Thirds need a point to beat the drop after losing relegation showdown
Bourne Deeping Ladies 2nds overcame a potentially tricky trip to Spalding 3rds on Saturday to run out 4-0 winners in their Division 4NW(N) clash.
It means they are now within one win of completing their league campaign unbeaten with their final match against Bourne Deeping 3rds on Saturday, March 23.
The game started with the home team having the upper hand with the gale-force wind behind them.
Dragons stepped up a gear with some nice build-up play in the midfield by Kirsty Martin and Jen Orrell which resulted in their first shot on goal courtesy of Genny Britton.
They began to establish more possession with Helena Darragh making some great runs down the wing.
The match was pretty evenly balanced, but the fitness and upper control led to three successive shots by Millie Durrands, Lily Fitch and Britton which were all successfully defended.
The Dragons eventually drilled Spalding down with patience and perseverance with Durrands finding the back of the net just before half-time.
The first five minutes of the second period was similar to the with end-to-end action with both sides having good chances.
Nadine Curtis, Dawn McShane and Rachel Gale made some excellent clearances off the line covering behind Rose Taylor-Jackson in goal.
Kay Greenaway and Emily Laugharne's strength out of defence was phenomenal, running rings around Spalding.
The strength followed down the pitch into midfield, working as a great unit, which paid off after eight minutes as Orrell managed to get on the scoresheet after some lovely build-up play.
A short corner was then awarded to the Dragons with Martin having another shot on goal being denied by the Spalding keeper.
After some brilliant runs down the right by Laugharne, the Dragons continued to create chances with both Martin and Orrell having further shots on goal.
Spalding continued to pile on the pressure and were again awarded a short corner which was cleared off the line by Kay Greenaway.
With continued end-to-end play, the Dragons were then awarded one of their own which led to Fitch’s goal.
Not being content at wasting time as the clock ticked down, a quick side-line ball injected into the D by Sophie Wheatley led to Martin completing the scoring in the last minute.
Bourne Deeping Ladies 3rds returned to action after a couple of free weeks with a 4-1 home success over Woodhall Spa.
They had to be patient for the breakthrough after a bright start with Christi MacDonald firing home the opening goal after 20 minutes.
Woodhall responded but the Dragons withstood the pressure and doubled the lead ahead of half-time with MacDonald again on target.
They increased their lead further in the second period through Daisy Moon before Sharon Cowell completed the win ahead of Woodhall's late consolation.
Bourne Deeping 2nds produced a battling display in their 2-1 away loss at Kettering despite already being relegated from Division 2N.
The two sides had shared promotion last season with Kettering having the better of all three previous encounters as the home game at Glinton had been a bit of a mauling for the Dragons.
They travelled with yet another bare 11 and conceded yet another early goal but refused to let the floodgates open.
George Collins summed up the Dragons’ intent, doing what he does best, winning the ball high up the pitch with yet another rangy tackle from the gangly forward, striving through on goal only to unluckily drag his strike just inches wide of the far post.
Edwyn Sarsby in the Bourne Deeping goal was back on form and, though his two centre backs contrived to give the ball away in dangerous areas just to keep him on his toes, he came up with the saves when needed to take the away side into half time just 1-0 down against a team sitting sixth in the league table.
With club coach Simon Shorter travelling with the team, the Dragons started the second half buoyed up and looking to show what they were capable of.
Full-backs Oscar Morley and Andy Briault were finding more and more space to press forward down the flanks and Scott Downie and Iain Robb in the middle were starting to get a grip of the midfield battle.
Unfortunately for the Dragons, another poor ball out from the back was easily intercepted by the Kettering forwards who took full advantage to double their team’s lead.
In previous weeks the Dragons may have capitulated, but under Shorter’s watchful eye they put on a display of resilience and hard work which seemed to take the home side by surprise.
Andy Briault continued his track record of scoring goal of the season contenders with another deflection from a penalty corner and from then on it was all Dragons.
A resurgent Ben Brittain was an absolute torment for the Kettering defenders down the right flank and, with Mike Gregson causing similar problems on the left, Kettering were struggling to clear their lines.
Downie in the middle was dictating play while Robb, Collins and Meadows were cutting through the Kettering midfield and causing panic in a previously unflustered home back line.
It was too late for Bourne Deeping who will take heart from seeing their opposition so relieved to hear the final whistle.
Relegation may be confirmed, but this team continue to show they can compete at this level but have struggled to maintain that level for a full 70 minutes.
Bourne Deeping 3rds still require a point to secure their place in Division 4NW for next season after losing 4-1 in a potential relegation decider against City of Peterborough 6ths on Saturday.
The Dragons played most of the first half with good tempo, attacking fruitfully down the right channel with Fergal Powell and Jamie Cooper linking in well with Ewan Howitt and Treve Wagstaff up front.
Peterborough defended classically and Bourne Deeping had several attempts and short corners for their efforts.
A crisp strike from Wagstaff just before half-time got Bourne Deeping on the scoreboard, but only after Peterborough had netted twice beforehand against the run of play.
With a deficit to overturn in the second half Bourne Deeping needed to dig deep but, despite the efforts, the team were just not clicking and, as they pushed for goals, left space in which Peterborough took advantage of well by scoring two more.
More by this authorJames Bedford