18th September – match reports

Fred Quibell Junior Cup Preliminary Round

Plough Sturton 3

Dynamo Varsity 2

This match saw the first competitive meeting between these two sides since they met in the final of the same competition at the end of the 2009/2010 season, a game still remembered by many. A lot has changed in the years since and the Plough now found themselves as the higher ranked side against their lower division opposition.

It was the home side who started the game more brightly and they were finding space all over the pitch to attack the opposition and were getting plenty of joy down the wings whilst controlling the game in the middle of the park. The opening goal came after Simon Spring played the ball down the left hand side to Liam Gladwin. With a clever turn Gladwin left the full back for dead and broke forward before delivering what looked to be an inch perfect ball for Alex Cawkwell. The Sturton striker had a huge swing and miss as the ball passed straight by him. Fortunately for the Plough Tom Higginbottom was there to pick the ball up and after taking a touch he dispatched a low effort past the keeper.

The Plough continued to control proceedings and were soon two goals up. A Paul Fowler throw down the line was flicked on by the head of Scott Barratt into the path of Higginbottom who continued with the ball into the box before slotting past the keeper. The second goal changed the game for the worse for the Plough as they lost their shape and their dominance they’d had so far in the half. This breakdown for the home side was exploited by Varsity and they soon reduced the deficit. A deep free kick was delivered into the box and caught the Plough defence napping. It was eventually pulled back across the edge of the six yard box for an easy finish for Jamie Earls. This seemed to raise spirits and they equalised before half time from the penalty spot through Jamie Green.

Unfortunately for the visiting side they suffered 3 injuries before the hour mark and this took its toll with Plough pressing more and more for the win. Graeme Ryan kept Dynamo in the game when Sturton missed a penalty. The pressure didn’t stop from the Plough and they eventually got the breakthrough. A deep Danny Humphreys free kick was perfectly delivered into the box where it was met by the head of Tom Everington. The target man headed the ball across the goal where Higginbottom was waiting on the far post the nod home for his hat-trick.

Dynamo’s man of the match was Josh Hayes who put in an industrious display. 

Premier Division

Ruston Sports AFC 5

Scothern United 5

With a limited side available the Rustons gaffa Mackinder started himself up front. The home side started well and took the lead after 5 minutes with a bullet header from Max Bateman. They doubled their lead on 10 minutes when Ben Sharpe hit home a volley from 20 yards. The game then levelled out before a long ball forward towards Mackinder saw him cushion a header into Daniel Nicholson who headed home. Scothern came back in to the game with a great run down the flank which resulted in a cross and a simple header to reduce the arrears to 3-1. Alex Mackinder turned and slotted home a lovely finish to make it 4-1 on the stroke of half time to see the teams go in with the home side firmly in the driving seat.

The second half Scothern come out the blocks a whole new side, managing to pull the score line back to 4-2 courtesy of an Alex Mackinder own goal. Scothern were then in total control of the second half pulling it back to 4-3 then 4-4. Rustons couldn’t get a foothold in the game and then Scothern completed a remarkable turn round to lead the game 5-4. The home side then changed their formation to take the game to their opponents, making all of their substitutions and this paid dividends when they managed to grab an equaliser through Daniel Nicholson on 85 minutes after good work down the right side from Alex Mackinder and Matthew Coe. The game finished 5-5.

Travellers Rest 4

Metheringham FC 2

Playing their first league game of the season Metheringham were still missing several important players as they visited Travellers Rest.  For the purists this game never rose above mediocre with neither side able to string many passes together and the game developing into a bit of a long ball encounter. This said, the opening goal was worthy of winning any match. It came on 18 minutes with Travellers having a free kick on the half way line on the left. It was met at the Meg far post with an exquisite overhead kick by centre back Danny Long. For the remainder of the half neither side really troubled either keeper. The second half was as lacklustre as the first until Travellers scored a second on the hour. It came on the counter attack after Meg had pressurised the home box. Breaking down the right a simple ball was put across the Meg six yard box for an easy tap in. This then became 3-0 seven minutes later from a Travellers goal kick. Two passes later there was another simple tap in. 3-0 quickly became 4-0 when Meg failed to clear a corner and the ball was bundled home. Meg looked a beaten side but with 15 minutes left they got a consolation goal when a Jake Thorpe pass on the half way line beat the Travellers defence for Jac Wright to round the keeper for 4-1. This goal gave Meg a little hope and 2 minutes later they got a second with another defence splitting pass, this time from Jarrydn Adamson, who again found Jac Wright, who drilled home to complete the scoring.

Division 1

Horncastle Town FC 1

AFC Harpars 2

Happy Harpars turn Horncastle blue…..

The first bragging rights of the season in Horncastle went to AFC Harpars as they beat local rivals Horncastle Town FC on the opening day of their season. The home side were highly fancied going into the match having been newly promoted as league champions and cup winners. It was Harpars who went ahead in the first minute though with new signing Tom Johnson scoring direct from a corner. The visitors seemed the hungriest as the match progressed and were unlucky not to earn a penalty when Jonathan Seymour appeared to be brought down in the box after turning his man. Early in the second half Harpars doubled their lead when substitute Sean Rylance slotted home on his debut. As the match progressed the home side were limited to a number of long range efforts as the Harpars defence held firm. In the 87th minute Horncastle’s Harry Hinkley rifled the ball home through a packed defence but Harpars held on to claim the points.

St Helens 2

Old Boys 4

Last season’s top two in division 2 met again but this time in a new division. Last season saw Old Boys pip their opponents to the title on the last day of last season. St Helens must have been itching to set the record straight but unfortunately for them they conceded first after Jack Thompson opened his account for the new season. St Helens didn’t wait long before they pulled one back. With the game going back and forth it was a Josh Gannon header that restored Old Boys’ lead which again didn’t last long with the St Helens winger making a break down the wing to find his team mate in the box to make it 2-2 at half time.

Jack Hobson applied “Jamie Vardy” pressure and was brought down in the box giving Adam Gardiner the chance to convert from the spot, After Old Boys’ 3rd goal St Helens were banging on the door and if it wasn’t for Neil Griffiths pulling out a triple save in the visitor’s goal they would have been pegged back again. Adam Gardiner got the all important 4th goal when he finally decided which foot to shoot with making it 4-2 to Old Boys

Trent Valley 1

Welton FC 6

An early goal for Trent Valley seemed to wake Welton up and they replied instantly with a goal of their own through Matt Atkinson. Welton pushed on and hit Valley on the counter to go in at the break 3-1 up. The second half started scrappy but Welton hit their hosts with quick attacks that resulted in another 3 goals. Late pressure from Trent Valley failed to produce any goals and Welton held on to run out 6-1 winners thanks to 4 goals from Matt Atkinson and 2 from Connor Caines.

Division 2

Red Lion Dunston 0

Greenbank FC 8

Greenbank made the trip to Dunston this Sunday after a convincing win against Lincoln RNA the week previous. The Bank were this week without Captain Jav Pillay, Joe Simpson, Bryan Skayman, Sam Newton, and Kieran Loeve but still managed to field a strong 16 man line up for the game against the Red Lion. Alan Willers and Paul Sturton came in at centre half for Simpson and Pillay with Daniel Daubney earning a rare start in the centre of midfield.

Matt Wilson lost the toss, and didn’t get the opportunity to switch ends, which meant the Bank would be looking directly into the searing sun in the first half. Greenbank started sharply, keeping the ball well , looking to tire a Dunston side that had been beaten 17-1 the week previous.

The Bank created some early chances through some great work by Craig Smith and Callum Fatchett but it wasn’t until 20 minutes in that Callum Fatchett capitalised on some loose defending before slotting past an onrushing keeper. This took the wind completely out of the Red Lion’s mane, and 10 minutes later Greenbank made it 2-0, Shane Clancy rounding the keeper in typical fashion and slotting into an empty net. Greenbank could have made it 3 after another marauding run from left back Matt Wilson, he beat three men and made it to the by line, only to square to Shane Clancy who had his effort saved on the line.

Greenbank created chance after chance in the first half but couldn’t find a third goal even with Callum Fatchett, Shane Clancy and Ashley Murphy all going close.

Half Time – Red Lion Dunston 0 Greenbank FC 2

Greenbank came out in the second half believing that a couple of early goals might open the floodgates, and that’s exactly what happened. A tiring Dunston back line was punished with a deadly finish from 18 yards from Shane Clancy who gave the keeper no chance to make it 3-0. Ashley Murphy was causing lots of problems down the Greenbank right and he played a devilish ball across the six yard box, which Callum Fatchett duly slotted home for his second, and Greenbank’s fourth, within 10 minutes of the start of the second half.

Greenbank then began to make some changes with Daniel Daubney coming off for Jake Longworth, and Matt Wilson coming off for Nathan Gregory. This didn’t affect Greenbank’s tempo as they continued with wave after wave of attack. With both Callum Fatchett and Shane Clancy chasing their hat tricks it was Fatchett who got their first, finishing after more neat work from Ashley Murphy. Callum was immediately substituted for Kieran O’Boyle. Minutes later Shane Clancy completed his hat trick with another deft finish. In hindsight Clancy could have had a double hat trick as he missed several other chances that he looked certain to score. Ian Sievwright was dominating the midfield and really ticking the Bank over playing simple five yard passes and always becoming an option for his full backs.

There was still time for two substitutes to get in on the act, when Nathan Gregory scored his first goal of the season, sneaking in at the back post to tap in for 7-0. As the game petered out and Greenbank ran the clock down Jake Longworth beat three mean with some fantastic feet and then rounded the keeper to slot into the net to make it 8-0.

All in all this was a fantastic victory for Greenbank, with James Pickering only having to make one save over the 90 minutes as The Bank never looked in danger of conceding and they earned their first clean sheet of the season. The Bank will have much tougher games this season, and this begins with a tough league game against Crows Athletic next weekend at NK School.

Division 4

FVA Jerusalem Reserves 0

Coningsby FC 4

It was a gorgeous Sunday morning which saw 2 determined sides play good competitive football. FVA Jerusalem opted for a very direct game from the off whilst Coningsby started with a 4-3-3 formation in an attempt to dominate the middle of the pitch. Jerusalem were equal to this so after 20 minutes Coningsby switched to a 4-4-2 formation which soon reaped the reward, a lovely cross into the box was met by an unmarked Jason Cooke to nod home and make it 1-0. Jerusalem immediately put the Coningsby back four under pressure trying for an equaliser but 5 minutes before half time captain Ben Brown got the ball 25 yards out and dribbled into the box holding off several challenges to smash the ball past the keeper.

Coningsby started the second half well and looked to dominate the game. Ben Brown got on the score sheet once more with a close range header. Some good football followed from Coningsby as they managed to exploit the space left by Jerusalem as they searched for a way back into the game. A needless foul 20 yards out gave Tom Dickinson the chance to get on the score sheet and he didn’t waste it. For the final 20 minutes the game was end to end with both teams trying to get a goal but the game ended 0-4 to Coningsby.

Ian Stephenson