The last of the League’s 4 domestic Cup Finals took place at LNER Stadium on Sunday afternoon, 14th May 2023, when Boultham United and Wragby FC provided the fayre in the Jock Mitchell Memorial Trophy Final.
This is the Competition for returning teams from the previous Season and is mandatory for teams competing in the lowest two Divisions in the League.
Boultham United, in their second Season in the League in Division three, fancied their chances in this one, despite facing opponents from the division above in the form of Wragby FC, a team that has undergone a transformation of late with many young players being added to their ranks, something that is always good to see for sustainability going forwards.
It was Boultham United, playing in their changed strip in a 3-5-2 formation, that got the game underway as they attacked the Stacey West end of the ground in the first period.
Wragby started the match with a a 3-4-2-1 formation.
Brendan Parker opened the scoring for Wragby FC in only the second minute of the match when he bustled his way through down the left and slotted home with the aid of a deflection, but nobody in the Wragby party was worried about that. Boultham 0-1 Wragby FC.
Wragby continued in the ascendancy when Thom Lingard fizzed a fierce shot wide of the left angle after a raking ball had travelled all the way across the box.
In a see-saw type of game during the early stages, James Duncan was the next applicant to be the game’s next goal scorer for Boultham United, but his shot was saved, albeit at the second attempt, by James Harness, the number one for Wragby.
Brendan Parker went on a strong surging run forward for Wragby on the quarter of an hour mark when he got the ball on the halfway line, before weaving his way into the Boultham box and firing in a low shot, which keeper Karl Wynne did well to turn round his right-hand post as the ball looked destined to creep in just inside the post.
Boultham’s Joe Aitken must have thought that he had squared the contest in the 16th minute when the ball rebounded to him but he shot straight at the keeper and his follow up shot was brilliantly saved by keeper Harness, at the expense of a corner.
From the resulting corner Aitken got his revenge when the ball fell to him again, this time from a defensive error in the Wragby defence, and Aitken was able to lift the ball over the keeper to bring the scores level, much to the delight of the Boultham United supporters gathered in the stand. Boultham 1-1 Wragby FC.
The equalising goal saw the game settle somewhat with both sides playing neat passing football without troubling either goalkeeper.
Joe Aitken was looking dangerous for Boultham United every time he got on the ball, and he looked to run at his marker whenever he got the chance to do so.
Brendan Parker was the first player to exercise the Referee’s pencil, when he was cautioned on 31 minutes for a late tackle on Kyam Geoghegam.
Wragby’s Scott Lowman brought the travelling Wragby supporters to their feet in the 37th minute when he fizzed a shot just wide of Keeper Wynne’s right hand post, but the ripple of the ball catching the side netting proved deceiving momentarily before Wynne spotted the ball on the 6 yard line to take the resulting goal kick.
The 39th minute brought a horrible incident which saw Wragby’s Liam Stephenson injured in a tackle from Boultham fullback, Kyam Geoghegam. It was apparent for all to see that Stephenson was potentially seriously injured, and sadly he was taken from the pitch by medics on a stretcher before going to hospital. Referee Will Vickers consulted with Assistant Referee Danny Topliss before producing a red card to Geoghegam for the challenge, thus reducing Boultham United to 10 men for the remainder of the match.
Everyone from the League Management Committee, and I am sure the entire League, sends their best wishes to Liam for a full and speedy recovery.
After a 4 minute delay for treatment, Wragby replaced Liam Stephenson by sending on Matt Merivale.
There was still time for either side to snatch the lead before the break and Wragby’s Scott Lowman had a chance to do just that with the last meaningful attack of the first half, but his shot was too high and failed to bother the Boultham keeper. Half-time Boultham United 1-1 Wragby FC.
Despite being a player short on numbers, Boultham came racing out of the traps at the start of the second half and just 2 minutes in Joe Aitken went clean through and with only Harness to beat he shot weakly and Harness got down to smother and to save the day for Wragby.
On 50 minutes Scott Lowman was just about to pull the trigger for Wragby from a great position in the box but Boultham’s Josh Mackfall put in a brilliant tackle to snuff out the danger.
Boultham took the lead on 55 minutes when Wragby got stretched across their backline as James Duncan attacked at pace. Duncan produced a splendid cross which was intelligently headed back across goal by Tyler Clark- Page, and there was Joe Aitken on hand to convert his second goal of the game for the team that were a man down. Boultham United 2-1 Wragby FC.
Wragby made an immediate substitution, Arthur Graves being sent on to replace Dean Hillreiner in what looked like an additional forward replacing a defender in a tactical switch.
Wragby must have thought that they had levelled affairs on 60 minutes when Scott Lowman smashed the ball goalwards from 4 yards only to see Wynne pull off a worldie of a save. Lowman must have felt the unluckiest player on the park as the save summed up his afternoon which could, on another day, have seen the experienced Wragby forward record a hat-trick.
Kane Hoe found himself in Referee Vickers’ book on 68 minutes after needlessly kicking the ball away.
In the 69th minute Arthur Graves had a goalbound corner clawed from under the bar by the outstretched Wynne and the score remained unchanged.
Wragby levelled the game on 72 minutes when Jack Richards slotted home from a Lowman cross after a shot had come back off the bar. Boultham 2-2 Wragby FC.
Brendan Parker added a third goal for Wragby on 74 minutes and then completed his hat-trick with his team,s 4th goal of the afternoon with a strike of real quality, a half-volley into the top corner to complete the scoring for the afternoon.
The Trophy was presented by Mr Ian Mitchell and his brother John Mitchell, assisted by Mrs Judith Deeley and her husband Bill, under the supervision of former Lincoln City favourites, and true Imps Legends, Mr Gavin Gordon and Mr Terry Cooper.
Wragby hat-trick hero Brendan Parker was named the Man of the Match by the League’s Management Committee.
The League wishes to thank all who attended the event for their support, and also sends special thanks to Lincoln City Football Club for allowing the League to host all of its finals at their wonderful ground. It truly generated special memories for all who took part. Thank you to Liam Scully and to Lincoln City Football Club, for your amazing support and contribution to all of the League’s domestic Cup Competition Finals once again this Season, it is very much appreciated by all involved.
League Secretary and Press Officer of the League.