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FOOTBALL: Weather has a say in Lincoln League schedule

This week it was cup weekend in the Lincoln Saturday League with three games scheduled, but once again the weather had a say as the Challenge Cup tie between Retford Town and AFC Crown and Arrows was postponed.

One of the games which did go ahead was a tie between high-fliers Horncastle Town Reserves and Birchwood United for a place in the final of this season’s Amateur Cup.

Both sides went into the game unbeaten in their last five matches but Birchwood had narrowly won a league meeting 4-3 back in October.

This game too was a closely fought affair with Birchwood edging it 2-1. James Corby and Paul Nicholson (his ninth of the season) scored for Birchwood while Luke Blondel (his ninth of the season) claimed Horncastle’s goal, although it was suggested it was a Casey Hogan own goal.

Birchwood will hope to go one step further this season as they not only finished league runners-up last season but also runners-up in two cup competitions (David Cooper Cup and Challenge Cup).

In the Challenge Cup, clubs were at the round two stage with Cherry Willingham taking on Saxilby Athletic for a place in this season’s semi-finals. Cherry were on one of their best runs for some time, having won their previous five matches going into this game.

Saxilby, on the other hand, won their first game of the season – and for almost a year – last week against Retford Town. Unfortunately for them it was not to be a continued winning run, as they were beaten 5-2.

Cherry’s scorers were Bradley (2), Ipp, Pickford and Otter, with Ward and Blake scoring for Saxilby.

The outstanding ties in Lincs Junior Cup quarter-finals saw Sutton Bridge Athletic’s lengthy trip to Scunthorpe League side Westwoodside Rangers rewarded as they ran out 6-0 winners to book their place in the semi-finals for possibly the first time.

Also booking a place in their first semi-final were Epworth Town, from the Scunthorpe League, who were taken to penalties against Lincs League side Skegness Town.

After extra time, the score stood at 2-2 but Epworth won 4-3 on penalties. Their prize now is a trip to cup holders Hykeham Town in the semi-finals on February 13.

As for Sutton Bridge, they have another long trip as they visit another Scunthorpe League side in Limestone Rangers.

League fixtures (2pm kick-off): AFC Crown & Arrows v Saxilby, Railway Inn v Fulbeck United, Retford Town v Birchwood United, Ruston Sports v Cherry Willingham.


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