Tarft quits after half a century
RELEGATED Alconbury have been rocked by the resignation of general manager Mick Tarft after more than half a century with the club.
Tarft’s exit has arrived towards the end of a torrid season in which Alconbury have won just two Premier Division games and are marooned at the basement by 16 points.
He had become disillusioned with the attitude of players and made the decision to depart after the club failed to fulfil a midweek fixture at Crowland.
Tarft said: “I’ve had enough and packed it in on Tuesday. We had four players drop out on the day of a game and no-one is prepared to take responsibility for their actions.
“I’m fed up with people communicating by text message these days. No-one ever rings me up and I can’t ever get hold of anyone on the phone. I’ve had over 50 years at Alconbury but that’s it for me now.”
Reserve boss Mick Hunt took charge of the club’s 8-2 home loss at the hands of Leverington at the weekend.
COATES boss Gary Munns insists an influx of new players is required.
The village lads could slip out of the top half of the Premier Division table after a major slump in the second half of the season. A 4-2 loss at the hands of Netherton on Saturday was a third successive defeat.
Munns said: “I’m disappointed with the way this season has fizzled out. The interest seems to have disappeared for several players.
“Other teams are showing the motivation that we’re lacking and that’s being reflected in our results.
“It is something we have to change for next season and we need some new impetus on the playing side.”
Striker Mark Newton retained his position at the top of the Premier Division scoring charts with a brace that took his seasonal tally to 22.
But two Kamran Khan goals and others from Ash Jackson and Paul Clark condemned Coates to defeat.
Netherton boss Johnny Byrne said: “We asked the players to bounce back from the PFA Senior Cup final defeat and finishing the season as strongly as we possibly could. Two wins since then is testament to their character and attitude.”
DEEPING Rangers Reserves suffered two defeats inside 24 hours.
Andy Bailey’s men went down 2-1 to Blackstones Reserves in the Ancaster Cup final on Friday night and were then beaten 3-0 by Peterborough Sports in a Premier Division contest the following afternoon.
Bailey said: “Nothing went for us in the final. We dominated, but hit the post three times and had another shot cleared off the line.
“It’s unbelievable that we were still expected to play on Saturday. It’s not something I was happy about even though we have nothing left to play for in the league.
“I really had to throw in a lot of ‘A’ team players and youngsters and they acquitted themselves well.”
Deeping kept Sports at bay until the final minute of the first half when Ondre Odain scored. He grabbed a second (his 15th in just 14 appearances for the city team) after the break with Addie Staffieri also scoring.
Sports boss Chris Bartlett said: “Finishing in the top six was always the aim and this three points ensured that will happen.” PREMIER Division title glory has served only to increase Pinchbeck’s hunger for higher-level football.
The Lincolnshire club completed an honours double on Saturday when following up a PFA Senior Cup triumph by clinching a first title since the early 1990s.
Pinchbeck captured the league crown with a 4-2 victory at sole challengers Kings Cliffe on Saturday and player-boss Ian Dunn, who was among their scorers, insists the only disappointment is that they can’t secure promotion to the United Counties League.
Pinchbeck did have an application to rise into the UCL accepted but it was scrapped after being based on playing their home matches at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field in Spalding - a venue whose future is up in the air.
Dunn said: “The league table doesn’t lie and that proves we deserve to be champions, but it is a shame that we can’t go up.
“We’re an ambitious club and that’s something we showed by applying to go up into the UCL. We’ll have to go back to the drawing board and see what we can do on that front.
“It might be the case that we can do some work at our current ground or we might have to look for other options, but it’s definitely something myself and the players want to happen.
“I have no doubt we have the makings of a team that could compete well at a higher-level but first and foremost we have to concentrate on coming back and defending this title next season.”
Pinchbeck were handed the perfect start on Saturday when wideman Dan Woods set them on their way to success with an early cracker.
Striker Tom Gosling pounced on a rebound to double the advantage but a host of other excellent chances went begging in the opening period and Stu ‘ Skippy’ Addinall nodded Cliffe back into the contest on the stroke of half-time.
A smart Dunn finish early in the second period restored the two-goal cushion but it was soon halved again by Cliffe skipper Phil Anderson.
That was the cue for the hosts to apply plenty of pressure but they couldn’t find another way through and Pinchbeck settled the issue when Dan Maddison converted a last-gasp penalty after Gosling had been upended by Cliffe keeper Robbie Virgin. Anderson received his marching orders from referee Karl Fawcett for contesting the award of the spot-kick.
Cliffe chief Alex Brown was left with a mixture of disappointment and pride after seeing his side’s valiant challenge come to an end in their debut Premier Division season.
Brown said: “I really wanted the lads to go out there with all guns blazing and have a real go at Pinchbeck, but we never really left the dressing room.
“We did well to get back in at just 2-1 down at half-time and I was much happier with what we produced in the second half. We applied plenty of pressure and had them on the rack at times, but the damage had really been done by not performing in the first period.
“People have said this is the hardest Premier Division there has been for years so we have to be proud of the fact that we have competed at the top end in our first season at this level and we have a great platform on and off the pitch to enjoy success in the future.”
And Brown has challenged his players to bounce back by emerging victorious in a frantic end-of-season race for second place.
Any one of five teams - Cliffe, Moulton Harrox, Eye Sports, Peterborough Sports and Netherton - could still follow Pinchbeck home going into the final few matches of the campaign.
Brown, whose side host Harrox tonight and Eye on Saturday, added: “We need to sew up second spot because I want to have another crack at Pinchbeck in the Jack Hogg Trophy at the start of next season.”
HONOURS DOUBLE: Pinchbeck celebrate their 4-2 win over Kings Cliffe which sealed the league title. Picture: STEVE RELF