Stamford Bels beat Stamford Lions in Peterborough League Premier Division clash
Two late goals settled Saturday's Peterborough League Premier Division derby duel as Stamford Bels took the bragging rights against a Stamford Lions side who were left disappointed by the defeat.
The game was played in horrendous conditions with a wind blowing across the pitch that reaching speeds in excess of 45mph.
Lions were boosted by the inclusion of highly-rated young goalkeeper Max Peverell in their starting line-up.
However, any feel-good factor was soon wiped off when within the first minute Bels opened them up with a simple pass into the feet of Kyle Scott who made no mistake by rifling his shot into the top corner to give the home side a dream start.
The gale-force wind ruined any chance of either side playing any real football and a period of kick and charge followed as players tried desperately to control the ball and compete against high swirling balls.
Midway through the first half, Lions carved out a chance when Dom Butkus slipped in Zac Treweek who calmly slotted his shot past Bels keeper Keenan Murphy to draw the sides level.
Parity didn't last long when Josh Edmondson unleashed a fierce strike that curled in the wind and wrong-footed Peverell to fly into the back of the net to restore the lead for the home side.
Lions finished the half on the front foot, searching for an equalising goal as Treweek drifted past his marker but was denied by a fine block by Murphy.
The second half was a similar story as both sets of players were battling the almost unplayable conditions.
Lions struck back to draw level again as Tom Fearns fired in a shot that Murphy saved, but Butkus was the quickest to the rebound and cooly placed his shot into the bottom corner.
Bels called upon ex-Lions player and current Deeping midfielder Jake Walton who made an immediate impact with a clever run before a slide pass to Edmondson ended with a fierce shot that Peverell did well to hold.
At the other end, Dan Aust rifled in a left-foot drive that Murphy kept out before the Bels custodian denied Fearns with another outstanding save.
Neither side looked to settle for a point as both set up to attack to find the winning goal.
With10 minutes remaining, and for the third time in the game, Bels took the lead.
Walton won the ball in the middle of the field and, with pinpoint accuracy, he guided a pass into the feet of Edmundson, who, for the second time in the match, made no mistake with an excellent strike right into the bottom corner leaving Peverell with no chance.
Lions surged forward, desperate to find another equaliser, and Butkus rolled an effort wide before Fearns again was denied by a fine Murphy save.
In the last minute, Lions had committed too many players forward and Bels broke away to seal the win.
Nathan Law curled a shot that cannoned off the crossbar but ot fell kindly to frontman Dan Gargan who slotted his shot into the net to spark jubilant celebrations and seal a 4-2 win for Bels.
Lions manager James Sheehan said: "We were disappointed to lose which is understandable in any local derby.
"I don't mind admitting though that I don't think the game should have been played.
"It is not a protected pitch and is on top of a hill and the wind was simply horrendous. It made the game very difficult to judge and certainly difficult to enjoy.
"The game could have gone either way as we had spells of dominance but couldn't get ourselves ahead in the game.
"To concede in the opening minute was disappointing but we have a young bunch of decent players and they are all working hard to turn this season around.
"Fair play to Bels. They got the bragging rights with a good win. I am just hoping the return game is on the 3G pitch and in the sunshine and then we can all enjoy it a little more.
"Veteran referee Reg Parker also deserves a shout-out. He stood there in the eye of the storm to officiate that game so respect where it is due."