Gainsborough and District Football League

THE final place in the semi-finals of the Gainsborough and District Football League’s oldest cup competition, the Nursing Association Cup, was decided at the weekend when Haxey FC and Fox and Hounds Willingham met in their delayed quarter-final.

The game was always close with the result in doubt for most of the game and it was just the better finishing of the Haxey FC forwards that proved to be the difference, and although the final score of 3-1 was a touch flattering to the winners Haxey were just that bit more clinical (see page 55 for full match report).

In the league the game of the day at least on paper saw leaders Mattersey FC host third place Harworth Colliery and in a game where chances were at a premium it always looked like a single goal might prove decisive.

Much to Harworth’s dismay they were unable to convert their overall superiority into goals and Mattersey, who have only lost one game all season which was in the County Cup, showed once again their determination to never give in and an 89th-minute winning goal saw them claim all three points to extend their lead at the top of the table.

East Drayton gave by far their best performance of the season when they defeated Bridon AFC 6-2. Bridon appeared to be suffering a reaction to last week’s County Cup defeat but nothing should take away what was an excellent display from an East Drayton team that will rarely have played better and if they could re-produce this every week they would upset many more teams.

The league is running a new competition this year in memory of Ron Swinton who died in such tragic circumstances. Ron put so much into local football both as a player, official and committee member and it is important that his memory is remembered.

The teams have been split into two divisions and will play each other once and the top two in each division will then play in semi-finals before, hopefully, a final on the Northolme later in the season.

The first game in the competition was in Section B where BFC Birches hosted Retford Town and a fairly even first half saw Retford go into the interval 2-1 ahead.

But BFC Birches came out for the second half in defiant mood and they dominated to such an extent that they scored five goals without reply to lead 6-2 only for Retford Town to score a consolation goal at the end of the game to make the scoreline 6-3 in BFC Birches’ favour.

Results from Saturday 10th December: League - East Drayton 6, Bridon AFC 2; Mattersey FC 1, Harworth Colliery 0. Nursing Association Cup Round Two - Haxey FC 3, Fox and Hounds Willingham 1. Ron Swinton Memorial Trophy Section B - BFC Birches 6, Retford Town 3.

Fixtures for Saturday December 17: League - BFC Birches v Bridon AFC; Retford Town v Mattersey FC.

League Table

Team P W D L F A Ps

Mattersey 9 8 1 0 20 2 25

BFC Birches 9 6 0 3 25 18 18

Harworth Coll 11 6 0 5 25 19 18

Canute Res 10 5 0 5 22 24 15

Bridon AFC 8 3 2 3 17 18 11

East Drayton 9 3 1 5 22 27 10

Retford Town 8 3 1 4 9 6 9

Haxey FC 7 2 1 4 11 21 7

F and Hounds 11 1 2 8 10 26 5

Sunday

The third round of the Gainsborough and District Sunday Football League’s Trinity Trophy competition dominated the fixtures at the weekend with seven of the scheduled eight ties taking place, the odd one out being Marshalls Sports v FS Clumber which has been postponed until this coming Sunday.

There was quite a potential for upsets in the ties that were drawn out of the bag with several lower division teams facing teams from a higher division, but in the event just two teams managed a win against higher league opponents.

Canutes had a very dour defensive game against Mattersey FC but a single goal for the Gainsborough Division One team saw off their Premier League opponents and in a game of very few chances Canutes did more than enough to secure a deserved victory.

North Wheatley Phoenix, with just one defeat all season, went into their game against Moorends Social Club full of confidence but their Division Two opponents were in no mood to let North Wheatley Phoenix play their normal passing game. This was a full-bodied cup-tie from the first whistle and it was Moorends Social Club who progressed to the quarter-finals after a hard-fought 2-1 victory.

White Horse, who sit at the top of Division Two at present, gave Premier Team Leverton United a very hard morning and it took extra time for the Leverton team to finally see off their opponents.

The score was 2-2 at full-time with both teams still believing they could win the game, but it was Leverton United who upped their game to move into the next round after a 4-2 victory.

There was an all-Premier League clash at Roses Sports Ground when Real Ropery entertained MUSC and it was Ropery who largely controlled the game to deservedly win 3-0.

This was a thoroughly professional performance by Real Ropery who are a team to be avoided if this performance is anything to go by.

Kings Arms and Clumber EFC both had straightforward victories over Horse and Jockey and Beckett Arms, respectively.

Kings Arms had far too much pace and goal threat for an outclassed Horse and Jockey and won 10-0, while Clumber EFC saw off Beckett Arms 6-0 and might have had more goals from a routine victory.

Harworth Pavilion, who until recently topped Division One, met Grove Mill who play in the same division and Harworth Pavilion were comfortable 7-2 winners in a game they largely dominated.

This means that at present four teams from the Premier League, two from Division One and one from Division Two with the one outstanding game left to be played will make up the quarter-finalists in the league’s Challenge Trophy.

There was just one league game played and this saw Kings Arms Reserves entertain high-flying BFC Birches in Division One. BFC Birches never looked like being anything other than victors and a 6-1 victory sees them top this extremely competitive division with 21 points from nine games played.

This coming Sunday will be the last before the two-week break for Christmas and the New Year and will be the teams’ last chance to enhance their league positions.

Trinity Trophy Round Three

White Horse 2, Leverton United 4 (a.e.t.)

THIS cup-tie had the potential for an upset with White Horse flying high and undefeated in Division Two this season while Leverton are seemingly struggling in the top flight.

It was White Horse who came out of the blocks quickest with Pete Lytollis bagging a header at the far post with only a minute gone.

Unfortunately Pete picked up an injury and had to leave the game sooner than he would have liked but not before playing an instrumental part in Richard Lewis’s goal which put White Horse 2-0 up at the break.

White Horse were playing the best football they had played all season and were in total control, but Leverton came out with a renewed enthusiasm in the second half and piled the pressure on the home team and this led to a pulsating second half of near misses, great chances and a great cup-tie for anyone watching as a neutral.

Leverton managed to get themselves back into the game and probably could have won it towards the end of the second half but White Horse hung on while under the cosh and took the game to extra time.

The battle continued in extra time and Ashley Page and Andy Burgess tried to rally the White Horse team together for one last push but Leverton just had the edge and took the lead. As White Horse pushed on to try and get an equaliser Leverton took full advantage and eventually went two goals in front. The White Horse players can hold their heads up high after been involved in a real battle with a Premier League side and pushing them all the way. If White Horse hadn’t lost two players to injury in the game who knows what might have happened.

But that’s taking nothing away from Leverton who played their part in what was surely a contender for game of the weekend in the Trinity Trophy.