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Uppingham Town defeat Stanground Sports in the Peterborough League Premier Division





Uppingham Town are refusing to relinquish their grip on the Peterborough League Premier Division title without a fight.

The back-to-back league champions head into the final games of the season still top of the table.

However, second-placed Moulton Harrox are level on points with Uppingham and also have two games in hand on the title holders.

Jordan Neil netted for Uppingham. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Jordan Neil netted for Uppingham. Photo: Rob O'Brien

Town kept their championship hopes alive on Tuesday night with an excellent 3-2 away success at fourth-placed Stanground Sports.

Goals from Louie Venni, Cameron Cleaver and Jordan Neil secured the win over a Stanground side who included dual registered Bourne Town duo Robbie Ellis and James Hill-Seekings in their line-up.

Manager Paul Sheehan said: "I was delighted with the performance against Stanground.

"They are a good attacking side anyway but were able to include Hill-Seekings and Ellis to make them even stronger.

"It was a great game of football, it had a bit of everything and one we deserved to win.

"We defended well as a team and always looked a threat when we attacked.

"We have looked strong these last five games and now we need to try and win our final match of the season to finish as high up in the league as possible."

Town took just two minutes to break the deadlock when Venni received the ball on the halfway line, ran by two defenders before calmly slotting past the keeper.

Johan Coughlan had a good chance to double Town's lead midway through the first half but was denied by a good save from close range after Neil had beaten his man and crossed.

Uppingham goalkeeper Tom Hubbard then saved a Hill-Seekings header from Ellis' cross to ensure Town held the lead at the break.

Stanground started the second half the better side and equalised on 55 minutes when Edmunds Grunsteins had a shot after a corner was half cleared and it took two deflections before hitting the back of the net.

Town rallied and Venni ran past the home centre back and had a good shot which was tipped around the post.

The hosts were then reduced to 10 men when player-manager Dan Fountain was shown a straight red card for a high and late challenge on Will Lewin.

Town took advantage to regain the lead in the 66th minute as Neil sent Venni away down the right and he rode two tackles before crossing from the byline for Cleaver to slot home.

Neil then had a shot saved after combining well with Rob Forster and Venni before Stanground levelled again with 15 minutes remaining.

Ellis took a quick free-kick and released Hill-Seekings who found himself one-on-one with Hubbard. His shot was saved by the Town goalkeeper but the ball rebounded to Snor Islam who tapped into the empty net.

Town refused to settle for a point though and hit the winner with five minutes remaining when they were awarded a penalty for hand-ball after Neil had attempted to flick the ball past a defender.

Neil then stepped up to convert the spot kick and ensure a fifth successive league win for the current table-toppers.

Uppingham had gone into the crunch midweek clash after a 2-1 home win over Whittlesey Reserves on Saturday with goals from Josh Porter and Neil.

They had gone close to breaking the deadlock midway through the first half when Will Lewin hit the bar with a header from the edge of the box from a Harley Pridmore free-kick.

Whittlesey had a series of corners and pressure but Town defended well and took the lead five minutes before the break.

Josh Porter. Photo: Rob O’Brien
Josh Porter. Photo: Rob O’Brien

Porter released Neil who skipped past his man and crossed to the back post for Porter to finish.

The lead was doubled on the stroke of half-time when Forster was pulled down in the box from a Venni cross and Neil again scored from the spot.

The second half was fairly even without many clear cut-chances.

Whittlesey got a goal back with 15 minutes remaining when a well worked move saw Kyle Hibbins score at the back post but Town then defended well to see out the game.

Manager Sheehan added: "I have been pleased with the last two games and now we have won five matches on the bounce.

"The Whittlesey game was quite tight without many goalscoring chances but we defended really well and took our chances when they came."

Town are without a match this weekend before completing their campaign on Saturday, May 11, with a trip to Wittering Premiair.

Moulton play their two games in hand before that match and could put the title out of Uppingham's reach.

They travel to face Whittlesey Athletic Reserves on Saturday before a derby duel with Crowland Town on Tuesday night.



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