Wednesday, 23 May 2012

AFC Bridgford Reserves 1 v Netherfield Town Colts 3 - Notts Saturday Minor Cup Final

The Notts Saturday Minor Cup

Wednesday 23rd May 2012, at Arnold Town FC
Nottinghamshire FA Saturday Minor Cup Final
AFC Bridgford Reserves (0) 1
Luke King 60
Netherfield Town Colts (2) 3
Felix Hogg 27, Leigh Helsdon 40, Nathan Ions 82
Admission £3 inc. Programme, Attendance 120 (ish)
AFC Bridgford
Eddie Dunn, Simon Cooper, Sean Burton, Phil Simpson, John Shaw, James Hart, Tom Edwards, Adam Blake, Luke Billson, Barry Matthews, Luke King
Subs - Tom WAkeham, Jon Smith, Glen Alexander, Michael Rainbow, Ashley Grove
Netherfield Town Colts
Chris Higton, Paul Handbury, Simon Helsdon, Eddie Draper, Adi Spires, Felix Hogg, Marc Green, Nicky Marshall, Jamie Bircumshaw, Leigh Helsdon, Nathan Kenny
Subs - Ryan Eaton, Jake Bircumshaw, Brett Hartshorn, Nathan Ions
Upon arrival, I noticed that the door to Arnold Town's larder
cum trophy room was ajar, so I had a sneaky look inside.
Does anybody know what they won the tub of Vaseline for?

AFC Bridgford have already won the Notts Amateur Alliance 1st Division title this season. Tonight, their reserve side, who play in the NAA 2nd Division were looking to bag themselves some silverware too, but they were thwarted by a very lively Netherfields Town Colts side, of the NAA 3rd Division, who thoroughly deserved their win over Jon Smith's side, despite AFC Bridgford's valiant second half fight back.
The Colts side are one of three sides from Netherfield who feature in the NAA.
The Others being Netherfield FC (AKA Seniors) and Neterfield Albion (reserves). Albion's first team compete in the Notts Senior League Division 1.
There is evidently a disproportionate amount of minor league footballers residing in this small town, that stands on the eastern border of Nottingham, not far from the River Trent.
I wasn't even going to a game tonight, because I had already made plans with my partner (who, for the record, is a former actress ... and a very famous one at that).
So, when the keeper of the keys to the On the Road 2011-12 blog, Malc Storer OBE (Order of the Bearded Empire), texted me to say he was heading to Arnold tonight for a Notts Minor Cup Final, I just thought 'Bugger, I'd forgotten all about that' and figured that my previous arrangement with Ursula (she played a very convincing sea witch in the Little Mermaid movie) was an unbreakable commitment, that I wouldn't be able to swerve.
However, she dropped it on me at the last minute, that something had cropped up and she'd been roped into babysitting a very cute, but extremely lively, 8 year old chatterbox, tonight.
Oh well, never mind, I'm sure I'll find something else to do instead ... and there's always tomorrow night.
I let them off for the 'inconvenience' they had caused me, left them to their 'girls night in' and was off down the A614 towards south Notts as quick as the 50mph average speed cameras would allow.
Some people seemed to be unaware about how this particular form of speed deterrent works, but I'm sure they'll all be getting an expensive, full explanation, in the post from the DVLA any day now.
Especially the imbecile in the black Shogun, if you're reading this, I hope you get a lengthy ban, dickhead!
Inside the first couple of minutes, AFC Bridgford had already rattled the Colts upright, but the Netherfield side then started to gain the initiative and had a couple of spells, where they enjoyed a bulk of the possession, in the final third of the field.
Having gone close twice, they took the lead on 27 minutes, when Felix Hogg chipped Eddie Dunn from 15 yards out as the Bridgford keeper came off his line.
The length of the grass seemed to be a stumbling block as Netherfield nearly grabbed a second goal just before the half hour mark (Yes! Grass on Arnold's pitch at this time of year), but before half time, Leigh Helsdon avoided any greenery interference, by keeping the ball off the ground, when he fired his side two goals in front, from roughly the same place that Hogg had opened the scoring from.
Half time - AFC Bridgford 0 v Netherfield Town Colts 2
AFC Bridgford were much improved in the second half and it was game on, when Luke King powered a looping header over Chris Higton to pull the score back to 2-1.
The Colts now had to absorb a lot of pressure, as AFC Bridgford pushed forward looking for the equaliser, that would force the tie into extra time.
But a combination of backs to the wall defending and minor football level finishing, meant that a second goal just wouldn't come for them.
On 82 minutes, the Colts countered attacked, when substitute Nathan Ions (incorrectly spelt as Irons on the team sheet), took the ball down on his chest, just inside the Bridgford half, used his muscular build to fend off the two defenders in his wake and then set off on a 40 yard run, that culminated in him burying the ball into the back of the net, to restore his sides two goal advantage.
In the very last minute of the game, with AFC Bridgford's keeper stranded up the field as his side put everything into fighting their way back into the game, Adi Spires got the ball just inside his own half and charged towards the now unguarded net.
As Chris Dunn sprinted back towards his goal, Spires had all the time and space in the world, to run on and pick his spot from 30 yards out or so, but he opted for a punt from long distance instead and hit the post ... the corner flag post!
Although his side were by now home and dry and the referee's final whistle was only moments away, I suspect that Adi won't be hearing the last of that one for a while.
Final score - AFC Bridgford 1 v Netherfield Town Colts 3
An enjoyable night out, in good company.
And Ursula had got her cauldron out and cooked me some supper, for when I got home, in lieu of ruining my plans for the night :-O All's well that ends well!
Congratulations to Netherfield Town Colts and hard luck to AFC Bridgford, who made a real go of it in the second half. But from a completely selfish point of view, I'm glad the final was decided inside 90 minutes. I'm up early in the morning.