26th February – Match reports

Kelly Read Cup

Metheringham FC 5

Welton Sports AFC 2

In the only all Premier Division tie Kelly Read cup holders Metheringham hosted Welton Sports. The two sides had already met in league action this season with Metheringham winning that one 5-0.  In this meeting the Premier League’s bottom side Welton were certainly intent on not making it an easy ride for the holders and took a positive approach by kicking with the brisk breeze at the backs in the first half.  Saying this they were to concede a penalty in the very first minute for a trip by their centre half on Joe Smith. Miles Lynch took the kick but the Welton keeper confidently tipped it around the post.

Using the wind to their advantage Welton played a long ball tactic trying to benefit from the pace of their speedy strikers. Despite this the Metheringham defence held solid until 20 minutes in when some good pressure by Welton saw them have a succession of corners with them taking the lead from a close range tap in. Whilst Welton had the lions’ share of the ball Meg regularly got forward and always looked dangerous. They drew level in the 38th minute when they were awarded a second penalty for another trip on Joe Smith. This time Smith took the kick and despite the Welton Keeper getting a hand to it he was unable to prevent it crossing his goal line. Finishing the half strongly Meg took the lead with a minute of the half left when Jayden Driver, on the right, played a through ball into the Welton box and Miles Lynch pounced on it to win it before the keeper could get his hands on it.

Meg started the second half on the front foot and the tricky Jayden Driver became provider again when Ben Machin played a through ball to him on the left and his pin-point cross from the by-line was powerfully headed home by Smith. 3-1 became 4-1 just before the hour with Driver knocking a ball into the box and from this Andy Anderson’s header reached Joe Smith who headed over the keeper with a looping header to complete his hat-trick. Welton refused to lie down and with fifteen minutes left they pulled a goal back with a close range tap in following a free kick on the left edge of the box. The scoring was completed with five minutes left as centre half Kyle Thompson rose to head home Meg’s fifth from a Driver corner. Meg will now visit Waddington in the semi final on 19 March

Waddington United 6

Turks Head 0

Second Division Waddington United reached the semi finals of the Kelly Read Cup for the third time in four seasons as they defeated Turks Head from Division Three. Turks Head certainly did not look to be a Division below Waddington as they more than held their own against a full strength Waddington side including Marc Strickson’s return to the heart of the defence and Nathan Bear on the bench after a long injury lay off.

Waddington, who have suffered just one defeat in the last six games, had an early opportunity to score but were thwarted by Turks’ keeper, Martin Ziller. Both sides had chances in a competitive first 45 minutes with Ziller in top form and the Waddington defence holding strong but it was a Luke Smith goal that gave Waddington the edge at half time.

Half time saw the lure of the East Anglian derby too much for one of the Waddington side which allowed the introduction of the “fresh faced” Jason Brothwell to the game. Ten minutes into the second half Max Heath looked to have beaten Ziller to put Waddington two up but it was ruled out for offside. Turks Head pushed for an equaliser but were unable to find the final touch to trouble David Kirkbright in the Waddington goal. The game changed on 75 minutes when Heath put Rikki Peterson through on goal and his superb finish doubled the home sides lead which saw Turks Head lose their spirit a little. Soon after Peterson made it 3-0 with his second of the game. A Chris Greene corner was then headed home by Heath at the far post to make it four on 83 minutes. Two minutes later another Greene corner looked to have crossed the line directly but Brothwell made sure to give Waddington a 5-0 lead. Heath’s second of the match, another back post header from a corner, completed a 6-0 score line just before the final whistle. Apart from the final 15 minutes this tie was extremely close and the final score is not a fair reflection on the game considering the Turks’ battling performance earlier in the match.

A home semi final clash with three times Cup holders Metheringham is Waddington’s reward for their efforts.

 Premier Division

Travellers Rest 0

Ivy Tavern 13

The Ivy went into this fixture looking to build on last week’s 2-0 success with a trip to the Cowpaddle to face Travellers Rest. In the past they have always been given a good workout by their opponents however this proved not to be the case on the day.

The Ivy started on the front foot and soon began to carve out chances. Debutant George Asplin was unlucky on a couple of occasions as he was adjudged to be offside after slotting home. It wasn’t much longer before the first goal arrived. Craig Bridge threaded a ball into the area for Sean Cann who turned inside and played in Jordan Taylor who took a touch before slotting under the goalkeeper. Number two soon followed, this time Asplin pulled the ball back for Cann to fire home from 12 yards. Two soon became three when goalkeeper Craig Rhodes’ quick throw released Cann in his own half. He then ran fully 70 yards, evading a couple of challenges on the way, before squeezing under the goalkeepers advances.

Following a scrappy period the game was put beyond any doubt when firstly Joe Ayres lofted a delightful ball into the area for Jordan Taylor to coolly slot home his second of the game and then Ayres got in on the act himself cutting inside and hitting an unstoppable drive from the edge of the box into the far corner of the net.

Despite a 5 goal cushion at the start of the second half the Ivy certainly weren’t finished with the scoring and they came out of the blocks with real intent on increasing the score line. Ayres doubled his tally for the day after Cann’s cutback from the by line fell to Ayres who curled a lovely strike inside the post from 12 yards. Cann then completed his hat-trick after a ball forward was missed by the Travellers centre back allowing Cann to run clear and fire home with the outside of his boot. Cann then turned provider, this time from the left hand side, pulling the ball across the area for Jordan Taylor to rush in and complete his hat-trick.

The Ivy then rang the changes with Mackie, Birdsall and Hatton entering the fray. It was normal service resumed with Bridge crossing for substitute Hatton to head home from 12 yards. Cann then hit a quick fire double, the first following a half cleared corner which was drilled past everyone into the net, and a second a trademark mazy run with a low finish into the corner. Craig Bridge was next on the act with a fully deserved goal after another Birdsall cross fell to Bridge who slotted home from inside the 6 yard box. Then in the last minute Cann had the final say after Taylor played the ball into the area and he went past the keeper and passed the ball into the empty net for his 6th of the game.

This was another positive performance from the Ivy throughout the squad which will delight the management. Craig Rhodes stepped in between the sticks and despite never really being troubled was commanding and showed some excellent distribution, particularly against the wind. Jordan Curtis was his familiar self at right back probing forward and winning first and second balls. Aiden Reynolds returned to left back and was comfortable on the ball, always looking to thread though some telling passes. James Stokes and Steven Swinburn commanded the backline with both not putting a foot wrong, winning every ball and the latter unlucky not to get on the score sheet.

Joe Ayres provided the width and he took both his goals well and always looked a threat on the ball. The midfield again, where the battle commenced, had Jordan Taylor who is fast becoming the new Mr Versatile where he was tireless, running up and down, fully deserved his hat-trick.  Johnjo McGovern played for the second successive week and looks to be getting back to fitness, snapping at his opponents’ heals and proving to be a constant menace, and they were joined by Craig Bridge who again showed some classy touches and deadly set piece deliveries. Debutant George Asplin, who was very unfortunate not to get on the score sheet, showed glimpses of quality and proved why the management brought him to the club. Stand in skipper Cann must also get a mention for ending up with 6 goals and taking his tally to 45 goals for the season to date in all competitions.

The substitutes came on and affected the game in a positive fashion, particularly Scott Birdsall who was explosive down the right hand side and unlucky to get on the score sheet. Jamie Hatton was a threat in behind the defence and as is normally the case ended up on the score sheet. And finally Joe Mackie stepped into centre midfield and kept things ticking and simple to great effect.

Division Three

Queen in the West FC 1

Dynamo Varsity 2

Varsity started the game poorly against Queen in the West as they played against the wind and the home side were ahead within two minutes when some poor defending was ruthlessly punished with a low strike finding the back of the net. The Queen were the better side in the first half and they spurned a number of chances to double their lead. Varsity finally woke up around the half hour mark and began to threaten and with 5 minutes of the first half remaining Sam Wade beat two men before hammering home into the top corner of the net to level for the visitors.

After a good twenty minutes and the wind behind them Varsity proved to be the stronger side in the second half but couldn’t find a break through with Vincent Van Doninck and Simon Cotton being stopped by an inform keeper. The visitors got their breakthrough with ten minutes to go though when a perfectly weighted Sam Joyce free kick was bundled home by Kristian Berzins at the far post.

There was one final moment of drama in the dyeing seconds though when a corner found Leigh Mackay at the back stick for the Queen but with the goal gaping he could only steer his header wide, much to the relief of the away side.

Varsity’s man of the match was Josh Hayes who won the midfield battle for the away side with a gritty display.

 Division Four

The Blue Lion FC 2

AFC West End 4

On a very bobbly pitch two teams started a game that was a joy to be a part of with great chances created at both ends. It was the visitors who broke the deadlock with a lovely long range shot. An equaliser came swiftly from The Blue Lion with a shot into the bottom corner.

With the game all to play for Tom Hirons produced a beautiful half volley from outside the box with flew into the net giving the Lions the lead but it wasn’t long before West End pulled it back after beating the keeper and slotting it neatly into the net.

The Lions enjoyed the rarity of going into a half time break on parity with their opponents.

The second half was the downfall for the Blue Lion who were unable to prove consistent as they conceded 2 goals and were unable to pull them back ending the game with a well deserved 4-2 victory being gained by West End.

Credit goes to AFC West End who played a really good game of football with great sportsmanship throughout.

Also credit to the Referee, Ian Cole, who controlled the game brilliantly in what was a tremendous  game of football.

Ian Stephenson