Local football: Crowle held by unbeaten Fender

Danny Barrowcliffe
Danny Barrowcliffe

Crowle United moved second in the Scunthorpe Sunday League Division One standings after becoming the first team to take points off Fender BCS this season.

Crowle’s visitors on Sunday afternoon brought with them the greatest challenge of the season. Fender BCS had the last remaining one hundred per cent record in the top division – eight wins from eight games and a mammoth goal difference. Fender’s success has been built on a mean defence which had only conceded six goals so far, half of those came in the reverse fixture at the end of October when they overcame Crowle 4-3, United’s last defeat.

The first half was a competitive affair, with both goalkeepers remaining relatively untroubled. The two sides traded robust challenges as the defences remained on top at a blustery Windsor Park.

After the break the greater part of the action took place in Fender’s half as Crowle managed to use the wind to their advantage. Martin Davey put the hosts into the lead on fifty-one minutes with a powerful near-post header from Ricky Girling’s corner.

However, the lead didn’t last long, as Fender’s Neil Leitch found the net four minutes later to restore parity.

There was still time for Crowle to find the net once more in the dying stages of the game, as Danny Barrowcliffe burst through Fender’s defence and shot past their keeper. It was only as he was taking the congratulations of his teammates that he noticed the linesman’s flag was raised – as were the voices of a fair percentage of the home support, and both sides had to settle for a point apiece.

The result leaves Crowle two points off the top of the league with a game in hand on the leaders, however, both Fender and Ironstone Gunness have more games in hand further back in third and fifth respectively.

United look to continue their good run of form this weekend when they face midtable Winteringham.

Ironstone Gunness however, suffered a setback in their attempts to win Division One, as they lost 6-0 to Burton Westlands, who moved into top spot.

The defeat is a first in the league this season for Gunness, and leaves them nine points off the top, having played five games fewer than the leaders.

However, Crowle ensured it was a case of damage limitation as they took a point off Fender, Gunness’ main rivals for the league title.

The destination of the league title may become clearer as Gunness host Fender this Sunday.

Meanwhile AFC Epworth suffered a 3-0 defeat to Ashdown as they slipped closer to relegation from Division Four.

Epworth are four points adrift at the foot of the division after the latest setback, and face Dolphin in their next game.

AFC’s Reserves remain midtable in Division Six as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Barton FC.

The result leaves them in sixth place, however they have played fewer games than many teams in the division.

They face Barton again this weekend in the reverse fixture, and will look to go one better with a win.