Coningsby FC lift the Fred Quibell Junior Cup

Plough Sturton 1-4  Coningsby FC

The second of the League’s four domestic Cup Finals was held this evening at Lincoln Moorlands Railway Sports Ground when Plough Sturton took on Coningsby FC in the final of the Fred Quibell Junior Cup.

Both sides had competed in Division two of the League in the season just completed and both had enjoyed excellent seasons. Plough Sturton had finished in third place in the League table with Coningsby finishing just three points behind them so an entertaining game between two good teams was always anticipated.

Both sides started the game playing good passing football and both were looking to open each other up with some neat one/two’s in attacking positions. During the early stages it was the final ball that let both sides down which meant that in the first 15 minutes there were no clear cut chances at either end.

The first real chance of the game came the way of Coningsby in the 17th minute when Charlie Stapleton fired wide when he only had the keeper to beat when the ball arrived with him just outside the box. The same player was really unlucky a couple of minutes later when he hit a thunderous shot which beat Plough keeeper Spencer Bembridge all end up and crashed against the top of the bar before ending up in the car park behind the goal. Had that gone in it would have been a goal of the season contender but alas for Coningsby it counted for nothing and a goal kick was the result. As the game progressed chances started to open up for both teams and Alex Cawkwell went close for Plough whilst Jordan Ribiero went even closer for Coningsby when he outstripped his marker, rounded the keeper, but found the angle of the empty net too tight as his shot went into the side netting.

As both sides got closer the opening goal arrived in the 32nd minute and it was Plough Sturton who got it. The ball was played over the top of the full back allowing the dangerous looking Cawkwell to apply a cool finish to give his side the lead. This clearly stung the Coningsby boys and their attacking intensity increased with both Stapleton and Daniel Nixon firing over the target in quick succession. They then had a golden chance to equalise when Nixon again struck the ball from just 8 yards out with the goal gaping but he mishit his shot and Bembridge claimed the ball and no doubt breathed a sigh of relief.

The half-time whistle blew with Plough Sturton leading 1-0 at the break.

The second half began relatively evenly but it was Coningsby who drew first blood during the second period when they equalised in the 51st minute. After good attacking movement the ball was flicked on by Dan Nixon to Jordan Riberio on the left and he wasted no time in firing in a shot across the keeper Bembridge who managed to get a hand to the ball before it entered the net. Now it was 1-1 and game on.

Three minutes later and a great chest down and volley by Nixon was superbly saved by Bembridge who by now had become the busier of the two keepers. In the 61st minute Coningsby went in front for the first time during the game courtesy of Nixon after he flicked the ball over his head before volleying home to score a superb goal.

In the 85th minute Coningsby had a free kick down their right hand side which was expertly delivered into the box. The ball was headed down to Brandon Rylett who was on as a second half substitute by this time. He wasted no time in drilling home from inside the box.

With time running out and Plough chasing the game there was time for one more goal and it was Coningsby who added to their tally in the 87th minute. Ben Brown applied the touch to roll the ball into an empty net after good work from Andy Wyre had set the opportunity up for him.

With no further goals added referee Mr Adam Posner brought an entertaining and well officiated game to its conclusion, with Coningsby winning the trophy for the first time in their brief history with the League.

The trophy and presentations were made by the League Sponsor, Mr Steven White, assisted by Mr Mark Doughty.

The next final to take place is on Sunday morning, 20th May, when the League holds the Ron Eaglen Challenge Cup Final between New Swan and Rustons United, kick-off 10.45am. This is followed at 2.30pm the same day when the last final is played, this being the Kelly Read Cup final between Anglers FC and Welton Sports AFC. Anglers are the new Premier Division champions and the League title will be presented to their players after the presentations have been made for the Kelly Read Trophy.

Both remaining finals will be played at Lincoln Moorlands/Railway Sports Ground, Newark Road, Lincoln.

Ian Stephenson