Anglers FC 2 – 0 Welton Sports AFC
The Kelly Read Cup provided one of the League’s newest teams, Anglers FC, with the opportunity to record something very rare at any level of football, namely winning three competitions in their first Season in the League.
Having already won the Premier Division title, and the Lincolnshire County Football Association County Sunday Cup, the Saxilby based team were looking to add their third trophy of the current campaign to their trophy cabinet by winning the Kelly Read Cup, the Competition for village based teams who play from a village location.
Today they were up against Welton Sports AFC, a team who themselves have enjoyed an excellent Season having finished second in Division One, having themselves been in the League’s Premier Division for many Seasons until their relegation from the top flight last Season. Their re-grouping this time round meant that their achievements on the field in the lower division this time round gave them the opportunity to put their newly found confidence and skills to the test against the top team in the League.
The game started in sweltering temperatures but on a pitch that was in fantastic condition, something that was a real credit to the ground staff at Lincoln Moorlands. Anglers started on the front foot by forcing three corners in the opening two minutes but nothing came of them and the game then began to settle. Welton did not help their cause during the opening ten minutes as they gave away a series of free kicks in threatening positions when perhaps a calmer approach may have served them better. Indeed Referee Darren Wallhead called both Captains together after just 12 minutes as things threatened to boil over following a couple of robust challenges made by both sides. Thankfully his intervention seemed to do the trick and the game settled into a pattern whereby Anglers enjoyed the majority of possession but Welton always looked dangerous going forward.
The opening goal came in the 21st minute when the dangerous Stewart Aisthorpe wriggled clear of his marker just outside the box down the left hand side and he cut inside before finishing with a superb strike into the top corner with a curling effort that left Welton keeper James Peachman with no chance of saving.
Despite going a goal behind the Welton side were still well in the game and they had a good chance of an equaliser on 40 minutes when Alex Munn took the ball off his opponent before pulling the ball back to Olly Furness who was just outside the box but he dragged his shot wide without troubling the goal keeper and the chance was gone.
There were no further goals and the teams went into the break with the game finely balanced on the score sheet.
The second half began where the first half left off with Anglers retaining a greater share possession and shots on goal but Welton looking capable of scoring when they got near to the Anglers goal.
They certainly looked capable of equalising in the 70th minute when Ollie Furness was played through and after outstripping his marker he was clean through with only Anglers keeper Casey Horgan to beat. The striker went through one on one with the keeper but was brought down leaving referee Mr Darren Wallhead with the straight forward decision of pointing to the spot. Under the new rules imposed this Season by the Football Association keeper Horgan received a yellow card for his troubles but in previous Seasons would have found himself handing his gloves over to another keeper.
After referee Wallhead had completed the admin it was Furness himself who had picked himself up and dusted himself down before stepping up to take the penalty kick himself. When he did so he tried to place the ball slightly to the keepers right but Horgan guessed right and managed to get two hands to the kick and beat the ball back into play and the golden chance evaporated.
With time running out Welton pressed in search of a leveler but in truth the Anglers defence saw the game out without too much alarm with their back four looking calm and assured throughout the last quarter of the game.
With 6 minutes of normal time remaining Anglers got the cushion of a two goal lead when Scott Birdsall scored at the second attempt after a free kick was played in by substitute Adam Thurston. The ball fell to Birdsall at the far post and his goal enabled Anglers to manage the game without further alarms and for them to achieve the magnificent and rare accolade of winning three trophies in one Season.
Both teams deserve credit for playing such a competitive and entertaining game in hot conditions with the temperature around 24 degrees throughout. The Match Officials deserve credit to for their excellent performances throughout, lead by referee Darren Wallhead. His final whistle brought to an end the League Season which began back in September on a somewhat cold and damp day as I recall by comparison to the soaring tropical like temperature of today!
The Trophy and memento’s were presented by the League Chairman, Mr Keith Weaver, assisted by Mr Colin Barraclough.