St Lawrence celebrate – like never before

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At Springfield, the Coca-Cola Combination Division II’s ninth placed team upset the form book to defeat sixth-placed Magpies 2-1 with first-half goals from Luke Maguire and Andy Bouchard.

Five minutes after the resumption Magpies reduced the deficit through Luke Heynes but they could not find a way past Saints goalkeeper Jason Watts again, despite working hard to force extra time.

Watts said: ‘We restricted Magpies to few chances; I was busy with a lot of catches from crosses and the odd shot while the rest of the time it was just a matter of cleaning up – I don’t remember being over-stretched at all.’

Saints manager Martin Saunders, in his first season at the helm, said: ‘I’m delighted for everyone; things were not going well mid-season and after a good chat to iron matters out we have turned the corner.

‘We are a young side, we have two 25-year-olds with the rest all under the age of 23. We want to go places and Division I is our target in the next three to five seasons.

‘The guys stepped up to become men last night. We were relentless first half, our passing and movement was excellent and I think Magpies were shell-shocked.

‘We did enough in the first half to win and although Magpies came back hard we fought really hard for each other and deserved to win.

‘Ben Le Fondre and Mark Bryant were solid in the centre of defence and the Maguire brothers worked hard going forward. Andy Bouchard played like a captain in midfield while goalkeeper Jason Watts was outstanding.

‘Every club in Division II would like to sign Jason but he remains loyal to the club. He is very modest too, he is certainly a great goalkeeper and certainly good enough to play in Division I in my opinion.’

Magpies’ manager Paul Cauvain said: ‘St Lawrence deserved to win in the end; they played well first half and scored a good first goal with their second being an opportunist effort. We pressed hard after the break but we were denied by some good goalkeeping. Even when we pushed more forward St Lawrence kept us at bay with some good defending and full credit to them for doing so.’

Luke Maguire fired St Lawrence in front midway through the first half when he beat the goalkeeper from eight yards after a good move and final pass from Alan Fernandes.

St Lawrence’s second was a 25-yard screamer from skipper Andy Bouchard, just five minutes before the interval.

Luke Heynes scored what turned out to the ‘Pies’ consolation, a fine strike from 20 yards after St Lawrence were punished for failing to clear their lines.

Magpies: Paul Aubert, Michael Conway, Shane Brown, Adam Gallagher, Steve Hopper, Paul Duffy, Luke Heynes, Carl Dever, Matt Pamplin, Mark Wilkinson, Mark Le Marinel. Subs used: James Whybrow, Kieran Hocking, Neil Bredonchel.

St Lawrence: Jason Watts; James Makin, Mark Bryant, Ben Le Fondre, Paul McMahon, Alan Fernandes, Andy Bouchard, Leon Hochet, Rob Bailey, Luke Maguire, Nathan Maguire. Subs: Kieran Le Marquand, Tom Seal.

Officials: Peter Smith, Mark Le Cornu, Joao-Paulo Martins.

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