Revenge win for Stamford side after 4-0 home success over Oundle
Stamford Bels player-boss Lewis Morley believes his side has started to hit top form – just as their Peterborough League campaign comes to a close.
Bels ran out 4-0 winners in Saturday’s home Division One clash with Oundle Town at a wind-swept Welland Academy to stretch their unbeaten run to six games.
They have kept five clean sheets in that sequence which has yielded 16 points to move the Stamford side up into fourth place.
However, while currently the awaiting the outcome of their abandoned match against Spalding Town in December, Saturday’s match could have been their final league game of the campaign.
Morley said: “I’m actually quite disappointed that our season is coming to an end.
“We have hit our stride and have put together a top squad which we want to keep together and take into next season.
“Overall it’s been a great season for us and we will look to push on next year and aim to improve even more.”
Saturday’s victory saw Bels gain revenge for a 3-2 away reversal at Oundle in October where they felt aggrieved at being on the wrong end of several controversial decisions by a stand-in referee.
Morley, Paul Cramp, Jordan Neil and Rhys Gilson – in his first match back after a four-game suspension – netted the goals for Bels.
Morley added: “We knew what Oundle are about and how they like to play, but we owed them one after what happened earlier in the season.
“I made this clear to the lads and we did not disappoint. It was great to see Rhys Gilson back to his usual self – he was superb on and off the ball and deserved his goal.
“Jordan Neil has settled into the squad well and he was superb. Every time he got the ball he made something happen and topped it off with one of the best finishes I’ve seen all season.
“Tyler Sculthorpe and Adam Wedgwood were brilliant in ensuring our 10th clean sheet in 15 games. I could go through every single player on the pitch as everyone did their job perfectly.”
Bels made a fast start on Saturday and pressed hard which did not allow Oundle to get into the game.
The home side knew they had to make the most of having the wind in their favour in the first half and Gilson did exactly that by firing into the bottom corner.
Morley came close to making it 2-0 but his strike went just over the bar, however, it wasn’t long before Bels doubled their lead when a smart pass from Dave Atkinson found the run of Cramp who calmly slotted the ball away.
The second half was always going to be tough for Bels with the wind now in Oundle’s favour, but a solid defensive performance from Sculthorpe and new signing Wedgwood limited the visitors’ chances with Keenan Murphy hardly called into action throughout the game.
Bels got the ball down and didn’t let the wind affect their play as they added a third goal.
Substitute Scott Toomey came on after picking up a slight injury against Oakham last week and he continued where he left off with a driving run and delightful cross which found Morley whose strike put Bels 3-0 up.
They rounded off the victory as again Toomey drove through the Oundle midfield and picked out the ever-dangerous Neil who delightfully cut in and bent the ball into the stanchion for a well-deserved goal after a superb performance.
Bels now turn their attention to the Ancaster Cup where they will face Thurlby Tigers in the quarter-finals on a date to be confirmed.