AROUND THE COUNTIES By STAN WILTON

6 months ago By David Holland

East Midlands Counties League Jenkins & Jenkins League Cup Final (at Anstey Nomads FC) Saturday 6th May 2017 ASHBY IVANHOE (1)1 DUNKIRK (0)2

ASHBY IVANHOE: Gutteridge, Bennett, Conway, Turville (Windram 80), Johnson, Rooke, Thorogrood, Danny Edwards, Luke Edwards (Stewart 69), Quinn, Riley. Substitutes not used – Wesley, Ryder, Attenborough.
DUNKIRK: Mountain, Wilcox, Rawdon, Clark, Moore, Burton, Smithson, Maddison, Lang (Gowing 64), Chaplin, Berridge (Kenton-Bradshaw 90). Substitute not used – Parton.
REFEREE: Ian Jackson
Two goals in the last ten minutes saw Dunkirk lift the League Cup for the first time in a Final superbly hosted by Anstey Nomads FC.
The Boatmen had a number of chances in the first half but failed to turn them into goals. They dominated the second half and eventually managed a late break through which saw them lift the trophy.
There was an early chance for Ashby when Danny Quinn met a Luke Thorogood free kick but couldn’t control the ball in front of goal. Dunkirk hit back and fifteen minutes in William Rawdon’s through ball sent Adrian Lang clear but he lifted his shot over the top. It was certainly the best pass of the game so far as some of the passing by both sides was a little over ambitious to say the least.
Tim Berridge hit a low volley towards the bottom corner in the 27th minute but Tom Gutteridge, at almost full stretch, managed to turn the ball round the post for a fruitless corner. Gutteridge then saved a Lang half volley as Dunkirk looked the most likely scorers in the first half hour of a game where there seemed little between the teams.
But it was Ivanhoe who took the lead in the 37th minute when LUKE EDWARDS beat the off-side trap onto a through ball and slotted it past the onrushing James Mountain.
And it might have been more in the minutes leading up to the half-time interval had Thorogood’s lovely header from a corner flashed narrowly wide of Mountain’s left hand upright.
Dunkirk put on heavy pressure from the start of the second half and had much of their own way as the Ivanhoe midfield completely disintegrated. Tom Gutteridge gathered a Stephen Chaplin shot at the second attempt, just ahead of the inrushing Lang. And then Lewis Wilcox moved up with the attack and got on the end of a free kick only to see his header flash wide of an upright.
Parity should have been restored in the 62nd minute when Oliver Clark’s lovely through ball put Chaplin free, but his fiercely struck cross shot wide of the far post. Moments later the situation was reversed as Chaplin’s pass put Clark in with a chance but he shot wide and one wondered if it just wasn’t going to be Dunkirk’s afternoon.
It was all Dunkirk and they kept up the pressure with several corners but the ball in front of goal continued to elude them.
Perhaps the best chance of all arrived on 70 minutes when Chaplin was played clear but Gutteridge stood up well again and saved his attempted chip shot with both hands. Chaplin, indeed, appeared to be the one Dunkirk forward to whom all the chances were falling and although he got his next shot on target, Gutteridge was on hand to save again.
Just when it seemed that the Boatmen might have to throw the kitchen sink at the game to save it, they registered a deserved equaliser with just ten minutes left on the clock. This time STEPHEN CHAPLIN’s header from a corner was on target.
Having to some extent sat back on their slender lead Ashby now had to come out of their shell and they almost snatched the game as it ran towards its final few seconds. Josh Riley forcing a great save out of Mountain. And from the clearance up field Tim Berridge won the ball and passed inside to substitute BEN GOWING who shot home the winner.
ATTENDANCE: 232
YELLOW CARDS: Ashby – Conway (56), Bennett (60)
STAR PERFORMER: Toby Moore (Dunkirk)

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