Uppingham Town stay top of the Peterborough League Premier Division table with victory over Oundle Town
A stunning start set table-topping Uppingham Town on their way to a fifth successive Peterborough League Premier Division victory on Saturday.
The league leaders scored four times inside the opening 35 minutes of Saturday’s match against hosts Oundle Town.
Oundle did cut the deficit on the stroke of half-time and netted again after the break, but Town remained in control to stay two points clear of second-placed Stilton ahead of this weekend’s meeting of the top two at Tods Piece.
Top scorer Rob Forster bagged a brace with Callum O’Berg and recent recruit Jordan Neil also on target after an awesome attacking display in the opening exchanges as Uppingham played down the slope in the first period.
Boss Paul Sheehan said: “The front three were unbelievable for the opening 35 minutes and it was another good all-round performance.
“We played down the slope in the first half and made the most of that as it’s like two totally different games of football in one match.
“We knew that Oundle score a lot of goals so we had to keep it tight and we defended well in the second half.”
Uppingham were without talented teenager Josh Sennett and in-form defender Josh Porter which saw former Pinchbeck and Stamford Bels play-maker Neil make his first start while Ollie Lewin was switched to centre-half where he produced a superb performance.
It took Town just four minutes to break the deadlock as the lively Neil ran into the box and got to the byline where he cut the ball back for Forster to tap home.
The lead was doubled just two minutes later with a similar move as Neil again found Forster who squared the ball for O’Berg to finish.
Town’s third goal arrived after 20 minutes when Jonny Forster picked out Rob Forster with a 30-yard pass and the Town marksman showed superb control before rifling home a first-time shot into the bottom corner.
Oundle responded briefly with Nathan Rudman seeing a header cleared off the line by Will Lewin before Neil beat two players at the other end and thumped a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar.
Town made it four after 35 minutes when O’Berg was brought down in the box after getting to the ball first and Neil scored from the resultant penalty.
Uppingham then lost their focus for the first and only time in the game as Oundle hit back in the final 10 minutes of the half.
They pulled a goal back late on when the ball was worked to the edge of the box and crossed for Rudman to finish.
Town were forced to replace Rob Forster at the break with Robbie Pearce making a welcome return from injury as his replacement.
They also lost Will Lewin which saw Ben Easson introduced with Harry Bains switching to left-back.
Town continued to defend well and O’Berg went close with a well-placed shot before Oundle scored a fortuitous second as Jonny Forster sliced a cross into his own net.
O’Berg then had to clear off the line from a corner before he went close late on at the other end when breaking free only to be denied by a save from the Oundle goalkeeper as Town finished strongly with a fine performance that puts them in good stead for this weekend’s table-topping tussle with Stilton.
The two sides shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw earlier in the season with Town this time hosting their closest challengers looking to extend their 100 per cent home record.
Manager Sheehan added: “It will be a tough game. Stilton are a good side but we’re at home and it’s a match that we’re looking forward to.
“There’s still a long way to go no matter what the outcome because you’ve only got to slip up a couple of times and then the teams behind you can close the gap.”