Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Athersley Recreation 1 v Frickley Athletic 0 - Sheff & Hallam Senior Cup Final

Tuesday 6th May 2014
at Hillsborough
Sheffield & Hallamshire CFA Senior Challenge Cup Final
Athersley Recreation (1) 1
Daniel Joynes 42
Frickley Athletic (0) 0
Admission £7 inc. programme. Attendance 607
Athersley Recreation
Shaun Penn, Simon Chadburn, Scott Alcock, Declan Welford, Jack Briscoe, Ryan White, Keiron Scargill, Adam White, Joe Thornton (Jason Bentley 82 mins), Lee Bennett, Daniel Joynes (Dane Hodgson 93 mins) Unused subs - Ryan Blackburn, Mathew Bowman, Mathew Thompson
Frickley Athletic
Ben Simpson, Kasper Amdal, Luke Jeffs, Jack Wakefield (Leon Osborne 50 mins), Sam Denton, Jake Picton, Jimmy Ghaichem (Andy Villermann 50 mins), Luke Sharry, Luke Hinsley, Gavin Allott, Fernando Moke 
Unused subs - Joe Davies, Lee Stratford, Jon Hood
Upbeat pre match tweet by Frickley striker Gavin Allott:
Cup final day lets go out with a bang #fafc
Post match Twitter reaction from their goalkeeper Ben Simpson:
Disgusting from us today. But beaten by a far better side on the night in @AthersleyRec . Apologies to all the @frickleyafc fans.
Athersley Recreation finished their NCEL Premier Division league campaign in a comfortable tenth place and look to be primed and ready to improve on that next season.
Frickley Athletic ended up in the  Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division's highest placed relegation berth, but escaped the drop due to a technicality involving the displacement of teams in other divisions. 
Even the most optimistic of Blues fans are predicting "Somewhere just above the relegation zone" next term, though if truth be told, there aren't that many optimists about at the moment. 
It could even be argued that being relegated would have been more beneficial to the South Elmsall based club in the long term, because a perpetual cycle of year upon year of uninspiring strife towards the foot of the table, at a level they are struggling to compete at, is driving their formerly numerous core support away.
The pressure was off Frickley tonight and they had an opportunity to end the season on a high and give their long suffering fans something to smile about ... for a change. 
Yet, of all the previous times I've seen Frickley painstakingly going through the motions this season, tonight's 'no show' was the most inept 90 minute slapstick display I've witnessed from the current team by some way. It was cringeworthy stuff. 
They were effectively run ragged at times by a lively, competent and eager Athersley side who thoroughly deserved their victory because they wanted it infinitely more.
And credit where it is due, because 'the Penguins' (as Athersley Rec are genuinely known) strutted their stuff tonight in a manner that would've confused any unknowing onlooker into thinking that they were the team who played two levels below the other in the non league pyramid.
The 1-0 score line was very flattering ... to Frickley, who had their keeper Ben Simpson (and the crossbar) to thank for keeping the margin of defeat down to a respectable level.
Simpson was unfortunate that he was wrong footed when Daniel Joynes knocked the ball into the net with a miscued shot from close range in the 42nd minute, which proved to be the only goal of the game, but by the same token, Athersley were unfortunate not to have won by at least three or four goals on the night. 'The Rec' stood up to be counted but, sadly, too many Frickley players didn't and they were over run by the better side.
A few rows behind us, a couple of dozen 'persons unknown' had a punch up to settle their differences after some alcohol fuelled 'banter' that had been descending towards an inevitable breaking point since kick off, manifested itself in a time honoured fashion at half time. 
It was quite pathetic to see middle aged beer monsters giving a teenage lad the kicking of his life, but highly amusing to see one of the main culprits getting roughed over by a middle aged woman, demurely atired in her summer finery. He wasn't so brave then!
Order was restored (mainly by the intervention of other supporters, the stewarding was very poor, to say the least) and a cooling off period cum uneasy truce ensued throughout the second half, whereby Athersley stepped up their game in a bid to consolidate their lead, while some of the Frickley players looked as though they had already started their Summer holidays prematurely.
Athersley Recreation were a quality side tonight, they're a club with a promising future ahead of them. And they deserve a lot of praise for their cup final performance. 
Frickley, for the most part, were very disappointing. Not to put too fine a point on it ... they were crap and they struggled to cope with Athersley's lively approach.
Right at the death, in added on time, Frickley briefly came to life and Luke Jeffs picked out Andy Villermann with a telling cross and the score was almost level; but the Blues substitute headed the ball onto the roof of the net.
To say an equaliser would've been against the run of play is something of an understatement and even if Karl Rose's side had managed to force the game into extra time, a good number of their fans wouldn't have seen it, because they had already given up and gone home by then anyway.
Well played Athersley and congratulations on a greatly deserved win
FT Athersley Recreation 1 v Frickley Athletic 0