Arion Grantham & District Sunday League
Freya Birch Cup, semi-final
Nobody Inn Athletic Reserves 4
Royal Queen 3 (aet)
Royal Queen versus Nobody Inn Reserves was the big semi-final tie of the day.
Both teams were greeted with some horrendous conditions on their arrival to King’s School playing field. The Royal Queen is run by Gavin Birch who has formed the club this season in order to raise funds for Nystagmus Network and was hoping to lift the cup named in honour of his daughter Freya.
The Royals started stronger and deserved to take the lead when a ball over the top fell to Peberdy who muscled out the Nobods defender and slotted it past the on-rushing goal keeper.
It was soon deservedly 2-0, Peberdy again, this time smashing the ball in directly from a free kick and the Queen were cruising.
Nobods changed things around and started to get wingers Tom Jackson and Tom Power more into the game. A nice bit of play down the right saw Power’s cross get scuffed into the ground by Kenny Doll. Luckily, the ball ran loose to Jackson who whipped in a peach of a cross for Doll to leap and head home a more difficult chance.
The second half was the Luke Abel show. A moment of individual brilliance just after half time drew the Reserves level. He picked the ball up just inside the Queen half before turning two defenders inside out and coolly slotting it into the bottom corner.
Queen reacted straight away, Patterson shrugged off the Nobods midfield and drilled his shot past the keeper with the help of a deflection to go ahead again.
Abel wasn’t done yet. He won the ball back in midfield played it out wide to Jackson and, after some neat play involving, Dale Kitchen and Doll, the latter squared the ball to Abel who slammed it home from 25 yards to send the game into extra time.
Nobods got their noses in front just after half time in extra time. Sub Olly Clarke put a beauty of a ball on to Chris Harrison’s head who glanced it past the Queen keeper to claim victory.
Nobody: Harley, Kitchen, Bristow, Lord, Grocock, Dixon, Harrison, Jackson, Power, Davis, Doll. Subs: Abel, Luczak, Clarke, Gramaca, Benbow.