MATCH VERDICT: Knights win battle with Romans
The nicknames comes from different historical periods – but there wasn’t a gulf in class in a hard-fought battle on the pitch between the Knights and Romans.
Pinchbeck United needed a couple of clinical strikes in a five-minute spell to collect maximum points.
Tyler Wright and Liam Ogden fired home after Ryan Lovell cancelled out Laurence Taylor’s own goal.
The Knights moved back into second spot with a fourth successive win – even though they couldn’t keep another clean sheet.
They conceded for the first time in 316 minutes of action but still maintained the best defensive record in Division One.
Ash Murrell – who played a key role in a hat-trick of clean sheets – misjudged a long ball from Irchester United captain Dan Spaughton five minutes before half-time.
Lovell pounced to take the ball past keeper Dan Swan and slot home from a tight angle.
A defensive error had put Pinchbeck in front as Taylor nodded in Tony Edwards’ left-wing cross which was aimed for Ollie Maltby.
The prolific scorer – who had 12 goals in the previous seven league games – could not add to the tally as he sent a header over and then James Dickson’s timely interception prevented a far-post tap-in.
At the start of the second half, Ogden replaced Edwards who had got a final warning in stoppage time instead of his second yellow card.
Josh Smith became more involved to create space but Sam Foulser kept out Wright and Maltby.
The Romans went behind again, though, as Wright got on the end of a loose ball to smash a left-foot drive past Foulser.
Even better followed when a left-wing cross was helped on by Foulser and Ogden’s right-foot volley flew into the back of the net.
Despite being in the bottom half of the table, Irchester’s efforts showed that position should improve soon. At the right end, Pinchbeck’s bid for promotion looks to be very much on course.
4-4-2: Swan 7; Gordon 7, Murrell 7, Jack Smith 7, Gardner 7; Josh Smith 7 (sub Buzas 82 mins), Tidswell 7, Wright 8, Edwards 6 (sub Ogden h-t, 7); Sergeant 7, Maltby 7. Subs not used: Bishop, Dunn, Kisla.
5-4-1: Foulser; Bates, Sharp (sub Harewood 62 mins), Taylor, Spaughton, Dickson (sub Brown 69 mins); O’Neill (sub Burge 66 mins), Gordon, Heycock, Keeneyside; Lovell. Subs not used: Freeman, Sargent.
Taylor og (18 mins, 1-0); Lovell (40 mins, 1-1); Wright (74 mins, 2-1); Ogden (79 mins, 3-1).
Taylor, Edwards, Dickson (fouls).
Tyler Wright – creative spark.
Oakham United (A) – Wednesday.