SUNDAY LEAGUE: Crowle Keys back to winning ways

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Crowle Keys are up to fifth place in the league thanks to a 3-1 win over Kirton Rangers which saw them leapfrog their opposition in the league standings.

Keys’ return to winning ways, however, hit a bit of a stumbling block prior to kick-off as the game found itself without a referee.

After a volunteer from an adjacent pitch had taken up the notebook and whistle, Keys were on the attack almost immediately.

Keys took an early lead, as they had in their 4-1 defeat in December’s reverse fixture, when Ben Toyne turned in a Warren Amys free-kick for his third goal in three games.

Jordan Webb increased Crowle’s advantage with a controlled finish from Danny Smyth’s through ball, but Kirton pulled a goal back just before the half hour when Jamie Teal mis-cleared a low cross into his own net.

Both sides were confident of taking three points from the game and neither was prepared to settle for anything less, with both continually looking to get forward.

On fifty-eight minutes the last goal of the game went in and it was another own goal, scored by an unfortunate defender who tackled Webb only to see the ball bounce past his wrong-footed keeper.

As time drew on the game grew increasingly ill-tempered until the stand-in referee had to call a halt and speak to both captains about their players’ behaviour.

The last fifteen minutes proved less intense, and aside from Webb and Aaron Taylor shooting wide from good positions, the match petered out before a relieved referee blew for full-time.

In Division One Ironstone Gunness failed to win in a league game for the first time this season as they had to settle for a point thanks to a 1-1 draw with Queen Bess.

The result sees Gunness drop off the pace from leaders Fender, who still boast a 100 per cent record, however, Gunness’ task remains the same despite the setback.

They are now five points off the top with a game in hand, with the league leaders still to play, so their title destiny is still in their own hands despite the setback.

Crowle United moved level on points with Gunness as a result of their 1-0 win at Winteringham on Sunday.

United came out on top of the midtable clash to move in touch with the sides battling it out at the top of the league. They face Blyborough United next, who have won only once so far this season.

Ironstone Reserves enjoyed a better day than their first team as they claimed a 1-0 win over Ulceby to move to the top of Division Four.

The win was a tenth league win of the season - having drawn the remaining two - and leaves them two points clear of second placed Ashdown.

Ironstone Reserves face Ulceby again this weekend in the return fixture, and they’ll hope they now have the measure of their opposition to remain top.