Stamford Lions lift the Ancaster Cup
Stamford Lions finished their first season in spectacular fashion last night - beating Bourne Town Reserves 4-2 in the Ancaster Cup final to add another piece of silverware to their cabinet this season.
A year ago the Lions did not exist, they were still Ryhall United, playing a couple of miles up the road on some village playing fields.
A year later they have moved to Borderville - the purpose built sports complex they share with Stamford AFC, won the PDFL Division One in imperious style and in doing so gained promotion into the Premier Division.
And on Thursday night they added their name to the Ancaster Cup for the first time in its 116-year history.
Stamford took the lead at the Abbey Lawn through Michael Webb who curled a free kick into the net and then they where the given a huge boost to their trophy hopes midway through the first half. Lions danger-man Ryan Brown got behind Bourne defender Aaron Jesson and as he cut inside he was clipped by the Wakes man and referee Chris Day pointed to the spot after careful consideration.
Bourne goalkeeper James Thomas made a fantastic save, low to his left, to prevent Sam Bush doubling the lead, but the real damage to Bourne’s hopes had been done when Jesson was given his marching orders moments earlier - adjudged to have been the last man in defence.
However if anything it sparked the Wakes Reserves, bolstered by a few first team faces, into life and Ash Firth hit the crossbar with a nice dipping shot and Ian Goode had a goal disallowed.
Stamford made good on their one man advantage just before half time though, Joe Lippett heading in from a corner.
However Bourne showed plenty of spirit, and so they should. The club as a whole have enjoyed their best season in several years. Just minutes after the break Goode raced onto a long ball and finished nicely across Lions keeper Jimmy Russon.
But this Lions team have got plenty of goal threats and they soon hit back through Jake Walton, who finished well after being played through one-on-one with Bourne keeper James Thomas, by Jack Travers.
Bourne were not done yet though and they brought it back to 2-3 despite the best efforts of Russon who saved three times in quick succession from fuirst Firth, then substitute Glen Spearink, and Firth again before Goode finally put the ball in the net.
With 10 minutes left to play the result was sealed when Lions were awarded their second penalty of the game, with Brown the man fouled again, this time by Jack Bottrill. Brown had the honours from 12 yards out and made no mistake, to ensure his side lifted the trophy at the final whistle.
Bourne Town Reserves: James Thomas, Dan Munton (John Woodcock), Max Cooper, Jack Bottrill, Aaron Jesson, Kev Elger, Jonjo Roberts (Glenn Spearink), Ash Firth, Zak Munton, Ian Goode, Kai Willerton (Josh Rimmington). SUBS unused: Dan Mason.
Stamford Lions: Jimmy Russon, Luke Ball, Sam Bush, Joe Lippett, Danny Sheehan, Jack Travers, Jake Walton, Barry Burton (Sam Rayner), Tom Edwards (Sean O’Donnell). Subs unused: Sean Kelly and James Sheehan.
Referee: Chris Day