19th February – Match reports

Fred Quibell Junior Cup Semi Finals:

Birchwood United 3

Turks Head 1

Both teams headed into this cup semi-final off the back of 6-1 wins in their respective leagues the previous weekend so confidence was high in both camps. The game started in a scrappy manner, the windy conditions and bobbly pitch making it difficult for either team to get any sort of passing rhythm going. An organised and physically strong Birchwood side started to make more use of the long ball, with their pacey strikers looking to get in behind the visiting defence. The deadlock was broken on 25 minutes by the hosts, although the move started from a Turks Head corner. Player/manager Stu Cook powerfully headed against the crossbar before Birchwood managed to clear the danger up field and hit Turks on the counter attack to take the lead.

The visitors managed to equalise mid way through the second half from the penalty spot, Tom O’Rourke proving to be as deadly as ever from 12 yards after the home ‘keeper felled Pete Blackmore inside the area. With the scores at 1-1 the visitors were starting to get more of a hold on the game before being caught napping again at the back. A low cross was flashed across the visiting area and neatly finished past Martin Ziller in the Turks goal. With the game nearing its conclusion Birchwood scored again, Ziller going up for a corner as Turks threw caution to the wind in search for an equaliser. Almost inevitably the corner was cleared and the home striker raced clear before finishing into the unguarded net.

And so it was that Birchwood progressed into the final of the Fred Quibell Cup where they will face fellow Division Four side AFC Golden Eagle. All at Turks Head would like to take this opportunity to wish them all the best at Sincil Bank in May

Golden Eagle 4

Shakespeare Athletic 2 (After Extra time)

This game was another Division Four side facing up to the challenge of their higher division opponents with the visitors, Shakespeare Athletic, playing their football in Division Three of the League. Both sides sit nicely near to the top of their respective divisions as each has only lost one League game so far this season.

After a tense 90 minutes the scores were locked and the extra time period was needed to settle the tie. It was the home side from Division 4, AFC Golden Eagle, who converted their chances to win the game 4-2 after extra time to set up an all Division 4 final between themselves and Birchwood United at Sincil Bank. To add a little more spice to the final it will be seen that AFC Golden Eagle have lost just once in the League this season, that was when they entertained Birchwood United on 13th November 2016 when the then visitors, Birchwood United won the game 3-0 and in doing so registered the only occasion in the League this season where AFC Golden Eagle failed to score. It should be some final.

Premier Division

Ivy Tavern 2

Newton United 0

After last week’s convincing victory some may have thought that the Ivy’s home fixture against Newton United was a foregone conclusion, however this wasn’t the case and despite dominating for large periods it was a game that Ivy had to work very hard at due to the industry shown by the visitors. To make matters worse for both sides the game was played on a bobbly and very muddy surface.

With the home side’s management being forced to shuffle the pack through injuries and unavailability it gave the opportunity for some other players to impress and this was certainly the case. Last season’s Mr Dependable, Jordan Curtis, returned to his familiar right back spot and looked assured on the ball, with some surging runs forward. James Stokes returned to the fray and always put his body on the line when called upon. Partnering him was Jordan Taylor who stepped in superbly at centre half, not putting a foot wrong and winning every ball thrown at him. Liam Uzzel was also forced to drop into left back but was cmposed going forward and tenacious in the tackle.

Joe Ayres and Jack Wilkinson provided the width, both looking to get on the ball and create opportunities whenever possible. The midfield consisted of Danny Wells, who showed a great attitude and experience after being left out the previous week, to dig in for the cause and create danger when on the ball. Perhaps the Man of the Match award will go to Johnjo McGovern who, after a few substitute appearances, made his first 90 minute contribution and was up and down the midfield winning first and second balls, always breaking up play and playing it simple to his team-mates. Craig Bridge was in front of the midfield four and was always a danger showing some delightful touches and set piece deliveries. Sean Cann again led the line, and he took both his goals well, on another day he could have ended up with a hat-trick.

The game itself wasn’t pretty in stages as both teams had to deal with the difficult pitch conditions but it was the Ivy who were more clinical in front of goal and after a quick-fire double from leading scorer Sean Cann in the second half, the first a typical effort cutting inside and nestling it in off the post, and the second capitalising on a defensive mix up to power home from 12 yards out.

A special mention must also go to John Robinson putting a kit on at short notice to help out the cause and coming on for the last 20 minutes at right back.

 Division Two

 Newton United Reserves 2

Red Lion Dunston 0

With a bare eleven turning up at South Clifton this was going to be a difficult game for the visitors.
Newton took control from the off and both their wingers caused the Dunston defence so much difficulty in the first half. It was only going to be a matter of time before Newton scored and they duly did after 13 minutes. Dunston kept the score to one when the Newton striker was denied by an absolutely brilliant one handed save by keeper Steve Brumpton who showed a strong arm by pushing the ball over the bar.
Dunston however shot themselves in the foot again with very slack defending for Newton to go two up after 25 minutes. Dunston did have a few half chances during the remainder of the half but the sides went in at the interval with the home side two goals to the good.

In the second half both teams cancelled each other out for the entire period with very few chances being created by either team and so the game finished with no further goals being scored. Yes it was a depleted team from Dunston but teams can say that every week and the manager was very disappointed with the display and will be looking for a much improved performance in the next game.

 Division Three

Dynamo Varsity 1

Cherry Willingham 0

This game proved to be a tight affair with most of both teams at either Turf Moor or in the Blue Anchor to watch a fine Lincoln City win the day before the game. The game began sluggishly for both teams but Varsity settled the quicker carving out a couple of early chances. The home side took the lead midway through the half when Aiden Vaughan’s inch perfect free kick found Vincent Van Doninck who powered home a header to open the scoring. Both teams carved out a couple of half chances before half time but Varsity went into the break with a slender lead.

The second half began with Cherry Willingham taking the game to Varsity with much of the game played in the home team’s half for the rest of the game with Dynamo turning the game into a scrappy affair to retain their lead. As Cherry pressed Varsity looked to catch them on the break with Simon Cotton and Sam Wade nearly putting the game to bed late on. They were nearly punished for missing those chances when an excellent run from Liam Barker created a glorious opportunity for the Cherry striker who saw his effort whistle just past the post in the last minute.

It was a hard one to pick a man of the match for the home side however Vincent Van Doninck was probably the best player on the park although after their 4-0 hammering by the same opposition earlier in the season meant that every man gave their all to ensure Dynamo recorded their 6th league win in a row against arguably a better side.

Division Four

Broadley FC 3

Nosey FC 0

Ahead of this game Broadley won a regional competition last week by Vanarama to attend the Burnley v Lincoln match on the ‘Vanarama Fan Bus’, with travel and tickets all paid for, food and drink provided, and free LCFC merchandise thrown in for good measure.

The lads were driven to the match and Alan Power came to meet them after the game for a chat before driving home. All in all they enjoyed a wonderful day so they were in a great position looking forward to playing their own game against Nosey.

Broadley registered their first clean sheet of the season to keep pace and to go joint top of the league again, avenging a defeat to Nosey FC earlier in the season. After a horrific penalty slip from James Gray, Broadley eventually took the lead through Craig Tysoe after some good work out wide by Will Fry and Stevie Stallard. It somehow stayed 1-0 until half time, despite miss after miss after miss, the highlight being Stallard blazing over an open goal.

The second half began very much the same way with another Tysoe goal before an equally-horrendous open-goal miss from Broadley’s Connor Wiseman. Up stepped new signing Lewi Paulson to dance around the edge of the box and make room for himself before unleashing a rocket into the top corner of Nosey’s goal.

Ian Stephenson