|At the home of Blackpool FC watching the 39th Gledhill Cup Final between Quilligans FC and Poulton SFC at Bloomfield Road. If you want to see your pictures in this article please E-Mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish them along with your name.|
For a preview of the final including a review of this season's competition and pictures from all the earlier rounds click here. If you didn't manage to get hold of a souvenir programme you can download a copy to keep electronically by clicking here.
The forecast was for sunshine by day and rain/thunderstorms by the evening but thankfully the forecasters were wrong and the weather was calm, warm and sunny late into the game with no need for floodlights. It's been a great week for hot weather on the Fylde all week so let's hope it lasts throughout the Cup Final weekend.
Quilligans FC : Andy Forsyth, Dave Butler, Stuart Bracewell, Phil Thompson, Lee Conway, Steve Palmer, Robbie Boal, Tony Pearson, Phil Ioannou, Lee Broadbent, Scott Sugden, Chris Days, Wayne Maden, Marc Beattie, Wayne Gardiner, Nick Devereaux, Stuart Diggle, Adam Pickering, Jordan Spedding, Tony Wood, Brian Croft. Manager Mark Spedding.
Poulton SFC : Kevin Kennerley, Chris Morris, Tom Porter, Aaren Matthews, Gary Fegan, Stuart Armer, Nick Thompson, Adam Sharrocks, Dean Fulford, Danny Morris, Chris Apaloo, Carl Spedding, Carl Eastwood, Will Errington, Matt Porter, Stuart McPhee. Manager Alan Cocker.
The ball boys for tonight's game were Blackpool Rangers Under 13's as pictured above.
Tonight's officials : Referee Steve Waller assisted by Max Cobb and Graham Nixon with John McDonald as the fourth official.
Both teams are introduced to Christopher Gledhll.
Poulton SFC keeper Kevin Kennerley.
Poulton SFC Manager Alan Cocker.
Quilligans' Kit Boy.
It looked as though Quilligans won the toss and elected to stay as they were so Poulton kicked off at exactly 7pm kicking towards the Kop. Poulton manager Alan Cocker started with a more attacking formation this year with Apaloo joining young Danny Morris up front. Across the middle were Fegan, Fulford, Sharrocks and Thompson. The centre halves were Chris Morris and Tom Porter, Stuart Armer at left back, Aaron Matthews at right back with Kevin Kennerley in goals.
Quilligans FC started as predicted with Andy Forsyth in goal. The three at the back were Dave Butler, Stuart Bracewell and Phil Thompson. The five across the middle from left to right were Ioannou, Palmer, Boal, Pearson and Conway. Starting up front were Lee Broadbent and Scott Sugden.
It was a scrappy opening to the game with both sides taking time to settle. Quills had the ball in the net after only four minutes but the referee had blown for an infringement by Broadbent a long time before Sugden put it away.
On seven minutes a Porter push on Broadbent resulted in a free kick taken by Ioannou. The kick to the far post resulted in a clash of heads between Butler and Armer but they were soon back on their feet again.
Minutes later another free kick by Ioannou was headed clear by Porter but only back to the feet of Ioannou. He floated it back dangerously into the box and Kennerley was glad to see a Quills header bounce on top of the bar and go safely out for a goal kick.
Another good interchange on the edge of the box between Broadbent and Palmer resulted in the latter firing in a shot that Kennerley did well to palm away. Two minutes later the referee missed a foul on Broadbent. He retaliated against Armer before Pearson came in and tangled with Porter. Tempers were soon cooled and that spat was the only bad feeling displayed throughout the entire game. Good refereeing in retrospect as it would have been easy to flash the cards.
On seventeen minutes Danny Morris was fouled as he took control of a long ball. After picking himself up Morris took the free kick and fired in a blistering low drive which just went wide of the left hand post. Two minutes later and Poulton's Adam Sharrocks was fouled a yard further out. This time Morris' free kick was well charged down by the Quilligans' wall.
A great tackle by Palmer allowed him to feed Broadbent who in turn passed to Conway. His cross was picked up by Palmer but good Poulton defending cleared it away. Another Poulton free kick, this time from the left was played in deep for Porter who's backward header found Fulford but once again good defending denied him.
After some hesitation the referee, with the help of assistant Max Cobb gave an indirect free-kick for a back pass. A little harsh on Palmer. With 27 minutes on the clock Fegan tapped it to Morris but his shot was deflected away for a corner. The Poulton corner came to nothing but with thirty minutes gone Poulton were having the better of the possession in the opposition half.
One of the highlights of the first half was the great battle going on between pacey Quilligans winger Lee Conway and Poulton's young left back Stuart Armer. Armer was chasing Conway up and down the touchline with each having equal success with either Conway getting crosses in or Armer making some well timed tackles.
On 34 minutes good work from Palmer on the left ended with him delivering a dangerous cross into the box but it eluded everybody and went harmlessly out for a Poulton throw.
Two minutes later and Quilligans took the lead. A Poulton throw into the box found Sugden. His pass to Conway resulted in a cross into the box which was cleared only as far as Palmer. He took one touch inside and smashed it past Kennerley into the the top right hand corner from twenty-five yards. A classic Gledhill Cup Final strike that was appreciated and admired by all who saw it. 1 – 0.
Poulton almost equalised straight away when the Quilligans' centre backs failed to deal with a long free kick into the box. Hesitation allowed Poulton to win a couple of headers and keeper Forsyth had to be alert to come out quickly in order to gather it.
The first surging run from Poulton's Dean Fulford came on 38 minutes. Left footed at pace he drew the defenders before playing in Sharrocks. His shot had to be well saved by Forsyth for a corner. More good work from Palmer saw him play a great pass into space for Conway. He made it to the byline, crossed it, Sugden couldn't reach it and Ioannou screaming in at the far post blasted it high over the bar. The game had come alive with an increase in pace and goalmouth action.
On 42 Pearson was left unmarked from a Butler throw but his header went over the bar. Broadbent then broke clear down the left from a free kick. A bit of trickery resulted in a Conway near post corner that was headed over the bar.
Half time score : Quilligans FC 1 – 0 Poulton SFC
As is usual, the half time interval saw a penalty competition featuring players from the Divisional winners of the Fair Play awards. Dave Wilcox represented St Annes Ex Service (Prem), Tom Harrison for Clifton Rangers (1), Jamie Fullalove for the Old England (2A), James Morris for the Brun Grove (2B), Paul Latham for MA2 FC (3A) and Shaun Meehan for the Windmill (3B)
After a long drawn out 'sudden death' James Morris of the Brun Grove finally overcame Dave Wilcox to take the