Moulton Harrox 1 Pinchbeck United 4: PINCHBECK emphatically took the local bragging rights with a vital win on Tuesday night – and are now targeting an elusive title.
Striker Jamie Cartlidge hit a double for United at Harrox Field, sandwiched between Ryan Birtles’ opener and a late Chris Hall own goal.
A Nigel Steadman header threatened to spark a Moulton comeback early in the second period, but Pinchbeck hit back to go within two points of Peterborough Premier Division leaders Ramsey Town.
Pete Roberts’ side also have a game in hand – and with eight games to go, skipper Bobby Patterson reckons they have every chance of lifting the coveted crown.
Patterson said: “I’m still buzzing now, there’s no question that we were the better side.
“We said before the game that there were no second chances and couldn’t afford to slip up. If we can produce eight more performances like that we’ll be champions.
“I’d rather be in our position than Ramsey’s, so I don’t see any reason why we can’t win the title.”
Playing in front of a bumper crowd at Moulton, the tone for the derby was set by a nasty early tackle from Liam Harrison on Danny Cairns.
Pinchbeck grabbed the lead midway through the first period, as a hopeful free kick from Birtles found the far corner.
The flashpoint of the game came soon afterwards, as Steadman appeared to headbutt Birtles – only for referee Nigel Thorold to deem it worthy of a yellow card.
A lengthy stoppage in play didn’t affect Pinchbeck though, and they doubled their money through Cartlidge, who tapped into an empty net after a wayward Hall backpass.
Harrox upped the ante after the interval and reduced arrears when Steadman headed home from close range.
But Cartlidge had other ideas as he curled home the pick of the goals into the top corner from 25 yards.
There was still time for ex-Pinchbeck defender Hall – who scored the winner for United in the reverse fixture last year – to head a Tom Roberts clearance into his own net late on, as Harrox saw their faint title hopes evaporate.
All is not lost for Martyn Cundy’s men though, with a PFA Senior Cup final at London Road and the derby return still left to play.
Goals: Moulton - Steadman 52. Pinchbeck - Birtles 26, Cartlidge 35 & 60, Hall OG 78.