Grimsby Borough 1 Blackstones 2
Lincolnshire Senior Trophy Final
(played at Lincloln City)
A GOAL two minutes from time on Tuesday evening clinched Blackstones’ first piece of silverware since 2008.
Addie Staffieri’s strike left Grimsby Borough too little time to fight back from 2-1 down and Stones lifted the Lincolnshire Senior Trophy at Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank ground.
Stones’ joint boss Michael Goode said: “We are absolutely overjoyed. It was one of the cups at the start of the season that was our target.
“Our performance was not brilliant and considering the way we played on Saturday (when Stones hammered Irchester United 4-0 at Lincoln Road) we did not play at our best.
“To be fair to Grimsby Borough they were the better team overall. In the first 15 minutes they were far better. They have players who have played at a higher level and we had to change formation to match them.
“But in the second half we dominated possession and could have put the game beyond doubt.”
Instead, Stones conceded ten minutes from time and a penalty shootout – no extra-time period was planned – looked likely. But Staffieri, who has been in a rich vein of form since his arrival in the autumn, scored the late winner.
“He made a couple of extra inches, turned the defender and fired low. It was a great goal,” said Goode, who had no doubts about the first half penalty, converted by Robbie Pearce, that gave his side the lead.
“Robbie rounded the Borough keeper and would have scored but the keeper brought him down,” he said.
Borough, after a bright start, were down to 10 men and it was always going to be an uphill struggle after that. But they played some excellent football and created a number of attacking opportunities.
Danny Barker moved into midfield to counter the slick passing of the Grimsby side’s midfield trio and Stones became increasingly dominant. Pearce, Staffieri and David Burton-Jones all had chances to extend their lead before Borough’s 80th minute leveller.
Blackstones were backed by about 80 travelling fans from Stamford among a crowd of around 300 and the Stones boss added: “It was good to have their support.”
Captain Matt Porter was named man of the match.
Stones had warmed up for the final with a near-perfect performance during Saturday’s thrashing of Irchester.
It was Stones biggest win since October with Burton-Jones opening the scoring after 16 minutes, converting an Addie Staffieri cross.
Staffieri took his season’s tally to 25 with a goal on the half hour, rounding off a fine passing move involving Robbie Pearce, Michael Nelson and Danny Barker with a far post finish.
Luke Hunnings put his name on the scoresheet three minutes before the hour mark, heading in from a Robbie Pearce corner.
Substitute Elton Holmes completed the scoring a quarter of an hour from time after visiting goalkeeper Jack Drury had parried Staffieri’s effort.
Goode’s co-boss, Darren Jarvis was thrilled by one of their most eye-catching displays of the entire campaign.
“We’ve drawn with St Neots, King’s Lynn and Newport Pagnell, and also beat Long Buckby very well recently,” said Jarvis. “But this is right up there with the best of the bunch.
“The lads worked hard to get the ball and used it well in the right areas when they did have it.
“We scored four excellent goals, but the second is one of the best team goals we’ve scored all season.”
Blackstones (v Irchester): Mike Duggan, Tim Quy, Andy Ellis, Matt Porter, Luke Hunnings, Steve Burns (Billy Oliver), Robbie Pearce, David Burton-Jones, Addie Staffieri, Michael Nelson (Elton Holmes), Danny Barker (Ben Porter).
n BLACKSTONES Reserves have also enjoyed a fine season and currently sit second in the UCL Reserves First Division.
They face Thrapston Town Reserves in the Reserves Cup Final at Peterborough’s Chestnut Avenue on April 27. Kick off will be 7.45pm.
Before that, Stones first team will conclude their season on Easter Monday with a derby game against local rivals Deeping Rangers at Lincoln Road. Kick off will be 3pm.