Action from a new Alliance venue as Division 1 Champions Layton Institute FC took on runners up Red Rose Catering FC in the final of the Division 1 Cup at Thornton FC. If you have any ideas what Ref Ian Rose may be saying to Gordon Reeves in the photo on the left, email, we’ll publish the best entries.

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At last !  This is the kind of weather you would normally associate with end of season Cup Finals.  This was the third of the four Divisional Cup Finals where a league title winner was going for a famous double.  The Gardeners Arms FC (3A) and CLS Wyre (2B) had managed it in their respective Cup finals but could Layton Institute do the same ?

Although I played cricket on this ground once I’ve never played football on it and I’ve never seen an Alliance match on it either so it was worth the mad dash across town after work to see it.

Division 1 title winners Layton Institute were looking to round off a memorable campaign.  Teams who get relegated from the Premier Division as Layton did in the 2003/04 season often fade away and die.  After relegation Layton kept going and finished eighth in Division 1 last season.  This campaign they’ve won the league with a record of W21 D2 and L3 which is good going.  All the hard work paid off and it just goes to show that teams can bounce back into the Premier Division if they’re well run.

To reach the final Stuart Todd’s side had previously had to dispose of Clifton Rangers, Northern Care and the Philharmonic.  After a first round bye in the Gledhill they beat Tec and Elec FC (3B) in round 2 before going out to eventual finalists Poulton in round 2 but it took a replay and Layton were a little unlucky.  In addition they had a decent run in the Lancashire Sunday Trophy.  After another first round bye they beat Clifton Rangers (Bolton) FC away in round 2 and that was followed up by a very impressive 5-2 win away at Preston side Bamber Bridge Athletic.  They eventually fell in round 4 to losing semi finalists Gathurst FC who are a very good side.

Young Nicholas Reeves, son of Layton veteran striker, Gordon “Buzz Lightyear” Reeves, sporting a celebratory jumper at the last game of the season.

Red Rose Catering’s Cup pedigree is just as notable as their opponents.  Last season they went all the way in the Division 2 Cup where they beat the Dunes FC at the ground of Blackpool Mechanics to lift the trophy.  The Cup win put the icing on the cake for the Division 2B Champions.

Their first season in Division 1 has gone even better than I expected.  Manager Andy Manning would surely have settled for runners up position at the start of the season but would ultimately have been a little disappointed at not winning the league.  in the end they only fell three points short of Layton’s total.  To reach tonight’s final they fortunately received a first round bye but followed that up with wins against Fleetwood Cricket Club and the Squirrel.  In the Gledhill Cup they also had a decent run.  After a first round bye they beat the Dunes in round 2 and Fleetwood CC in round 3.  Round 4 saw them draw out favourites Quilligans of the Premier Division.  Even though they’re the only team thus far in this season’s competition who’ve managed to score against them they went down 2-1 after a very good performance.

In the league games between the two Layton took four points with a 4-2 away win and a recent 2-2 home draw.  All the ingedients then for a great final.

Tonight’s officials were referee Ian Rose with assistants Kevin Rial and Steve Jarrett.  Red Rose Catering FC in the light blue kicked off defending the ICI end.

Red Rose Catering FC

 Layton Institute FC

Tonight’s officials.

Easily the biggest crowd of the Alliance season so far

After some last minute checks Red Rose kick off.

‘Easy big fella’

Daniel Gilletts fires in a free kick – but misses

An industrial background for the final


Both sides started in a cagey manner with defences well on top.  There were no chances for either side in the first twenty-five minutes although Red Rose reached the Layton area once or twice.  On 28 minutes Layton forced a corner but it came to nothing.

The ever popular Blackpool Rangers manager and ex Layton player John Miles watches on from the sidelines.

A big crowd tonight in the warm sunshine.

On 35 minutes Red Rose broke the deadlock.  A long ball from the back wasn’t dealt with by the Layton centre halves.  The dangerous Darren Hall was on it in a flash, looked up and played the perfect pass for Danny Gillett who moved on to it at pace.  He took two touches before belting it right footed past Mike Glennon at the near post.  Good finish.  1-0.

Keeper Glennon retieves the ball as Gillett (Left) celebrates his goal.

Great venue but spoiled by the shadow of Chernobyl looming in the background.

On 44 minutes Layton at last created their first clear cut opportunity.  A free kick from the left was floated to the far post where Peter ‘Pud’ Standbridge was left unmarked.  His first time volley was athletically tipped over the bar by keeper Kent Hislop.  The resultant corner was safely cleared and moments later the whistle went for half time.

The Stanbridge chance.

        Half time score :  Layton Institute 0 – 1 Red Rose Catering FC

Red Rose keeper Hislop dives on the loose ball.

On 52 minutes Red Rose went close again.  Hall was first to a ball played over the top, stretched out a leg and got a shot away but Glennon reacted well and held on to it.

Gordon Reeves.

Layton manager Stuart Todd gives his substitute some last minute instructions.

On sixty five minutes Gillet’s mazey run got him into a great position on the left.  His dangerous cross flashed across the goal mouth but nobody was quick enough to react.  Five minutes later Tony Swallow was booked for Layton.  The Red Rose free kick from twenty five yards just dipped over the bar.  Minutes later and a snapshot from John Beavers flew just wide.  Red Rose were dominant.

The imposing physique of John Mendonca (Blue), just shaded by that of Gordon Reeves

Layton fans in need of a drink.

Layton keeper Mike Glennon.

Red Rose keeper Kent Hislop.

Mendonca heads against the woodwork.

On 80 minutes Glennon made the save of the match as he got a firm hand to a bullet of an effort by a Red Rose player from the edge of the box.

In the above picture Red Rose keeper takes his eye of the ball and with it heading dangerously back towards goal he scrambles after it.  Layton sensing an equaliser piled in after it.

Mr Rose steps in to cool tempers.

Mendonca reels from a typical Meehan challenge

Layton’s Peter Stambridge on the rampage

A good job this lad doesn’t fill his shorts as amply as Reevesy

The goal keeping error seemed to wake up Layton as they began to put pressure on the Red Rose goal in the last ten minutes.  Swallow being pushed further forward to join the strikers.

Time runs out for Layton as the referee blows for full time.

The Red Rose players celebrate.

Layton players collect their medals.

Another well officiated final in the view of the vast majority.

Layton can have no complaints about the scoreline.  They didn’t play to their potential tonight and if it wasn’t for some good saves by Glennon the final score might have been more.  Still, they’ve had a great season in winning the Division 1 title and they’ll look back on all three games against Red Rose with mixed emotions.

The final was a lot tighter than the previous two with limited clear cut opportunities, especially for Layton but that can only be expected in a game between two teams who know each other inside out.  Keeper Glennon was the star man for Layton.

Red Rose deserved to win.  They were very strong at the back with Slater and Mendonca and always dangerous up front with Hall and Gillett.  The side continues to mature and with two successive promotions and two successive Divisional Cup wins I reckon they’ll do well in the Premier Division next season.                               

                       Final score : Layton Institute 0 – 1 Red Rose Catering FC

Division 1 Cup winners 2005/06 – Red Rose Catering FC.

Sportspy 2005/06