FOOTBALL: Nobody Inn book their second Grantham Sunday League cup final place

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Arion Grantham & District Sunday League

Benny O’Meara Cup

Semi-final

AFC Earlsfield 0

Nobody Inn Athletic 2

The game started slowly and was a cagey affair with neither side really creating a clear cut chance and a lot of long balls being played over the top of both defences for the strikers to chase.

Both keepers dealt with this without any real problems, coming off their lines to collect the ball when required. That was until Martin Nickerson was played through on goal and looked certain to score, however, his shot was saved well by the keeper who diverted it just wide of the post.

AFC settled into the game after that and looked a real threat down both wings. They were unable to find the final ball into the box that the strikers craved.

Nobody Inn took the lead slightly against the run of play when Carl Jackson was put through on goal and he calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to take his tally to 15 for the season.

AFC continued to look for an equaliser and were only prevented by a fine save from Brad Curry from a close range header, much to the frustration of the AFC management team. Nobody Inn pushed for a second goal and thought they had it when Sam Tasker diverted Jack Knight’s floated free kick past the keeper, only for it to be ruled out for offside.

Curry made another fantastic save before the break as he tipped a shot from 20 yards over the bar.

Nobody Inn were forced into a half time substitution with Steve Johnson replacing the injured Matt Walton which also prompted a change of shape.

The second half started similar to the first half with neither side creating a chance of note. AFC threatened from any set-piece that they were awarded.

On the whole, the game was scrappy with play often being broken up by needless free kicks given away by both sides. This resulted in neither side being able to gain any momentum and really push on and dominate the game.

Both teams made changes in order to try and change the course of the game. Richard Payne and Lewis Kettle came on for Nobod’s and both looked like they had a point to prove.

With around 10 minutes remaining, Nobody Inn doubled their advantage as a Seb Briggs corner was cruelly diverted into the net by an AFC defender.

AFC continued to push for the goal that would bring them back into the game and set up a grandstand finish, but were unable find it.

Nobody Inn made two late changes in an attempt to break the game up and prevent AFC getting a head of steam.

Jackson had a chance late on to make it three, however, he was denied by a fine save from the keeper who rushed off his line.

AFC battled until the end but it was to no avail as Nobody Inn booked their second cup final place in four weeks and stretched their winning run to 11 games.

Nobody Inn: Curry, Ambrose, Mills (c), Walton, Hessom, Knight, Tasker, Short, Briggs, Jackson, Nickerson, Johnson, Sach, Payne, Kettle, Huitson.