19th March – match reports

Kelly Read Cup

Waddington United 1

Metheringham FC 7

Kelly Read cup holders Metheringham visited one of their old arch rivals, Waddington United, in this semi final tie. The home side, for many years, were the regular winners of this competition but not so in recent times. The holders found themselves down to their last 14 qualified players due to several regular players being away on a Stag Weekend during the football season!!! With the familiar windy conditions at an exposed Waddington pitch the home side chose to kick against the strong wind in the first half. Inside 3 minutes Metheringham were a goal up with Aaron Harrison playing a ball from right to left into the box where Ben Garrick headed back to Jac Wright enabling him to slot home from close range.  Meg seemed content to play the long ball using the conditions whilst the home side grew in confidence with some good football of their own. In fairness Waddington thoroughly deserved to level on 20 minutes when Meg failed to deal with a ball into the box from the left and it was coolly tucked away. Perhaps the game was then decided in the space of 2 minutes just after the half hour mark. On 32 minutes Jayden Driver put a ball in from the right which was headed into his own net by a Waddington defender. Then 2 minutes later Kyle Thompson launched a ball forward from deep in his own half and Ben Garrick judged it to perfection to head it over the home keeper from the edge of the box. With the half almost over Jayden Driver played a ball wide to Andy Anderson from the centre of the field and he cut in before drilling it across the six yard box for Ben Garrick to pounce and net.

With the score at 4-1 at the break Meg expected Waddington to come at them in the second half but it was not to happen. 5 minutes after the restart a deft ball over the Waddington defence was chased by Ben Garrick and with the most delicate of chips he knocked it over the advancing keeper from 20 yards to complete his hat-trick. Although now a defeated side Waddington never gave up but with 7 minutes left Aaron Harrison made it 6-1 tapping home a ball played across the six yard box from Jac Wright. Then with 4 minutes remaining the biggest cheer of the day came when James Brett played a ball forward and substitute Jarryd Adamson calmly stroked the ball past the keeper from the edge of the box for his first goal for the team, with the home players having all stopped, waiting for a free kick to be awarded near the touchline. Metheringham will now meet Bassingham in the final at Sincil Bank on Monday 8 May where they will be looking to retain the trophy for the third year in succession.

Division One

Hykeham Memorial FC 1

AFC Plough 6

After Plough’s recent run of form they were hoping to continue in winning ways from their visit to Hykeham. They started the game well in very difficult conditions with a strong wind blowing which proved difficult for both teams and they created numerous chances but couldn’t find the end product early on. They did take the lead however when Liam Bentley gambled on a long ball that the home keeper did collect but dropped it for an easy tap in. Wes Barratt continued his good scoring record this season after another defensive mistake as the Hykeham goalkeeper, kicking into the wind, kicked it straight to Barratt who then lifted it over the keeper to find the net. Plough continued to dominate and they added a 3rd before half time with Barratt grabbing his second goal on the day. Memorial’s only real effort on goal smashed against the Plough crossbar but in a half completely dominated by the visitors saw them lead the game 3-0 at the break.

Defending into the wind in the second half Plough knew it was going to be tough to continue their first half dominance and so it proved when the home side reduced the deficit after a long ball and decent cross that Jack Willan did clear the first header off the line but the rebound was put in to give Memorial hope that they could find a way back. The pressure on the Plough goal did continue and Memorial did have some chances with Plough keeper James “the sea-lion” seal needing to be at his best to pull off a couple of crucial saves to keep the score 3.1 Garry Lee came off the bench for Plough with 25 minutes to go and bagged himself a couple of goals, the first coming with his first touch. With just 5 minutes of the game Plough won a free kick some 25 yards out and Jack Willan hit a thunderbolt strike to show captain Paul walker how it was done after his tap in in the previous match. All in all Plough were the better side as the score suggests and it was the visitors who maintained their excellent recent run of form which saw them win their 6th game in a row. The Plough Man of the match was Liam Bentley, who was simply unplayable at times, and who’s energy was impressive throughout the game.

Division Two

Red Lion Dunston 3

FVA Jerusalem 2

Dunston were looking to continue their improvement from the previous  game against Bassingham having lost with the very last kick of that game. With Jerusalem riding high in the league Dunston were expecting another stern test which was not helped when Harry Wright had to leave the field injured after just 3 minutes having taken a knock on the calf. With a cross wind to contend with the game for the first 30 minutes was a cagey affair with neither team creating anything, though Jerusalem shaded it possession wise. The game however suddenly changed when an attempted clearance by a Jerusalem defender saw the ball fly high in the air and aided by the wind loop over the keeper on 31 minutes for Dunston to take the lead. Then with just 2 minutes of the half remaining Dunston doubled their lead when a penalty was awarded for a handball and was put away by Paul Masters with the Jerusalem keeper getting a hand to the ball but unable to keep it out.

The second half again started with both teams cancelling each other out and the Dunston manager made 2 quick substitutions within a space of 5 minutes bringing on Greg Brown and Mark Oshea. As in the previous week the Dunston team were working hard to maintain their lead with the defence keeping Jerusalem at bay. Once again it was a penalty that was to make the game more interesting when from a Jerusalem corner Dale Firth was unlucky to see the ball hit him on the hand resulting in the visitors scoring from the penalty spot with an excellent struck spot kick just after the hour mark. The visitors then found themselves in the ascendancy as they looked to level the game but it was Dunston who were to restore their 2 goal advantage in the 75th minute when a corner from Firth saw Craig Spence flick the ball on at the near post and into the back of the net. With 5 minutes of play remaining Jerusalem reduced the deficit once again with their second penalty with Spence bringing down their winger in the box and as with the first the Jerusalem striker put the ball away with another well taken penalty giving keeper Steve Brumpton no chance. With plenty of defending to do for the last few minutes Dunston kept their nerve and this week managed to see the game out without conceding a late goal to leave the final score 3-2 and an excellent win for the hard working Dunston team.

Division Three

Dynamo Varsity 7

HBW United 0

HBW began the game with just 9 men with 2 en route and they were subsequently punished for their incomplete compliment early on with Sam Joyce powering home inside 5 minutes from the edge of the box. HBW then had a chance to equalise when 2 air shots meant the ball found its way to the HBW striker who could only blaze wide. Still waiting for their additional men HBW conceded for the second time when Aiden Vaughan’s perfectly waited ball was headed home by Simon Cotton. The 2 additional players arrived and this put HBW onto the front foot as they looked to get back into the game, they would though be ruthlessly punished when a swift counter attack down the left ended up with the ball at the feet of Captain Vaughan who netted from within the area. Varsity were firmly on the front foot now and an Aiden Vaughan corner was powered home by a Stuart Andrews header to make it 4 just before the break.

The second half began similar to the first and Varsity would soon make it 5 when Aiden Vaughan again had space in the area to collect his second of the game. Chances would continue to come for the home side but it would take till the 80th minute for them to make it 6 when Sam Joyce added his second goal of the game. With the clock ticking down the goal of the game was scored by the home side when Aiden Vaughan jinxed past 3 players before slotting the ball past the HBW keeper to round off his first ever hat trick for Dynamo Varsity in 10 years. The Varsity Man of the Match was their Captain Aiden Vaughan on this occasion collecting the match ball and adding 2 assists for good measure.

Shakespeare Athletic 3

Turks Head 1

Division 3 high flyers Shakespeare entertained mid-table side Turks Head on an extremely windy Sunday morning down at Birchwood. Combined with a hard bobbly pitch both sides found it difficult early on to carve out any clear cut chances. With the influential Danny Dixon returning to the midfield for the visitors, Turks began to get a grip of the game as the first half wore on but still chances were few and far between for both teams. Nobody watching the game would have been at all surprised when the whistle went for half time with the game being goalless.

The second half saw Turks attacking with the wind in their favour and some high up pressure forced a number of corners which came to nothing. As the game wore on the visiting defence were starting to get stretched by the pacey counter-attacking of the Shakespeare front men and on the 65th minute mark a tired challenge from veteran centre-back Tony Blee was nowhere near the ball and the referee duly awarded a spot kick. This was converted by the home side and then 2 more quick fire goals effectively ended it as a contest as Turks looked in danger of yet another late collapse. Some battling play late on saw Josh Leay grab a consolation goal for the visitors and put a slightly kinder slant on the score line in what was, in truth, a more even game than the final score line suggests.

This result saw both teams cement their respective league positions of 2nd & 6th as the season nears its conclusion.

Ian Stephenson