Rustons United triumph in Ron Eaglen Cup Final thriller

Rustons United 5 New Swan 3

Rustons United ran out winners by five goals to three in an enthralling Ron Eaglen Cup Final played at Lincoln Moorlands today. Both teams play in the League’s Premier Division with Rustons having finished second in the League table behind Champions Anglers FC, a team that they also played recently in the Lincolnshire County Football Association County Sunday Cup where they were defeated finalists to the Saxilby based team on that occasion.

New Swan for their part have enjoyed a recent good run of results that many had thought they may have produced from the start of the Season but a poor first half of the Season had seen them rebuild and with recent League results improving considerably a close game was expected today.

After a cat and mouse first 20 minutes where both sides played plenty of passing football that was pleasing on the eye it was indeed the New Swan who took the lead following a delightful corner kick from their attacking right which was met by Oliver Thacker. His goal bound header hit the bar and bounced back into play with Rustons keeper Liam Sayce well beaten. With the ball bouncing back into play it was the alert Josh Bark who reacted first with a storming header which went into the net as he fairly powered the ball home to give his side the lead.

Both sides continued to press and the game was played in a lively manner with half chances falling at both ends.

Rustons’ equalised in the 35th minute somewhat fortuitously when what appeared to be a hopeful floated cross from the right by Jonny Drabble caught the New Swan keeper out and the ball somehow ended up sailing over his head to make the scores 1-1. The game continued to ebb and flow but with no further first half goals scored the teams went into the break all square.

Rustons took the lead for the first time in the game after 49 minutes when Josh Raby headed home from 6 yards after they had built up a good head of steam effectively straight from the start of the second half. The same player had the chance to make it three when he was put clean through on goal after 58 minutes but he only succeeded in blazing over the bar with just the keeper to beat.

The game was all square for the second time on 61 minutes when Tom Hill scored with a powerful low crisp shot from just outside the box.

Rustons’ took the lead again for the second time in the match seven minutes later when Raby produced a fine shot which went in off the inside of the post.

3-2 became 4-2 with just four minutes of normal time remaining. Raby caused more havoc for the Swan keeper when he powered in another shot which was too hot to handle and when the ball fell at the feet of Lee Skepper he had the simple task of tapping home from just a couple of feet from the goal line. At this stage the game looked over but New Swan had other ideas and they reduced the deficit to just one goal again when Ollie Thacker swung in a peach of a ball from the right back position and Josh Schofield met it at the far post to head home to give the Swan hope.

The hope was short lived however as Rustons substitute Shaun Booth scored with the last kick of the game to make the final score 5-3 in favour of Rustons United.

The game was played in a competitive and lively manner throughout, something which would be expected in what is the League’s Premier Cup Competition. Both sides were a real credit to their Clubs and the League and between them produced an excellent game of football on a hot sunny day which must have been energy sapping although there was no direct evidence of this from either side on the day. The Match Officials, lead ably and confidently by Amy Barber, must also be congratulated on their excellent performance and all involved must be congratulated for producing an excellent game of football which was splendid to watch. Well done to all involved.

The Presentation of the Trophy and memento’s was made by the League Secretary, assisted by Mr Paul Hunter.

Ian Stephenson