas Jake Holden goal and a man of the match performance from midfielder Jimmy Stobart, all the more impressive as Kirkoswald were reduced to ten men after two yellow cards for defender Jack Mounsey from referee John Higgins with nearly an hour still left to play.

The other winners are Keswick, sitting clear at the top of the table and, despite postponing their home game in the High Sheriff’s Cup because of a waterlogged pitch, now three points clear of Appleby and with two games in hand.

In Division Two, one league match survived, and Greystoke notched up a 4-0 won over AFC Carlisle on a heavy, muddy pitch passed fit to play at noon. David Ivinson, Iain Moncaster, Stuart Westgarth and Simon Graham were on the score sheet for the home side, who kept their first first clean sheet in three years. Greystoke are now in ninth spot, and AFC just one place off the bottom spot, but with games in hand.

Five goals for Keswick’s Richard Bannister (Colin Watson)

There were also two Mason & Freeman Cup ties, and in the first, Castletown United went down 1-7 at home to Keswick Reserves. Richard Bannister knocked in five and Charlie Robson and Anthony Stafford scored one apiece for Keswick.

Liam Robinson scored for Castletown, and Lamin Cham saw red from referee Tony Cresswell. In the other cup tie, Eden Thistle lost 1-4 at home to Dent whose goals were from a Tom Thexton brace and and one each for Martin Bainbridge and Ben Sedgwick.

In Division Three, Langwathby United lost 1-2 at home Sedbergh Wanderers Reserves, whose win and the three points came courtesy of goals from Connor Winn and a Chris Ladds penalty strike. And Penrith Royal had an impressive 10-1 win over Penrith Saints at Frenchfield.

Another goal goes in for Penrith Royal (Colin Watson)

A hat trick for Craig Willan, two each for Nicky Davidson and Alex Jackson and one a piece for Steve Okane and Peter Jenkinson did the damage. Wanderers are now sixth, Royal seventh, Langwathby tenth and Saints eleventh.

In the Smurfit Kappa Cumberland County League Premier Division, Wigton Harriers stay top after picking up a point with an away draw at fourth placed Carlisle City Reserves.

The result was 2-2, with the Wigton goals from Johnny Studholme and Lee Coulthard, and City’s from Reece Robinson and Joe Boguszynski.

With no other games played after the rain soaked pitches, the result only helps second placed Aspatria and third placed Workington, who look almost certain to overtake Harriers, having three and four games in hand respectively. But they have to earn those points, and it could still be a close run battle for the championship.

In Division One, Crown Newlaithes Football put in a poor performance to lose 1-4 at home to Gosforth. The result was all the more disappointing coming on the back of two good wins and two clean sheets for Newlaithes. The visitors goals were from Jordan Livingstone (2), Rhys Singleton and Reece Fretwell. Scott Underwood  scored for the home side.

Gosforth stay third and Crown Newlaithes fifth in the table. In the final match, and with their first win of the season, Whitehaven Miners overcame UniSun 3-1, with the visitor’s Rikki Shepherd scoring the consolation goal. Unisun are sixth and Miners eighth in the table.

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