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18th Oct 2021

Amateur side Peterborough Rangers win 40-0 against Sawtry Reserves

Daniel Brown

The beauty of Sunday league

Even if you turn up terribly hungover, or claim you don’t care about winning or losing, nobody enjoys losing a game of football.

The only thing worse that losing is losing heavily. If you suffer a 2-1 loss, you can blame the referee for not giving you that penalty. Or if you concede late to fall to a 4-3 defeat, you can confidently tell you mates that three of their goals were offside.

However, when you are involved in a game that reaches double figures, it becomes almost impossible to pass the blame. 

For Sawtry Reserves – a side operating in the fifth division of the Peterborough and District Football League – the bar has just been raised for one of the worst defeats in grassroots football.

A relentless Peterborough Rangers won 40-0 against eight-men Sawtry, who received understandable praise for even finishing the 16th-tier game, despite the brutal scoreline. 

“We just went out there and wanted to get our goal difference up,” said Rangers player-manager, Dwayne Rankin, who was top scorer in the tie after bagging 13 goals.

Some people will argue that there was no need for them to score 40 times, but others, Rankin included, would claim that the aim of football is to outscore your opponent as many times as possible.

He told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: “It does seem a bit harsh but that’s football, you’ve got to score as many as you can score, that’s the aim of the game.

“We’ve gone out there with the attitude of whoever we’re playing, score as many goals as we can and entertain the people that are watching.”

Andy Hutchcraft, a spectator in attendance, has revealed that he “lost count” of the score, adding that he is unlikely to ever see anything like it ever again.

“Even if I live to be 100 I don’t think I’ll see 40 goals in a football match again,” he said.

Despite the heavy defeat, Sawtry Reserves can take some comfort in the fact that they are a considerable way off the world record for the highest scoreline in a game of football.

In 2002, AS Adema won 149–0 against SO l’Emyrne in Madagascar, a result that holds the world record for the highest scoreline, as recognised by The Guinness Book of Records.

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