As the end of the season approached, three Divisional Cup finals took place throughout the day in ideal conditions at the grounds of Blackpool Wren Rovers FC and AFC Blackpool. Here are pictures from the Division 2 and Prem/Division 1 finals along with brief match summaries.
First up was the Division 2 Cup final which was played at the ground of Blackpool Wren Rovers FC between Progress Sports & Social FC (2B) and Spindles FC (2A). We had an even opening 30 minutes before Spindles took the lead. A Rob Greaves shot crashed back down off the bar and poacher Scott Park was there to tap it in from close range. As so often happens, Progress equalised immediately. Good persistence from Curt Smith saw him expertly lob Morrell in the Spindles goal. Just before the interval Shaun Meehan rose the highest from a corner to nod home and put his side 2-1 up at the break.
In the second half the game died a little with few chances at either end. On 78 minutes it looked as though the game was dead and buried as Progress went 3-1 ahead on 78 minutes as a headed flew past Morrell. Spindles swapped things around as they had little to lose with Phil Ioannou going up front. This move paid dividends as Park was sent through on the left and hammered the ball in from the angle. As the final whistle approached we had drama as Captain Courageous Danny Howard headed home a free-kick to send the Spindles supporters wild. Extra time. I nipped home for my lunch, changed the camer battery and on my return it was still 3-3 and that's how it ended. Penalties. Nine cleanly taken penalties and then up stepped Progress defender Joe. He was the only player to put the ball in the penalty 'hole' rather than either side or behind it. We feared for him and we were right as he fired wide. Unlucky Joe and well played Progress but it's Spindles that celebrate tonight with the Division 2 Cup. Congratulations to all concerned.
Progress Sports & Social Club FC 2009/10
This morning's officials. Simon Moore, John Hornsby and Andy Byrne (Right)
Spindles FC 2009/10
Spindles FC manager Matthew Clarke
Spindles FC (Lucky mascot)
Hold your opponent down with one arm
Ahh, she's got my text
The Progress bench
Spindles take the lead. Chris Brown picks it out of the back of the net.
A young Spindles fan
With the score at 1-1 Spindles had a great chance but in the above picture the striker rushed his effort and the keeper saved with his legs. He should have scored.
Shaun Meehan (4) climbs the highest to head home from the corner
Spindles are gutted
Good tackle Joe
Spindles fans (Mad woman)
The sun is out and she goes' off the shoulder'. Marvellous.
….and then she flinches
Back to the action
'My fault referee – apologies'
The Progress go 3-1 up with only twelve minutes left
As the advertising hoarding says – 'Quires'
Scott Park cuts inside and lashes it home. 2-3 and the comeback is on
Ioannou retrieves the ball
Danny Howard (Obscured) heads home a dramatic late equaliser
In trouble with the ref
In trouble with Mum – the toddler invaded the pitch before being unceremoniously picked up with one arm and escorted off. Harsh.
Progress notch the first penalty
Morrell almost had this one
Spindles make it five out of five
Progress miss. Keeper Morrell looks worried – he knows what's coming
Unlucky Progress collect their medals
The officials receive a momento
Spindles FC celebrate winning the Division 2 Cup
Manager Matthew Clarke with skipper Danny Howard and the Cup
Spindles keeper Morrell watches his young son supping Stella out of the Cup
Final score – Progress Sports & Social Club FC 3 – 3 Spindles FC
(Spindles won 5-4 on penalties after extra time)
Over at AFC Blackpool we had the first ever playing of the Premier/Division 1 Cup between Quilligans FC (Prem) and FC Eden (Light blue). There was a good crowd enjoying the warm Spring sunshine. The pitch at AFC Blackpool has never looked better at this time of the season for many years. Due to the extra time and penalties at Wrens I arrived fifteen minutes late. FC Eden were already 1-0 ahead thanks to Craig Byrom who had broke clear of the defence, danced around keeper Andy Speight and scored. He missed a similar chance in the opening minutes apparently.
On the half hour mark Quilligans FC equalised due to an acrobatic overhead kick from Robbie Boal. 1-1 at the interval. Into the second half and Martin Baird put Quilligans ahead after he swept home a Scott Sugden cross first time. 2-1. FC Eden fought back and again exposed Quilligans FC's high back line after Ryan Bingham latched on to Craig Byrom's though ball and slotted it past Speight. 2-2.
That's how it finished after 90 minutes and for the second time today we had penalties. Andy Speight made a fantastic save from the first penalty. (The camera missed it). Quills scored and Eden missed their second. Slater slotted home the fourth for Quills and that was game over. Slater deservedly scoring the winning penalty after his man of the match performance. Unlucky Eden and well done to Quilligans FC. The competetion works – a good decision by the BFSFA committee.
Referees Rick Parr (Left), Tony Cunliffe and John McNicholas are interested spectators
Roy Bingham of FC Eden
The ball comes over and Robbie Boal (8) finds himself way forward for him as the ball looks to drop behind him
No problem as his overhead kick flies past the FC Eden keeper
'That'll cheer him up'
The Devvy watch on with refreshments
Alan Grieve watches a number of his Wren Rover's players
Referee Dave Wolfenden
Craig Byrom (Left) – He's wasting away that lad
Awaiting the corner
A brave save amongst the flying studs
Lee Conway runs away with it
Just ran out of play
Quilligans FC manager Mark Spedding
Martin Baird shows his delight at scoring Quiligans FC's second goal
Ryan Bingham (9) scores for FC Eden to make it 2-2
The bench are happy. Big Joe bizarrely celebrates with a self -inflicted nipple twist
Chris Morris on the ball
No more football for Big Scouse Joe as injury ends his career
Full time – extra time
Get yourself all sorted
Flashpoint on the sideline
Penalties – Sent the wrong way
Sent the wrong way (2)
Will Watt wheels away after scoring the third for Quilligans
'JUMANJI'…Slater scores the winning penalty. I think that's four wins for him in this competition with four different clubs
FC Eden collect their medals
Rare disappointment for FC Eden fans
'Thank you maam' Mr wolfenden collects his medal from Carole Cox
Helpers with the medals
Quilligans FC kind of celebrate with the Cup
Final score : Quilligans FC 2 – 2 FC Eden
(Quilligans won 4-2 on penalties after extra time)