FOOTBALL: Hat trick hero Smith keeps Barkston’s hopes alive

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Grantham & District Saturday League

Premier Division

Grantham Squash club 1

Barkston & Syston 3

BARKSTON kept their survival hopes intact with a convincing win against fellow strugglers Squash Club.

The home side took the lead from a great 25yd shot but Barkston levelled immediately when Aaron Smith beat the offside trap and slipped the ball home.

Barkston began to get on top in the second half and went in front through Smith again, who smashed his shot in from the tightest of angles. Barkston kept pressing and were rewarded with another well-worked goal from hat trick hero Smith who coolly slotted past the on-rushing keeper.

Barkston: Baines, Stubbs, Wing, M. Pearson, Wilson, Kennedy, A. Smith, M. Pearson, Masters, Pidd, Russell, R. Smith, Kette.

Culverthorpe Cup

Quarter-final

Ruskington Rovers 3

Buckminster United 4

BUCMINSTER reached the semi-finals for the eighth time in nine seasons with a fantastic away win at league title hopefuls Ruskington.

The visitors were out of the blocks first and took the game to the home side, only for a defensive lapse to give Ruskington an undeserved lead on 10 minutes. Buckminster replied almost immediately when the menacing Darren Parker found space on the right to power in a cross for youngster Craig Wilson who glanced his header into the top corner.

With Buckminster playing some of their best football of the season, it was no surprise the lead was increased when Simon Hollingworth met a Wayne Martini corner to power another header in from close range.

Paul Chappell had a 25yd free kick well-saved by the home keeper, and other chances from Parker and the lively Wilson went begging late in the half before a mistake from the visitors allowed Ruskington to level with only their second shot on target.

In the second half, Buckminster were in even better form, and the home side man of the match Stuart Anderson had to be at his best in goal to save from Chappell, Parker and Wilson on numerous occasions. Late in the game and with the introduction of substitute Jim Clough, the visitors took the lead once again when Clough crossed from the left for Liam Jaques who found the back of the net with a header from the tightest of angles.

As Ruskington chased the game, another creative pass from Clough found the tireless Darren Parker whose first time lob from 35 yards found the home keeper in no man’s land, sending the Buckminster faithful into raptures.

But the game wasn’t over yet. The referee awarded a contentious free kick for handball, and as the visiting keeper lined up the wall, Ruskington fired into the unguarded net to set up a tense final few minutes.

However, the Buckminster defence stood firm with man-of-the-match Paul Chambers a colossus at the heart of the back four.

Buckminster: Allen, Jaques, Martini, Hollingworth, Chambers, Bowers, Wilson, Moore, Parker, Berry, Chappell. Subs: Clough, Fyfe.

RHP Newark 0

Beehive United 5

BEEHIVE made it safely through to the last four and after Stinson put them a goal up midway through the first half, it was a comfortable afternoon.

With Sam Hill back in his favoured position, Beehive dominated the midfield. More chances went begging with the usual reliable Reidy missing several scoring opportunities. The back three of Hodgkin, Warner and O’Callaghan were rarely troubled and keeper Johnson had an easy day.

Reidy crossed for Stinson to head in United’s second and RHP’s heads dropped as Beehive began to attack at will. Towle soon added a third and Harper volleyed home from 25 yards.

With a strong looking bench, Mayes, Mills and debutant Scott Walker carried on the offensive attack. Man of the match Sam Hill finished sealed victory with a fine finish to round off a good team performance.

Grantham & District Sunday League

Knockout Cup, third round

Railway Club 4

Chesters 1

IN one of the most highly anticipated games of the season, Railway started at a high pace with Withers bossing the game for the first 15 minutes.

Railway took the lead early on with some excellent play from Weatherstone. Chesters failed to deal with the ball and a hard-working Whyles put the ball into the back of the net. Railway had plenty of chances during the first half but failed to increase the lead.

Railway doubled their lead after the break. Following an excellent corner from Weatherstone, Daykin slipped clear of his defender and powered in a bullet header.

After a period of pressure from Chesters, the Balderton side reduced the deficit to one goal. Some sloppy defending for the first time in the game left a Chesters forward open in the box to slot home past Dodwell.

That hope was short lived. Railway skipper Aust spotted the Chesters keeper off his line and struck an audacious 40yd free kick into the top right corner of the net.

Railway made the game safe when Weatherstone outwitted the Chesters defenders down the right and pulled the ball back into the box where man of the match Aust powered the ball into the top left corner.