Ron Eaglen Challenge Cup – Round Three
Old Boys United 2-4 New Swan FC
Old Boys hosted New Swan in the quarter finals of the Ron Eaglen Cup. Mark Hodges put the Home side in front with a perfectly placed finish, New Swan didn’t take long before they equalised however and then they found themselves 3-1 up at half time.
Old Boys could have pulled one back after the break but the New Swan keeper was alert as he managed to keep Chris Edwards’s shot out. The Swan’s keeper was at it again this time preventing Mark Hodges from getting a second. Swan had the game wrapped up with a late goal to make it 4-1 but with the cup tie almost over James Waby grabbed a very late goal for the boys in Yellow.
St Helens FC 1-2 Heighington FC
There were perhaps not many neutrals who would have given second from bottom in the table Heighington much of a chance against the divisions runaway leaders St Helens in this game played at Skellingthorpe Road. The previous weekend had seen the hosts fighting back from 4-1 down to snatch a dramatic point away at Cherry Willingham which kept their unbeaten league record intact. Heighington on the other hand came into this game in no sort of form at all, a stuttering league campaign seeing them winning just once all season.
The game started at a frantic pace, a bobbly uneven pitch not helping matters as both teams struggled to get the ball down and string more than a few passes together. As the half wore on it was the visitors who started to enjoy more of the play with player-manager Stu Cook rattling the crossbar from distance following some neat passing play. St Helens failed to heed this warning and soon found themselves 0-1 down, Greg Brown playing a delicious ball out to right-winger Josh Cheetham who crossed for Greg Smith to head home. Heighington, possibly not sure whether to press for a second or not at this stage of the game, dropped deeper as St Helens went to a more direct style. The long ball bypassing the packed midfield initially wasn’t troubling the visitors as veteran centre back Tony Blee sent most of it straight back over the halfway line aided by his much younger centre half partner Ollie Stirk who was always on hand to sweep up any balls which evaded him. Eventually the sheer volume of balls played forwards paid off for the league leaders when the pacey John Papworth raced clear before managing to delicately lift the ball over Danny Dixon in the Heighington goal to level the scores.
It was to stay 1-1 for a long time in the match although the home side were starting to show why they were top of the league, Dixon keeping his side in it with a string of fine saves as the hosts started to find their stride. As the game neared its conclusion Heighington were hanging on for a point when with all three substitures already on and centre back Ollie Stirk struggling with a hamstring niggle. Electing to stay on he was pushed up to midfield and Greg Smith dropped back into defence. Amazingly it was Stirk who supplied the assist for a dramatic late winner. Exchanging passes with substitute fullback Stevie Smith he slipped a great ball forwards to Greg Brown who appeared for all the world to be offside. All eyes went across to the linesman who correctly kept his flag down as, inexplicably, the St Helens left back was well deeper than the rest of his backline and playing Brown on. He raced towards goal and then chipped the onrushing goal keeper for 1-2 with practically the last kick of the game. This sparked wild scenes of celebration among the Heighington players who rushed to congratulate their top scorer who had surely secured all three points. And so it was to be, the fulltime whistle being blown barely one minute later by the referee, Mr Mark Thomson, who must be also be congratulated on a fine performance.
This unexpected result sees St Helens remain in top spot, although they will be looking a little more nervously over their shoulders at second placed North Lindum Hawks who now have three games in hand. At the other end of the table Heighington climb one place to tenth as they look to get clear of the relegation places.
Waddington United 5 Newton United Reserves 1
Waddington United returned to winning ways with a comfortable 5-1 win at home to Newton United Reserves. Despite having a weakened side they had evergreen 50 year old Chris Wright on the bench should they need to call on him.
Jason Brothwell put Waddington one up in the first half, heading home Ryan Pell’s pinpoint cross. Despite having the better of the play they were unable to add to their lead before the break. Marc Strickson added a second from a corner with an unorthodox finish but doubtless he will add it to his gallery of great goals. A Ryan Pell volley from the edge of the box extended the lead before Newton pulled one back.
Brothwell showed that there is no substitute for experience as he converted another superb Pell cross to restore the three goal lead and Fabian Rowe added a fifth with a strike from outside the box. The win takes Waddington up to fourth place in the League table.
The Sports Bar 0-2 Ruston Sports FC
The Sports Bar started the game on the front foot and were nearly ahead early on when their striker raced through and finished well only for the offside flag to be raised. The home side were having the Lions share of the chances and only a superb double save from Ashley Franklin kept the scores level as the away side struggled to get going.
From around the half hour mark though Rustons began to settle and they took the lead when a corner from Sam Joyce was headed home by Jack Willan at the back post to give the visitors the lead at half time.
Ruston’s began the second half more composed and they doubled their lead after ten minutes when an excellent through ball found Timmie Mann who lobbed the advancing keeper to give the away side some breathing space.
As the Sports Bar continued to push forward to get back in the game Rustons had a number of chances as they looked to break with Jamie Green and Josh Hayes unable to turn home following some resolute defending. Sports Bar had one final chance to make it an interesting last ten minutes but some excellent defending with bodies on the line prevented them from getting back into the game and Rustons recorded their third clean sheet in a row to go home with the points.
Ruston’s Man of the Match was Jack Willan who was commanding from the first minute to the last in an all action display.
Metheringham Reserves 1-7 Nosey FC
The day started for the visitors with 90% of their team standing in the car park wondering who was picking Shaun Carr up. Carr normally arrives on his bike but with today playing out at Metheringham and having the kit from the previous weekend this could had been a journey too far! Anyway he arrived with a car full and he had the kit so this seemed a good start. Moving onto the changing rooms at the ground the visitors proceeded to sing happy birthday to Kieran who reckons he was 22 on the day but his Manager states that he looks more like 32 with the pace he runs at.
Onto the game now and Nosey made two changes from the previous week as they lined up on the centre spot for a minutes silence with the passing of a true gent who had been coming to shout/watch Nosey for many a year until a few years ago. Rest in Peace Pete Sawyer.
Nosey made a great start and within a few minutes found themselves 2-0 up with some great finishing from Alex Mackinder and a long awaited goal from Shaun Carr. The game played out until half time with Nosey notching up another 2 goals with the fourth goal including a Christiano Ronaldo style goal celebration from Birthday boy Kieran Sweeney.
It had been one way traffic all game and the score could have been a lot more if it wasn’t for the Meg keeper pulling off some great saves.
Half time came and went and it was Methringham’s turn to have a few chances in front of goal. They started much brighter in the second half and soon forced a goal back before Nosey quickly responded by making it 5-1.
The pitch was playing its part now as it was heavy from recent rain and it was visible that both sides were tiring as the game wore on.
The game turned into mainly one way traffic from the 60 minute mark with both sides making their full substitution allowance and it was a matter of time before Nosey added to their score again. When it came it was from an unlikely source as Adam Morton who was either lost or having a nose bleed as his shot from the Meg 18 yard box found its way with some power into the back of the net.
Nosey then enjoyed a brief spell of Harry Anderson lookalike Josh Green trying his best to get on the score sheet but the ball just wouldn’t fall to his best foot but Nosey are still working out which foot that is!
Metheringham had a couple more chances in the game but there was some brave goal keeping by Matt Thomas to deny them.
The game was rounded off by another hat-trick by Alex Mackinder who has now scored 6 goals in 2 games and is really putting pressure on Chris Chancellor who couldn’t play due to a back injury sustained the previous week. They both have 9 goals apiece for the season in the league so the question of who will get Nosey’s golden boot award this season remains to be seen.
The game was played in good spirits by both teams and Nosey wishes the Meg lads all the best for the rest of the season.