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Moulton Harrox have been crowned Peterborough and District Football League Premier Division champions





Moulton Harrox have been crowned Peterborough League Premier Division champions again.

After missing out on the league title by a point last season, Harrox have clinched the championship this term with one match of their campaign remaining.

A 1-0 home victory over Crowland Town on Tuesday night put Moulton into an unassailable position at the top of the table after Stanground Sports went down to a home defeat to Whittlesey.

Moulton celebrate their title triumph. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Moulton celebrate their title triumph. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Moulton celebrate their title triumph. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Moulton celebrate their title triumph. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes

It is Moulton's first title triumph since 2019 and was secured by a strike from Nathan Smith who scored early in the second half of the contest.

It was another hard-fought and hard-earned success for Moulton as they dug out the win in typical Harrox fashion.

The opening 20 minutes of the match saw more cautions than chances as referee Michael McDonald took a tight grip on proceedings with yellow cards for any indiscretions to ensure the healthy rivalry between the two clubs remained under control.

Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Moulton celebrate their title triumph. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Moulton celebrate their title triumph. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Moulton celebrate Nathan Smith's goal. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Moulton celebrate Nathan Smith's goal. Photo: Chris Lowndes

As the half wore on, the game started to open up more with Crowland creating the better chances as they looked to mark the final match of manager Gianni Salerno's reign with a victory.

Harry Grigas had a penalty appeal turned rejected after going down under a challenge from home goalkeeper Brendan Taylor who was the busier of the two custodians.

Danny Firth volleyed wide from an Archie Rickards cross before the visiting striker again went close after seeing a shot narrowly deflected past the post from Grigas' knock-down.

Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Goalscorer Nathan Smith. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Goalscorer Nathan Smith. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Crowland Town manager Gianni Salerno in his final game at the helm on Tuesday night. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Crowland Town manager Gianni Salerno in his final game at the helm on Tuesday night. Photo: Chris Lowndes

Harry Machin also headed just wide for the hosts from a Gary Chappell free-kick while Joe Townsend sent a similar effort straight at Crowland goalkeeper Aaron Fagan.

Rickards saw another effort blocked by Luke Gardner before Taylor produced a great reaction save to keep out Joe Cole's header from a Grigas cross.

Harvey Henderson then steered a decent opening wide following Rickards' strong run as Crowland were unable to make the vital breakthrough despite finishing the first half on top.

Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes

Taylor again excelled at the start of the second half with a brilliant block from Grigas' back post header before Moulton scored the all-important goal as the ball broke to Smith and he arrowed home a fine finish into the corner of the Crowland net.

The visitors looked to respond and Rickards shot over when the ball had fallen invitingly into his path while Cole was extremely unlucky with a header which hit the crossbar before rebounding upwards and then striking the bar again and landing to safety.

As the second half progressed, Crowland started to run out of ideas and Moulton's game management was again spot on.

Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Action from Moulton's home victory over Crowland Town. Photo: Chris Lowndes

They had chances to wrap up the win as Dec Earth flashed a shot wide following a strong surge by Townsend while Smith saw a stinging shot safely gathered by Fagan as Moulton finished in the ascendency before the final whistle sounded.

It was job done for Moulton who then faced an anxious wait for news of Stanground Sports' game to filter through.

Whittlesey Reserves had taken points off Moulton at the weekend to dent their charge but then did the newly-crowned champions a favour with their 1-0 win at Stanground which ensured the title celebrations could begin.

It capped a hectic finale to the season in style for Moulton whose 12-game unbeaten run to finish the campaign with eight wins and four draws made them deserving winners of one of the most keenly-contested top flight title races for several seasons.

Moulton complete their campaign on Saturday with a trip to Oundle Town.



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