|Quilligans FC go down at Leyland in the final of the Lancashire Sunday Trophy to Preston side Arkwrights FC.|
The County Ground at Leyland is an impressive venue with a flat playing surface and good facilities. The perfect night for football. Kick off was delayed until about 19:20 due to traffic problems on the M55.
Arkwrights settled the quicker and Roskell was called upon to make an important early save. At the other end Quilligans forced a corner that the keeper saved with his legs. On 10 minutes the Preston side took the lead. A deep cross to the far post found Kirkham striker Mark Wane unmarked and he guided a brilliant header across the goal and into the top corner. Shoddy marking from Quills but a quality finish nevertheless.
The Hoops take the lead.
For the next twenty minutes Arkwright were on top winning the key tackles all over the pitch. Quilligans were guilty of giving away niggly fouls in dangerous areas and were not allowed to settle into their normal freeflowing style of play. On 22 minutes an Arkwrights player was brought down in the box and the referee initially awarded a penalty but the asssistants flag had been up for ages and eventually offside was given.
In the final five minutes of the half Quilligans were at last making some offensive forays. A great diagonal cross found Ioannou bursing into the box, he cut across the defender and appeared to have his shirt pulled. He got his shot off but the keeper blocked it and Cook spurned the rebound over the bar. Two minutes later another scramble in the box saw Ioannou fail to make contact in a 50/50 with the keeper and the ball spun wide.
Half time score : Arkwrights FC 1 – 0 Quilligans FC
The first twenty minutes of the second half were very disjointed but once again Arkwrights started positively and their tenacious play left the Quilligans players very little time on the ball. Just after the hour mark manager Spedding decided on a shake up. Perry-Acton came on for Ioannou at full back and Wayne Gardiner replaced Sugden upfront.
This gave Quilligans different options and Gardiners pace was quickly brought to the fore. On 67 minutes he was sent racing clear and his cross to the far post was only half cleared. Gardiner won the chase to the clearance and the defender brought him down in the box. Gardiner took the spot kick himself and made no mistake. 1-1.
Wayne Gardiner converts from the spot
Credit to Arkwrights they came out strong once again after the goal and enjoyed the bulk of the possession – the game had come alive. On 73 minutes Quills had a great chance to take the lead. Good hold up play from Broadbent resulted in the big man playing a great cross to the far post. Perry-Acton looked set to score but his downward header went the wrong side of the post – Agony !
The miss was made all the worse as Arkwrights went straight down the other end and took the lead. Once agin Mark Wane was the scorer as his pace took him to the ball ahead of Roskell and he prodded it home. 2-1.
For the reaminder of the game Arkwrights defended well when they needed to but in all honesty they looked comfortable and had the ball up the Quiligans end for long periods. As the final whistle approached they rounded off the evening with a third as Roskell's parry was followed up by Darren Worgan to make it 3-1.
Final score : Arkwrights FC 3 – 1 Qulligans FC
“What's going on 'ere then?”
The MC announces Arkwrights as the runners up.
The Arkwright's captain Paul Eastwood lifts the famous Cup.
Few, if any, could argue that the best team on the night won the final. Arkwrights were excellent from start to finish working hard especially when they didn't have the ball. The strikers were a handful and the defending was resolute. They didn't allow Quilligans to find any kind of rhythm and as a result the Alliance Champions failed to put together any decent spells of possession or pressure. The creative element of the Quilligan's side was effectively snuffed out. The Preston side were worthy winners so credit where it's due.
As for Quilligans they were beaten in the quarter finals last season by eventual winners D&P Copperpot FC of Rochdale and they were beaten in the final this year in a competition that attracted 132 teams from all over Lancashire so a creditable effort of which they can proud. They now have to quickly put this disappointment behind them as they're still very much in the hunt for the league title, two domestic Cup finals and the Champion of Champions Cup. An interesting evening of football and although hugely disappointing a memorable occasion to witness.
Interserve Lancashire Sunday Trophy winners 2006/07 – Arkwrights FC (Preston).