Sunday League: 'Division One crown is still within our reach'
DMS face bottom-club AFC Bradley knowing that the fate of the Grimsby, Cleethorpes & District Sunday League Division One title remains in their own hands.
Following last weekend's 5-0 thrashing of Grimsby Warriors, the title-chasers remain unbeaten and just four points behind table-toppers Humberston.
With a game in hand and a match to come against the leaders, it is all to play for in the top-flight.
DMS secretary Paul Knox said: "If we win our remaining games, we take the title; if Humberston win, then they take the honours.
"We have a lot to do, with Cromwell in a couple of week's time followed by a game against Humberston.
"In all honesty, it has been a poor Division One this season with teams dropping out and others finding it difficult to field a team. It's partly finance but is largely down commitment of players to Sunday football."
On this weekend's opposition, who currently prop up the table, he added: "This team could easily have folded having gone right through to March without a point, but they are still there and all credit to them.
"It will not be an easy game and we must make sure we take all three points."
The five-star display against Warriors kept DMS in touch with the top-three.
Warriors had the game's first chance when they were awarded a penalty, but Gavin Webster's spot-kick was well saved by Joe Turner.
Nathan Usher then tested Turner from distance and again the keeper did well to push the ball to safety.
DMS responded and their patience was finally rewarded when Lewis Wilson's cross was headed towards the goal by Darren Hanslip and, although the keeper saved well, Hanslip was first to react and fired home.
That lead was doubled early in the second half when Jonathan Oglesby beat two defenders and squared for Glover to tap home.
Danny Revill had a header pushed onto the bar before Oglesby was upended in the box and Craig Mitchell made no mistake from 12 yards.
It was 4-0 when some good build-up play resulted in Stevie Wright's cross being inadvertently headed into the net by a Warriors defender.
DMS continued to build the pressure and a fifth goal soon came when Gary Cross set up Mitchell who scored from close range.
Knox was quick to give credit to Warriors who, despite having a depleted team, never threw in the towel.
He said: "We've had some good games with Warriors in the past.
"But this one nearly did not go ahead because Warriors were struggling to field a team.
"It's all down to commitment of players. Despite this Warriors gave a good account of themselves."
NICHOLAS Brown smashed a hat-trick as Cromwell hammered AFC Bradley 5-1 in Division One.
Sean Carlile and Josh Keyes were the other Cromwell scorers in a comprehensive victory.
Bradley were promoted from Division Two last season as champions but are clearly finding it difficult to adjust, having not yet secured a point all season.
The picture is not as bad as it sounds though, because the bottom-side have usually given their opponents a decent game.
And Bradley have certainly turned up in good numbers – unlike some other teams who have either dropped out of the league or have had to postpone games because players are unavailable for matches.
IT'S a 'must-win' match for Division Two pace-setters Crows Nest this weekend – according to manager Terry Hanley.
The leaders face Police, aiming to build on an 8-0 crushing of Inkworks last time out.
The goals were scored by Luke Fanthorpe, with a hat-trick, Gareth Leaning, Karl Reynolds, Lewis Austwick, Luke Moore and Lee McFarland.
Hanley said: "Inkworks were struggling to put a team out but their depleted squad battled strongly at the start.
"We could have scored more goals but settled with what we had."
"This weekend we play Police and have to win this one, and all the rest, with Pattesons breathing down our necks.
"No game is easy at this stage.
"We have a few players who are not available but we can draw on our other teams to help us out there.
"Many clubs struggle to get a team out; the commitment is sometimes just not there.
"Pattesons should have played Healing last weekend but a good club like Healing could not field a team.
"This must be a nightmare for the people running the teams."
Elsewhere in Division Two, AFC Wybers (Darren Toftegarde 3, Tom Dent 2, Neil Batts, og) won 7-0 against Caistor Rovers.
Wybers keep doing what they know they have to do – winning. They will think they are still in with a chance of at least promotion and possibly the silverware.
Immingham Town (Steve Grimbleby 3, Ben Coultas) won 4-1 against Tap & Spile.
And the Imperial Red Star (Liam Clapham 2) beat Police (Lewis Fletcher) 2-1.
DIVISION Five leaders East Marsh Empire face Red Star Old Boys next as they close in on the title.
Last Sunday, the title favourites overcame Abatis Fire & Security 3-0 with goals from Dave Smith, Phil Melladay and Sean Minkley.
Marsh chairman and goalkeeper Phil Lacey said: "We've been close rivals for a couple of seasons now and we knew what sort of a game we were going into.
"Abatis started the stronger but when Dave Smith scored our first goal, we took over and built on it.
"It was 2-0 at half-time and our third soon followed. It became a bit 'hot-headed' in the second-half but we knew it might do.
"All the players were on the pitch at the end though and that says something."
The clash with Red Star Old Boys looks to be an easier game – on paper at least.
Lacey added: "In every game now the opposition wants to knock us off the top.
"But we've been together now for several seasons and we know what we are doing.
"It's no surprise to us that we are where we are.
"We have one hand on the title now and it is ours to lose.
"We must win every week. The outcome of the Clee Motors and Abatis game next weekend will give us something to think about."
Elsewhere in the league, in Division Three, Cleethorpes Town continue with their unblemished record.
They beat Keelby United 3-0, but the battle for promotion behind them is certainly hotting up.
East Trans Pelham (Mark Barber, Tom Barber, Josh Burns) won 3-1 away to AFC Nitro (Stuart Sadler).
And Cleethorpes United (Marcus Mason 2, Luke Morley, Andrew Murray) won 4-0 against Humberston Grosvenor.
This was a good game to watch with all players on time and raring to go.
Both sides were well in it until the interval, after which Grosvenor tired and the game ran away from them. These teams would fit in well in a higher division.
Deportivo Empire must also consider themselves in with a chance of promotion after their 2-1 defeat of Millfields. In Division Four, Will Clifford scored for Wheatsheaf in their 1-0 victory over second placed Clee Community ESL.
Great Coates also won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Oliver Grimble.
Tower Bucharest won 5-1 against Crows Nest 2nds (Luke Shipp), while Blossom Way County (Daniel Simpson 3) won 3-1 against RIS FC (Cameron Smyth).
Clee Motors won 3-2 away to RER Haulage (Simon Peck 2) in Division Five.
Crows Nest 3rds (Darren Gibbs 3, Ben Fawcett) did well to beat well-placed Old Lloyds (Barry Ramsey 2, Steven Drinkell) 3-2.
Immingham County (Ben Cooke 2, Richard Johnson) beat AA Property New Waltham (Matthew Smith, Keith Playford) 3-2.
And Healing 2nds (Danny Jackson 2, Pete Appleton, James Robinson) won 4-1 against Redstar Old Boys.
Danny Jackson missed out on his fifth consecutive hat-trick by one goal.
Spiders Web (Chris Staples 2) remain top of Division Six after their 2-0 defeat of Buddies II Athletic.
Olivers Wine Bar (Dave Kendall 3, Shane Ward, Bobby McSpadden) won 5-1 away to Ace Homecare (Carl Carroll). Honest Lawyer (Brad Wright 3, Alan Wilson 2) beat Winns FC 5-2, while Kings Head Waltham (Ben Cousins 2, Liam Cadden) beat Seachill Athletico (Oliver Mitchell 2).
However, surely the result of the day was West Marsh Old Boys' (Wayne Foden 2, Nathan Green, Kyle Thornton, Ellis) 5-2 defeat of Grimsby Rovers (Mark Linford, Johnny Newlove).
Division Seven leaders The Oak Tree (Gary Kirwin 2) won 2-1 against Pelham 1878.
Laceby Arms (Gavin Legg 3, Tom Bembrick 2, Thomas Leonard 2, James North, Andrew Osbourne, Luke Tutty) won 10-0 away to IFK Knottkoping.
Advance Alarms (Reece Duffield, Daniel Sayers) won 2-0 against AFC Waltham 2nds, and FC Ntex (Jonathan Corry 2, Craig Holland, Chris Harper) beat Clee Community ESL 2nds 4-0.
Finally, Laceby Acres United (Andrew Lewis, Conner Watson) won 2-0 against Winns 2nds.