Cup finals and play-off drama has been the main feature across the Nottinghamshire non-league scene over the past few days, with the Central Midlands League having two cup finals involving local sides.
Midweek would see the Abacus Lightning Floodlit Cup between Sherwood Colliery Reserves and Retford United, whilst a lazy Sunday afternoon had Linby Colliery Welfare competing for the Buckinghamshire Insurance CML League Cup.
Of the two cup finals, the latter, on Sunday in Alfreton, would see the sides go through extra-time before a victor was found, Linby facing Mickleover RBL, the two sides scoring once apiece to take the contest to an extra thirty minutes.
Caden McGrath would open the scoring for Linby, getting on the end of a move that would see a shot parried by the Mickleover ‘keeper, pouncing on the parry to net; however, Mickleover would level proceedings early in the second period when Jordan Lee got on the end of a ball into the box, and lifted the ball over Jack Leverton.
The game remained that way, the two finalists having to be separated by penalties with Leverton, in the Linby goal, proving one of two heroes, the Notts side claimed a 4-3 shoot-out success with the shot-stopper making three saves, and Jack Desmond slotting home the winning spot-kick, to give their side the trophy.
Linby manager, Andrew Tring, would name the following for the cup final – Jack Leverton, Caden McGrath, Rory Smith, Jack Osmond, Billy Brooks, Josh Wass, Greg Conn, Ben Jones, Elliot Jones, Sean Craven, Josh Melville.
In midweek, Sherwood Colliery Welfare Reserves won the Floodlit Cup with a 2-1 win over Retford United, Thomas Sharpe opening the scoring when lobbing the ball over Tom Crosby before Ethan Wiesztort doubled the lead fifteen minutes into the second period.
Badgers hitman, Mark West, pulled a goal back in the latter stages, firing home from the spot, however, an equaliser failed to materialise, and Sherwood’s second string held on for the victory.
The two sides lined up for the final as follows – Sherwood Reserves: Charlie Dando, Steven Sowter, Matty Hague, Jobe Shaw, Charlie Taylor, Eden Homer, Ethan Wiesztort, Charlie Hardwick, Thomas Sharpe, Brad Newby, Liam West; whilst Retford United: Tom Crosby, Owen Fieldsend, Stuart Ludlam, Liam Marsden, Aaron Fell, Danny Booth, Brandon Kane, Igor Mlynarski, Charlie Dawes, Dean Conway, Mark West
The other cup final, which would see the Tigers of Worksop Town claim the silverware, was in the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Cup, they winning 3-0 against Maltby Main.
Goalless for an hour, Main putting up stern resistance, two, quick-fire goals within eight minutes had Town with one hand on the trophy, Liam Hardy opening the scoring when following up on Nathan Valentine’s effort that crashed back off the post.
Eight minutes later and the Tigers doubled their advantage when, after Vaughan Redford had headed back across goal, Steven McDonnell would be on hand to head into the far corner.
Tigers fans were made to wait for the killer third, but it came, much to their delight; heading into the final minute and Ben Tomlinson was on hand to nod home that decisive, third goal, and give manager Craig Parry the trophy.
The Tigers would line-up for their cup final success as follows – Sebastian Malkowski, Aaron Sennett-Neilson, Deegan Atherton, Cody Cromack, Jake Picton, Jack Broadhead, Nathan Valentine, Vaughan Redford, Liam Hardy, Steven McDonnell, Iyrwah Gooden
In the play-offs, in the United Counties Division One, and it was heartbreak for both Radford, and Hucknall Town, they losing their semi-finals to Belper United, and Hinckley, respectively.
With both sides trailing by one at the break, Radford went down 2-1 in their game, Jevin Seaton affording hope with an equaliser early in the second period; Hucknall meanwhile, they fell to a 3-0 defeat, Ryan Harkin with a brace for the league runners-up.
Back in the Central Midlands League (North), and leaders Newark Town have one hand firmly on the championship trophy after claiming a 3-0 win at home to Harworth Colliery on Saturday afternoon.
Ainsley Finney would after the hosts an interval lead, one they’d not relinquish as captain Lewis Chambers added their second just before hour mark, it was his 47th of the season; Ben Richards added a late third to put them on the verge of the title.
Newark would line up for their game, against Harworth, as follows – Harry Haywood, James Gardner, Ben Richards, Rhys Lewis, Sam Bartle, Kosi Nwobi, Jonny Wiles, Mason Rhiney, Lewis Chambers, Ainsley Finney, Chanju Mphande
Having a game in hand, only Club Thorne Colliery can catch Newark, they facing that of Clay Cross Town, and Retford United, in the next week, whilst Newark travel to Glapwell in their final, league game.
Remaining CML games would see SJR Worksop crash to a 5-1 defeat at home to Dearne & District, Jade Thackery with the consolation, whilst in the South division, Sherwood Reserves followed up their midweek cup success, with a derby win, 2-0, away to Mansfield Hosiery Mills, Ethan Wiesztort with a brace.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @FCLinby cup winners Linby CW ahead of their final victory over Mickleover.