Bellingham’s victory brace

CAMBS INVITATION CUP

FIRST ROUND

Histon 1 Lakenheath 2

by Graham Clark at the

Glassworld Stadium

MATT Bellingham underlined just why he is a vital part of the Lakenheath midfield after notching a brace to help knock out a young Histon outfit.

Showing he is not all about tough tackles, the hard-working central midfielder struck either side of the break to send the Kershaw Premier League side into the next round at the expense of the Blue Square Bet Conference North team.

The scoring was opened with the game’s first clear-cut chance in the fifth minute. Bellingham picked up Tony Wright’s well-placed ball into the box before drilling home a low effort past Calum Kitscha.

Histon were not behind for long with the scores level just two minutes later. Olly Cleaver’s ball into the Lakenheath area found its way to Tommy Wright, via a deflection, with the Stutes’ centre forward making no mistake with his finish, lashing the ball high into the roof of the visitors net.

After the early goalmouth action, chances dried up for both teams as the focus turned to Lakenheath’s hot-headed centre-forward Steve Harley.

After receiving a caution for bringing down Eugene Libertucci in the 15th minute, the former Mildenhall Town man was lucky to stay on the pitch just after the half-hour-mark.

With the referee’s back turned, Harley appeared to elbow Lewis McDonald in the face, sparking a confrontation between both sets of players.

But with the referee opting not to hand Harley his marching orders, Lakenheath boss Dave Pinkowski reacted almost immediately, hauling off Harley, a decision greeted by the striker with a swift hand gesture to the Lakenheath manager.

Bellingham restored the Suffolk side’s lead eight minutes after the break. Escaping his marker, he met an inch-perfect free-kick from the right, given following a foul on the tricky Tony Wright, to leave Kitscha with no chance.

Minutes after watching substitute Lakenheath keeper Quinton Young make the save of the match, Bellingham had a chance to give Lakenheath breathing space, but he failed to add to earlier strikes when firing over after picking up Arron Turner’s cutback across the box.

As it turned out, the miss proved not to be crucial for the visitors, who will now face either Cambridge University Press or Royston in the next round.