After the Summer months of football inactivity last Sunday saw the opening day fixtures of the new Season with the League having a new look about it. The Premier Division has seen the reigning Champions depart and last Season’s Ron Eaglen Cup winners, Ruston Sports FC, have also left in order to concentrate on competing in the Lincolnshire Football League on a Saturday. Add to that the late withdrawal of Scothern United due to a shortage of players and the division will have a totally new look about it come the end of this Season, that’s for sure.
With the Preliminary Round of the Lincolnshire County Football Association County Sunday Cup Preliminary Round taking place the Premier Division were not scheduled to start their League fixtures as the draw for the cup competition is not made until weeks after the League fixtures are drawn up.
I will begin the first round up of the Season by taking a look at our sides that were competing in the County Sunday Cup:
Highest scorers in the competition on the day were Division Three newcomers Nettleham FC who disposed of Cowbit Athletic FC Bulls 10-0 at Mulsanne Park. Their reward for this emphatic performance is a home time against Division Four side HBW United in the next round. Next up on the scoring charts were Lincoln Moorlands/Railway who are renamed this Season having played as the Gatehouse FC in recent times. They celebrated their first outing as a Premier Division side by trouncing Rippingale & Folkingham FC 9-1 at Moorlands but the draw was anything but kind to them today when they were drawn at home to last Seasons cup winners, Holbeach United, in the next round.
Premier Division new boys Anglers FC started the campaign well with a 6-0 home win over last Season’s Division Three champions Wragby FC and their reward in the next round is a trip to Great Coates who play in the Grimsby Sunday League.
Railway Inn United, newly promoted to Division Three, had a superb 7-3 win at home to Northborough FC and they will visit Premier Division newcomers Hykeham Memorial FC in the next round.
Hykeham Town TRFC, formerly Travellers Rest FC in recent Seasons, had a comfortable 3-0 home win over AFC Earlsfield from the Grantham Sunday League and they will entertain Welton Sports AFC in the next round, a team that will be competing in Division One of the League next Season having been relegated from the Premier Division at the end of the last campaign.
Old Boys United will be delighted to have overcome the challenge of Bassingham Bugle Horn FC, a team that knocked them out of the same cup last Season. They did so with a slender 1-0 home win and they will now entertain Division Three side Ruston Sports FC, formerly Dynamo Varsity FC, in the next round. The final winning accolade goes to Waddington United after they defeated Westwoodside FC in a 5 goal thriller, just edging the contest 3-2 at Mere Road. They now travel to Pinchbeck United in the next round of the competition.
Sadly for those involved there were defeats for Wishing Well Cherry FC who went down 1-3 away at Nobody Inn FC from the Grantham League, and Saxilby Athletic who lost 1-2 at home to Rose & Crown FC .
The full draw for all of our teams appears under CUPS on this website. The next round of the competition will take place on Sunday 1st October 2017.
Returning to League action and Railway Inn AFC had an impressive 3-0 away win against AFC Lincoln Green at Fen Lane in Division One whilst the other game in this division saw FVA Jerusalem and Trent Valley FC share 8 goals in an exciting 4-4 draw.
Division Two played host to 4 games with the standout result being notched by St Helens FC who ran out 5-2 winners away at Coningsby FC. Plough Sturton enjoyed a good start with an impressive 3-0 home win against newly promoted Shakespeare Athletic out at Sturton. The remaining 2 games saw the points shared with AFC Harpars and Lincoln High Street drawing 3-3 in Horncastle whilst Heighington FC and Newton United shared 4 goals in a game that ended 2 a piece at Heighington.
There were 4 games played in Division Three with the highest scorers being Newtoft Terriers who scored 6 whilst conceding 4 at home to newly promoted Broadley FC. Queen Athletic visited Ruston Sports FC, playing for the first time at their new home, but the visitors ran out victors by 2 goals to nil. Newly promoted Birchwood United and League new boys Mareham United shared 8 goals in a 4-4 thriller at Birchwood whilst the points were also shared between the Sports Bar, formerly Bardney FC, and Queen in the West FC with the game ending with a 1-1 score line.
Division four starts with history! The Blue Lion FC did what they were unable to do in 27 starts last Season and that was to record their first ever points in the League. Not only did they do that but they did it with a win, 4-2 the margin when they entertained The Shed FC at Bracebridge Heath. Congratulations to all involved as they have remained as keen as ever despite their results over a full Season so well done to them. Branston Homeguard are a new team to the League and they started in fine form with a 6-1 away win at HBW United in their local derby. Another side recording a 6-1 win was another new team Metheringham Reserves. They overcame new boys Green Dragon at the Paddock to notch their first points in the League. Nosey FC had a narrow 2-1 home win against another new team, Morning Star, whilst the points were shared in the other 2 games played in this division. New team Shakespeare Imps and Saxilby Sports FC shared 6 goals in an exciting 3-3 draw whilst AFC West End and FVA Jerusalem Reserves ended in a 2-2 deadlock.
COUNTY SUNDAY CUP
Old Boys United 1 Bassingham Bugle Horn FC 0
Having met at this stage last year in the same competition it was Old Boys’ turn to host the Division Two champions. Both teams had chances early on but neither seized their opportunity to break the deadlock until Jack Hobson kept his cool to slot home the winner shortly before half time.
Heighington FC 2 Newton United Reserves 2
The first ever competitive meeting between these two sides ended as a draw, debut goals from new signings Greg Brown and Craig Good giving the home side a share of the points against their more experienced opponents.
An entertaining game with both sides happy to get the ball on the floor, the hosts will probably feel slightly aggrieved at not converting more of the chances they carved out. Only a Man of the Match performance from the visiting goalkeeper denied Heighington all 3 points, pulling off a string of impressive saves in the second half as the hosts threw caution to the wind.
Ruston Sports FC 0 Queen Athletic 0
Ruston Sports started on the front foot against Queen Athletic dominating possession but it was the away side who would take the lead when a corner wasn’t dealt with and the Queen Athletic player powered home past Sam Wade. Rustons’ remained on the front foot after the goal with Paul Norris having the best chance with his volley finding the keepers gloves, however as half time approached Queen doubled their lead when Jack Willans’ pass was intercepted leaving the visitor’s striker clean through with the front man unselfishly squaring to his teammate to double the Queens lead.
Ruston’s changed shape at half time and an onslaught ensued with Timmie Mann, Simon Cotton and Chris Melton all having good chances, but the home side couldn’t find a way through the resolute Queen back line and the visitors held out for a deserved win following some heroic defending and brave goalkeeping. Ruston’s man of the match was Timmie Mann who was excellent on the right wing. The Queen Athletic centre half also enjoyed a fine game, as did the visiting goalkeeper who was excellent throughout.
The Blue Lion FC 4 The Shed FC 2
The Blue Lion went out in search of their first ever points after a difficult previous season however this year is the year for change in the eyes of the lions! The game kicked off and it was The Lions who controlled the early minutes coming close to scoring on more than one occasion, they were then awarded a penalty when young Striker Adam Wilkinson was brought down in the box,
The Vice captain stepped up but the penalty was well saved by the Shed Goalkeeper. The Lions continued to press the Shed but the first goal actually came from Adam Wilkinson when he struck the ball from around 35 yards out and it flew over the goalkeepers head and into the net.
In the second half the Shed found a second wind and started to trouble the Lions on many occasions even striking the bar on two occasions, but it was the Lions who were given the best chance when Richard Wood was brought down in the box by the goalkeeper, this time Captain Tom Hirons stepped up to take the penalty and he slotted it away cleanly into the bottom corner to double his sides advantage.
It wasn’t long before the Shed had a penalty of their own due to a hand ball in the box by a Lion’s defender.The shed then reduced the lead as the penalty was converted to spark of life into their team. The game became a constant back and forth battle as the Shed desperately tried to equalise while the Lions were giving them worries from their many counter attacks. The next goal then came from Tom Hirons again as he gave the Lions an extended lead after a great counter attack and perfect ball through from Andy Robson led to him placing the ball round the keeper in a one on one situation. The Shed refused to give up and once again fought back with a goal that came from the pure will to score from the Shed, eventually going in off the Shed players chest.
In the last few minutes the Lions put the game to bed as substitute Harry Maszyr recieved a flick on from Tom Hirons and ran on to put the ball delightfully past the Shed goalkeeper. The final whistle blew and the Lions celebrated their first competitive win in the League at the 28th attempt.
The Blue Lion awarded their man of the match to Andy Robson who rallied the team on and gave everything to help secure the win.