Two wins in three days as Lions claim derby victory after securing semi-final spot
Stamford Lions overcame local rivals Ketton to seal a valuable 3-2 victory in Wednesday’s Peterborough League Premier Division clash.
Lions raced out of the traps and applied early pressure on the Ketton back line with John Hudson sending an effort over the bar before Tom Edwards was denied by safe hands of Ketton keeper Dan Swan.
Tom Cardell opened the scoring for Lions with 10 minutes on the clock as he raced between Swan and defender Seb Hood to nick the ball and slot home into an empty net.
Ketton responded from going a goal down by pressing forward on the attack and Shaun Sanderson dived into a brave block to deny a certain goal which ended the defender’s game as he was forced off injured.
The scores were level on the half-hour mark as an inswinging corner was bravely headed in by Hood to bring Ketton level.
The game swung end to end as Lions captain Danny Sheehan fired a shot wide before Greg Rawlinson sent a good chance over for Ketton.
As the half was drawing to a close it looked like the sides were going in all square until Tom Edwards latched onto a poor clearance from Swan and curled a shot around the keeper to send Lions in 2-1 to the good.
Lions started the second period the stronger of the two teams as Josh Collins blazed over one-on-one with Swan before the keeper kept out a low header from Sheehan.
Collins then made amends for his earlier miss as he rose high to head home an Edwards cross and give the Lions a 3-1 lead.
Just as they did in first period, Ketton responded to losing a goal and went on the attack.
Jamar Dobson first saw his header well saved by Lions stopper John Swales but pounced on the rebound and slammed his shot home to close the gap to one goal with 20 minutes to play.
The tension was mounting as both sides battled away with Micheal Webb cautioned for a very late tackle as both sides were prepared to mix it throughout midfield.
Collins was then booked twice in 10 minutes for late tackles and the teenager was red-carded 12 minutes from time.
Ketton sent players forward desperately looking for a late equaliser and Swales was brave as he dived at the feet of Dobson to deny the big forward a shot as Lions held on to claim the three points and win the local derby.
Boss James Sheehan said: “We’re all obviously delighted to win. Scoring early is always a good thing and in a tight tense derby like this it proved vital.
“These are always big games for both clubs as local rivalry is very important in football. There was a lot on the line for some of the players and it was refreshing to see solid but not dangerous tackling from both sides.
“In my opinion, Josh (Collins) can consider himself very unfortunate to be booked twice for being prepared to tackle back.”
A late winner from Tom Edwards secured Stamford Lions’ place in the semi-finals of the Ancaster Cup with a 2-1 success at Bourne Town Reserves on Monday.
The Peterborough League Premier Division had to overturn a one-goal deficit to earn their place in the last four against Deeping Rangers Reserves.
The first half was a cagey affair as neither side really found any rhythm, although Josh Collins did bundle the ball into the net but was adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper so no goal was awarded.
At the other end a fine fingertip save from Aiden Finn were the only two really talking points of the half.
The second period livened up considerably as both teams were more adventurous as Alex Hedley saw his shot cleared from the line before Edwards was denied by a good save.
The deadlock was broken by the home club just past the hour mark as a low cross from the right was dispatched by Jack Corby to give Bourne the lead.
The urgency in the Lions play intensified and Shaun Sanderson equalised when he headed home a deep corner.
The Stamford side began to dominate the later stages of the game against their United Counties League Reserve Division hosts.
Danny Sheehan fired a low shot goalwards that was well held and Collins put a header over from close range as the pressure grew on the Bourne goal.
That pressure the Lions were applying finally paid off in the final 10 minutes as a ball into the box was flicked on to the far post by Sanderson and Edwards charged in to stab the ball home from close range.
Bourne threw players forward looking for a late equaliser and Finn was forced into a late save in the final minute to preserve the Lions lead.