North Lancs: Carnforth take points thanks to single goal

College AFC (orange) were beaten by Ingleton. Picture: Tony North
College AFC (orange) were beaten by Ingleton. Picture: Tony North
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In the North Lancs Football League Premier Division, both Cartmel and District and Carnforth Rangers fielded much weakened teams but still made an excellent game of it, with Carnforth winning 1-0.

It looked as though the game would be heading for a goalless draw but with 10 minutes remaining Carnforth started to get on top and put Cartmel’s defence under pressure for the first time.

With just four minutes remaining, Cartmel’s resistance collapsed and they conceded a penalty, which was smashed into the back of the net by Antony Crabtree to give Carnforth all three points.

With College AFC’s pitch being unavailable the game was switched to Ingleton to allow the match to go ahead.

Both sides played well on a perfect day for football.

The game was tight with defences on top for most of the game but Ingleton just about had the better of possession and created more chances and it was David Easterby who broke the deadlock with a fine goal after a superb pass from Alec Hartley.

Despite a late rally from College, Ingleton managed to hang on for a 1-0 win.

Highgrove kept up their title challenge with a hard earned win over Storeys.

After a cagey opening Highgrove were awarded a freekick 10 yards outside the penalty area on the right, the ball was lofted into the box where the Storeys keeper, impeded by players from both sides, failed to punch the ball cleanly.

The ball hit a defender and bounced down where a defender mis-kicked and it fell to Josh Buller, who from six yards blasted the ball into the roof of the net to give Highgrove a 1-0 lead after just seven minutes.

Play was even with both sides cancelling each other out.

In the 22nd minute, after a Storeys attack was broken up, Highgrove broke away with Liam Breslin at full speed on the right wing, his cross to the left found Buller who from 15 yards hit the upright and was cleared.

It took Storeys until the 37th minute before they had a meaningful shot on goal when keeper Matthew Humpage made a good save from Harry Palin.

The second half started with Highgrove in the ascendency but the Storeys defence played well and made it hard work for the attackers.

On the hour mark a Lee Brade shot was just going under the bar and into the net when a defender jumped and pushed the ball over, giving the referee no option but to award a penalty and send the defender off. Luke Ogley duly converted the spotkick to make it 2-0.

Although Storeys battled well they just could not break down a solid Highgrove defense.

With just 15 minutes remaining Highgrove scored a third this time it was Breslin who scored to make the game safe.

Morecambe Royals met Caton United for the first time this season and despite a good open game of football the result was a predictable 1-1 draw which was the fairest result as neither side deserved to lose.

Daniel Mardell scored for the Royals with Craig Holmes scoring his first goal for Caton.

In the Division One Holdens Solicitors/Gibson Cup semi-final, Halton Rangers shocked Highgrove Reserves, winning 2-1.

The game was close but the second half saw Halton slightly the better team and deservedly took the lead through a Michael Reghilini goal.

It was then backs to the wall as Highgrove threw everything at Halton to get back into the game but Halton’s defence stood firm.

In the final, Halton will meet the winners of the Cartmel and District Reserves and Boy’s Club game.

In the league, Carnforth Rangers Reserves entertained near neighbours Burton Thistle in a low scoring game.

Both sides tried their best to break the deadlock but it was the defences who came out on top, the two goals eventually came from Joe Smith for Carnforth and Thomas Preston for Burton Thistle.

Grange ended their season on a low note as they lost their last game against Mayfield United Reserves 8-0.

Mayfield dominated throughout the game and won thanks to goals from Jamie Taylor (3), Jack Beaton (2), Jay Brennan and two great strikes from young Leo Woodruff.

In the Division Two Steve Presnail Printers/ Whiteside Cup semi final, favourites Bowerham Dynamos made hard work of beating a hard working and depleted Westgate Wanderers side.

Westgate had early chances to put Bowerhsm under pressure but chances came and went without a goal being scored.

Bowerham’s patience paid off when they scored three goals courtesy of Simon Wearing with two and James Johns with the other.

Westgate’s leading scorer Josh Muckle scored what turned out to be a consolation.

In the North Lancs League Division Two, champions Kirkby Lonsdale had a battle on their hands to avoid defeat against an improving King George side.

King George took the lead early on when a free kick on the half way line landed in the Kirkby penalty area and Mathew Clarke turned the ball into his own goal.

From then on, although Kirkby were the better footballing side they had to be wary of the fast counter attacks of the King George side.

In the end a 3-3 draw was probably the fairest result after Alex Greenbank and Jordan Carter-Brown scored two goals for Kirkby Lonsdale, Steve McMinn and Jamie Huddleston scored the others for King George.

Millhead played their best football of the season when holding high-flying Marsh United Reserves to a 2-2 draw.

David Cowperthwaite and Bradley Shuttleworth both scored cracking goals but it wasn’t enough as Marsh replied with goals from player-manager Craig Gribbin and Michael Winder.

In Division Three, it looks as though Melbourne are going to be champions after beating their nearest challengers Cross Bay 3-2 in what was one of the best games of the season.

Adam Knowles scored two excellent goals with Peter Myerscough scoring what turned out to be the winner. Connor Cooper and Adam Lund scored the goals for a disappointed Cross Bay.