OUT OF TOWN caused an upset and put a dent in RIPLEY WHITE LION’s Division Three title aspirations following a 3-2 win.
Michael Hollis got two and Chris Clark the other as Lion were knocked off top spot; Dave Stuart also pulling off a cracking penalty save to deny the visitors.
AMBER ATHLETIC took full advantage and now lead the way, as a result of a 3-1 away win over SOUTH NORMANTON BLUEBELL. Kallen Jenkin had given the home team an early advantage but a goal from Ash Edkins and a brace by Shaun Meynell were enough to seal the points that put Amber in pole position.
DEVONSHIRE ARMS were “diabolical” according to team manager Nigel Green, and the 18-0 score line suggests that the descriptor is spot on.
Opponents SEVEN STARS shone, as Nathan Ball ran in seven, Ibrahim Ashonsh (5) and Anthony Morris, Daniel Smith, Liam Smith, Martin Ward, Liam Dolan and Jason Fowler scored one apiece.
Arms could not even lay any blame at the hands of referee Kevin Marchant whose performance Nigel described as “superb, the best ref I have seen all season.” Praise indeed from someone who does not dish out such superlatives lightly.
An ability to keep count would, though, appear to have been the most taxing requirement of the official!
GALLOWS INN beat HEANOR COLLIERS 5-1, while the other game in this division saw HILCOTE MW go down again; this time 1-6 at the hands of RIDDINGS ROVERS.
The only game in Division Two featured promotion-chasing NORMANTON VILLAGER and HAYLOFT.
The sides were locked at 0-0 after a tight first period, but it was the home team that asserted after the break.
A cool finish at the far post by Craig Atherton from a Paul Barnes cross saw them take the lead, which was doubled when a thunderous strike from the same player from outside the box left the visiting goalkeeper clutching at thin air.
Barnes teed up Lewis Robinson to drill home a screamer from 20 yards, and the game looked to be up for the visitors.
However, their determination reaped some reward when they scored twice from set pieces; first Ian McAffery netting then Adam Sheffield following suit.
But, substitute Richard Lee came on to earn the penalty kick that Atherton converted for his hat-trick and, more importantly, to ensure his side bagged the three precious points.
Jamie Gittens also scored a hat-trick in WESTWOOD ROYAL OAK’s emphatic 8-2 win over SHIRLAND MW.
Mark Downing, Dan Watson, Jake Wright (2) and an own goal made up the number as Oak continue their push for the title.
CODNOR MINERS had lifted the Kurburgring Cup by defeating CORONATION CLUB 4-2 only after extra time on Friday evening; this after trailing inside a minute and dragging themselves level to take the tie into overtime five minutes from the end of normal time.
Their Dick Windle Cup semi-final opponents ALFRETON VICTORIA might have anticipated that they would be suffering a cup final hangover when they pitched up on the Sunday, therefore. Vic had led 2-1 through Craig Brookes and Adie Whitmore as the game entered its later stages but, rather than tire, Codnor dug deep and showed their resilience to snatch the game out of the fire and progress to another cup final by a 3-2 margin.
There they will meet CRIB BAR, who after their customary slow start that saw them trail DERBY ATHLETIC 0-1, finally ran out comfortable 7-1 winners in the other semi-final tie. Kev Morrow ran on to a punt upfield to strike the opening blow for the underdogs, only for Ben Summers to smash home a left footer from an Adam Nicholls corner to restore parity.
From another Nicholls corner, Matt Phillips found himself unmarked and side footed the ball home to give his side the lead. Yet another Nicholls corner led to goal number three as Steve Chambers hammered the ball home from the edge of the penalty area.
That man Nicholls got on the score sheet himself with a quality curler from 25 yards out, before an Andy Calladine volley produced the goal of the game. A chip from Nicholls brought his second goal, and the scoring was completed by Summers whose jinking run that started from inside his own half ended with him slotting the ball coolly past the visiting custodian.