Ron Eaglen Cup – Preliminary Round
Bassingham Bugle Horn FC 3-1 Heighington FC
Division Two side Heighington travelled to Bassingham to face last season’s Division Two champions in this Preliminary Round Cup tie. The game started with the hosts enjoying the majority of the possession with the visitors very much on the back foot. Almost inevitably Bassingham broke the deadlock on 20 minutes. A ball into the 18 yard box was half cleared and fell kindly to James Barnett who duly found the top corner. Heighington had chances to equalise, the best chances falling to Greg Smith who was twice thwarted by the home goalkeeper.
Early in the second half Heighington new signing Josh Cheetham slammed the ball home to score his first competitive goal for the Club which levelled up the tie and forced Bassingham onto the back foot for the first time in the game. Sensing a momentum swing the visitors started to apply more pressure. Soon after, the impressive Cheetham danced into the area but unfortunately for the visitors he sliced his effort high and wide when he looked certain to score.
Credit must go to Bassingham who weathered the storm and then hit Heighington on the counter with a huge long pass from one corner of the pitch to the other. The ball was squared leaving Chris Lewis to squeeze his effort just inside the far post for 2-1. Soon after the tie was settled, Matt Dale booking his side a place in the next round having made it 3-1.
A see-saw affair which on the hour mark looked anyone’s game ultimately sees Bassingham progress. All at Heighington FC would like to wish them well for the rest of the competition.
Old Boys United 3-2 Waddington United
Waddington took no time in getting started after Ryan Pell tested Brandon Doherty who managed to tip his shot over the bar. Old Boys struggled to get going as Waddington’s strikers kept the back four on their toes which even saw Reece Breakell clearing one off the line to keep the visitors at bay. The first goal eventually came when Tony Sewell drilled a free kick straight in the top corner and it didn’t take long for Sewell to score again after he got on the end of an Adam Gardiner corner.
In a back and forth second half Waddington finally got the better of the Old Boys’ young keeper with a corner of their own. Old Boys hit Waddington on the counter with Gardiner finding Jack Hobson who went one on one with the keeper and made it 3-1. With the score line suggesting the game was over Waddington’s never say die attitude saw them pull another one back but they could not stop their hosts progressing into the next round of the competition.
Railway Inn United 6-6 Mareham United (after extra time). Railway Inn United won 7-6 on pens
The game got off to a steady start with both teams working each other out until Roy Bescoby whipped a corner in to Sven Richards who finished calmly to make it 1-0 to the Railway. After this Railway seemed to switch off and let Mareham back into the game by conceding 3 goals in 15 minutes from simple balls through the middle. But before half time Railway had it level again through Kyle Paul and a calm Matt Clarke finish.
The second half was a completely different game as Railway took the lead through a very poor own goal. Mareham got their backs up again and scored 2 more goals, one of which was an own goal. Railway’s task was made harder when they were reduced to 10 men following a tackle. The game was poised at 5-4 to the visitors with just 10 minutes left to play and the home sides task got a whole lot harder when they were reduced to 9 men following a second yellow card being issued to one of their players. With only a handful of minutes remaining Railway found an equaliser through the ever present and always dangerous Sven Richards to take the game into extra time.
With both teams looking leggy some of the tackles were looking tired and with 5 minutes of extra time left on the clock a long ball punted through and flicked on saw Mareham take the lead again. This left the Railway absolutely gutted, but then somewhat amazingly with no more than 30 seconds on the clock they rattled the Mareham crossbar with a free kick which bounced back to none other than Railway goalkeeper Mikey Barrand who had gone forward as a last throw of the dice. He headed an absolute bullet header to equalise and take the game to penalties with the last action of a pulsating game.
Mareham’s first penalty was missed spectacularly, and Railway took the lead on spot kicks. The second Railway penalty was missed by Kyle Paul but in typical calm fashion Gavin Lilley tucked away the third to keep the momentum going. Sven Richards, Tony Rowe, Dan Harley and Matt all went on to score, before Mikey Barrand pulled off a world class save. Not being one to shy away from the action goalkeeper Barrand opted to take the all important penalty and he put it away to scenes of absolute jubilation for the Railway, winning the tie despite being down to 9 men at the end of the game.
Metheringham FC 6-0 Saxilby Athletic
Metheringham FC entertained newly promoted Saxilby Athletic in their opening game of the new season. The opening exchanges were fairly even although in fairness Saxilby perhaps looked the sharper of the two sides. The deadlock was broken on the half hour when a clumsy challenge saw Andy Anderson brought down in the box and Meg skipper Ben Machin slotted home from the spot. Saxilby could have levelled ten minutes later but their impressive front man was thwarted by Meg keeper Wayne Greaves as he bore down on goal.
Four minutes into the second half Meg doubled their lead when full back Billy Fox broke down the right and having played a one-two with Joe Willey shot goal-wards with the ball squirming under the keeper. In truth this goal knocked the stuffing out of the visitors who appeared to have put all their efforts into the first half. A third goal came for Meg just after the hour mark with another build up down the right with Jayden Driver playing the ball into the path of Miles Lynch for him to shoot home into the bottom corner. Then just five minutes later it was 4-0 with another right wing attack with Driver and Lynch inter-passing before Liam Hargrave tucked the ball home. With Saxilby now a defeated side Meg added a fifth with nine minutes left with Driver’s pace seeing him advance down the left before putting an inch perfect ball in for Connor Wilson to volley home on debut. The scoring was completed in the last few minutes with Lynch playing the ball through for Mark Jordan to score with ease.
Ruston Sports FC 5-0 Lincoln RNA
Ruston Sports began the game on the front foot and were soon ahead when Paul Norris converted a penalty after Timmie Mann was felled in the Lincoln RNA area. Ruston’s were well on top but a fine goalkeeping display kept the visitors in the game with RNA nearly equalising just before half time when their striker headed narrowly wide.
RNA got a foot into the game as the second half began but Ruston’s finally turned their domination of possession into a second when a corner wasn’t cleared and Sam Wade powered home. RNA were not beaten and Ashley Franklin was then called into action for the home side pulling off a good double save but it became one way traffic after that when Paul Norris tapped home to give breathing room to the home side.
Chances continued to come for the home side and another penalty was awarded as the game neared its end with Paul Norris given the opportunity to score his first ever half trick. The centre half didn’t disappoint and coolly slotted past the RNA keeper. The chances continued and it was Sean Melton who wrapped up the scoring for Ruston’s to wrap up the win with a bullet header late on.
Ruston’s man of the match was Paul Norris for his hat trick, Lincoln RNA’s was probably their keeper who was excellent throughout.