ON a playing surface that was more uneven than a camel’s back, this was never going to be a showcase of the beautiful game.
However, SOUTH NORMANTON BLUEBELL and ALLIANCE HEALTHCARE each showed a lot of endeavour and did serve up some moments to savour in their division three game.
The lively Luke Beardmore spurned a couple of gilt-edged opportunities to put the visitors in front before Dale Carline opened the scoring for Bluebell.
Shane Fazakerley had a shot well saved by James Newton in the away goal and the custodian did even better to parry a Kallen Jenkin pile driver.
He could do nothing, though, to prevent a classy finish from Daniel Noakes who struck the ball home on the half volley from beyond the far post. Jenkin bettered that after 63 minutes when he struck home a thunderous drive that went in off the crossbar from fully 35 yards out; then Noakes got his second with a diving header from a left wing cross.
Andy Draper pulled one back with a left foot drive but it proved to be too little, too late as the home team ran out 4-1 winners.
DEVONSHIRE ARMS were reduced to ten men but battled hard before going down 1-4 to OUT OF TOWN for whom Jamie Blount, Robert Spencer and Tim Severns (2) were the goal scorers.
The big game in the second division finished with honours even as CORONATION CLUB and MARLPOOL WHITE LION shared four goals. Richard Groves and Tom Rimmington scored for the home team; the latter with a tremendous 35 yard strike.
Adam Moss took advantage of a gift to knock one in for the visitors; Nick Scuffins tying things up at 2-2.
In the basement clash, visitors HOLMEWOOD MW emerged victorious after edging out MARLPOOL UNITED 3-2. Daniel and Luke Fowkes got the home team’s goals that proved insufficient in the face of replies from Steven Adams (2) and Jordan Hunter.
CRIB BAR returned to league one action after recent cup exploits when they entertained FC WELFARE. Adam Nicholls opened their account from close range before super sub Liam Brown, who was making a rare start, added a second before the break.
Second half goals from Joe Sparham (2) and Dan Riley added to the visitors’ woes before substitute Craig Percy knocked in a consolation goal to complete the 5-1 scoreline.
Adam Bellamy and Shaun Archibald each scored in SHIRLAND MWs 2-1 win over RAINBOW INTERNATIONAL for whom Scott Swanwick was on target.
HAYLOFT were beaten 2-4 by NORMANTON VILLAGER in the Dick Windle Cup; Matthew Byard getting both their goals. Ali Dixon (2), Richard Miller and Darren Renshaw responded for the visitors to secure their passage into the next round.
Paul King gave AMBER ATHLETIC the lead on their trip to HEANOR COLLIERS, but stout defending kept them at bay until Lee Cooper’s 85th minute goal settled the tie 2-0 in the visitors’ favour.
A Lance Woodhouse cross-cum-shot ended up in the net to give NEW WHITE BULL an early lead against ALFRETON VICTORIA; in fact the home team were in front three times in the match before falling away to a 3-4 defeat.
They were ultimately unable to withstand the physical presence of Adie Whitmore who had taken up an offensive position; notching a hat-trick in the process. Daniel Piehander also scored. Luke Whiting, with a free kick, and Shaun Annable got Bull’s other goals.
There was something of a turn up that saw SOUTH WINGFIELD fall to lower league opposition in the shape of RIPLEY WHITE LION; the latter going through 2-1 after extra time. Darren King and Andy Eley got the all important goals; Jay Miles with the only goal for the home team.
Another surprising result was WESTWOOD ROYAL OAK’s defeat by CODNOR MINERS ARMS. Mark Derrin (2) and Shaun Gregory were on target for the side from Division One and three goals at home should have sufficed.
The visitors had other ideas and a Laurence Bond hat-trick paved the way to a 4-3 success. Adam Bond got the other but the man-of-the-match was Kye Rodgers who had a hand in all four goals.
Fixtures for Sunday, March 1320
Solar Press Division One Cup
Alfreton Victoria v Westwood Royal Oak, Crib v Shirland MW.
MG Financial Services
Rainbow International v FC Welfare 1925.
PG Mortgages & Loans Ltd
Codnor Miners Arms v Derby Athletic; Holmewood v Bulls Head; Marlpool White Lion v Normanton Villager; New White Bull v Coronation Club
Out of Town Third Division
Alliance Healthcare v Riddings Rovers; Generous Briton v Amber Athletic; Heanor Colliers v DevonshireArms; Hilcote MW v South Normanton Blue Bell; Normanton United v Ripley White Lion; Out of Town v Seven Stars.