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Cabbage to patch it up after Griff win; COVENTRY ALLIANCE.

Impressive Nuneaton Griff ended the unbeaten Premier Division record of arch-rivals Stockingford AA on Saturday.

Two-goal Wayne Pulford again took top billing as reigning champions Griff opened the race for the title.

The 22-year-old striker, who had netted a league record-equalling seven goals in his side's 11-0 win at Triumph the previous week, bagged another brace as Griff charged to an emphatic 3-0 success.

Mark Whitehead completed a victory which takes the Heath End Roaders within four points of leaders Cabbage with a game in hand.

The sides last met in the Coventry Charity Cup quarter-final which was abandoned early in the second half with Griff leading 1-0 and their neighbours down to nine men - but there were no signs of any reprisals with referee Steve Masters taking a firm grip of the local derby with just one booking to each team.

Delighted Griff boss Mark Green said: ``It was a fantastic result for us. We knew we couldn't afford to lose as that would have virtually clinched the title for Cabbage but now not only ourselves but Folly Lane and Bulkington come back into the equation.

``Wayne's finishing was again first class. He's quite a handful at the moment and always looks as though he's going to score. He was a constant thorn in the Cabbage side.

``In Mick Upton and Craig Whitmore we had two wide players who were outstanding. They defended well and also posed a threat when going forward. All in all this was a good psychological win for us and opens the door to the championship.''

Cabbage boss Jimmy Ginnelly was scathing over his team's lacklustre display which he described as their ``worst of the season.''

Ginnelly blasted: ``I can't buy guts or heart and they were the parts of our game which didn't exist on Saturday.''

Pulford opened his account midway through the opening half when he exchanged passes with Whitehead, went past two defenders and slotted low past exposed goalkeeper Paul Lucas.

Pulford's second goal came just before the hour when Upton's centre was drilled in at the near post by the ex-Adders front-runner.

The final nail in Cabbage's coffin came ten minutes from the end as the unchallenged Whitehead climbed high to head home Ruban Field's corner from eight yards.

Bulkington's outside hopes of the crown were kept alive at the Oval where they inflicted a 2-1 defeat on Woodlands.

They went a goal down early on to a Neil Edwards strike but, once the villagers had equalised just past the half-hour, they dominated proceedings.

Dave Buggea's first goal of the season restored parity, the midfielder racing past two defenders from the halfway line before cracking a low drive into the net from the edge of the area.

The winner came five minutes from time. Lee Yemm, back in the line-up following a spate of injury problems this term, netted with a close-range drive.

Andy Poole missed a penalty on the hour and goalkeeper Mick Martin spent most of the match being a spectator.

Fourth-placed Folly Lane had to pull out all the stops to get the better of much-improved Triumph at Tile Hill with a James Docherty goal settling it for the visitors, who are ten points adrift of Stockingford with two games in hand.

In Alliance One, Nuneaton Griff Reserves suffered their fourth defeat in a row when losing out 2-0 at Jet Blades where goals by Andy Elliott (penalty) and Jaie Leech did the damage.

Ian Neale produced some clinical finishing for Stockingford AA Reserves when they entertained Ambleside and won 5-2, the hitman firing a four- goal salvo. Paul Aeillo added the other while Rob Allen netted twice for the Higham Lane men.

Bulkington Reserves edged out Meadway by the odd goal in three thanks to strikes from Pete Bradley and Steve Bassett while, in Alliance Three, Bermuda's second string and Radford fought out a goalless draw.

Alliance Four pace-setters Unity Sports beat Collycroft 3-1. A Dean Ashby brace paved the way with Nicky Edwards replying in a victory which extends their advantage at the head of affairs to six points after nearest rivals Arley were dealt a cruel blow when losing 4-3 to MSA despite a Neil Streeting hat-trick.

Bulkington 3rds beat Christ the King 4-2 thanks to the finishing of Stefan Jones who fired a treble with Wayne Powell adding the other. Andy Dyson's three-timer helped Coventry University condemn Coventry Colliery to a 4-3 defeat.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 23, 1999
Previous Article:Witherley v Blades in final; CHAPEL END CUP.
Next Article:Stag may switch.

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