Nottinghamshire FA Junior Cup
MANSFIELD ATHLETIC FC 2 BILBOROUGH UNITED FC 2
3-3 after Extra Time
Bilborough United win 2-1 after penalties
Mansfield Athletic FC won the County Minor Cup last season as well as the Derby Christian League treble and as soon as the draw for the Quarter Finals of this seasons County Junior Cup was drawn, then this was the fixture I was to attend, one to represent the Precision Notts Senior League and secondly, this is the closest ground to my house, Ive never been to.
With some heavy rain on Friday, I rang Athletic's Sec Norma on Saturday Morning just to check that the game was on and for directions.
Quite a walk from the changing rooms to the pitch before the match, had a chance to have a chat with the referee Ant Gregory, who funny enough was the ref for the previous round tie I witnessed between Premium v Southwell City Reserves in the County Intermediate Cup a few weeks ago.
The game kicked off and the home side took shape and looked quite dangerous, putting together some good passing football and on 6 minutes MATT CHAPMAN had put them in front. Bilborough seemed to be a little shocked and at this stage the Mansfield Woodhouse based side had all the play.
As I took a stroll round the pitch, I was situation behind the home net when SEAN BUTLER drove home the equaliser on 13 minutes, this seemed to lift the visitors as they began to attack a bit more, whilst Athletic were playing on the break down the left hand side.
On 31 minutes, Bilborough were awarded a free kick some 35 yards out, which was fired in by Greaves, to which the keeper dropped to the surprise of everyone for JOEL BUXTON to tap home. This didnt knock the keepers confidence as he was to go on and make at least 3 excellent saves during the game.
The Second Half, United looked to extend their lead and Buxton thought he had done that on the hour, when his 25 yard shot was pushed on to the bar by the home keeper.
With seconds remaining on the clock, a last gasp break saw Athletic break on the right hand side and MATT CHAPMAN fire home to take the tie in to extra time.
Bilborough then went to a 3-5-2 formation and it paid off for them straight away, as after 95 minutes, they gained a corner, where at the back post, young sub ZADANE MITCHELL put his side in front again.
Bilborough with the advantage now began to play the clock down, but in the final minute of Second Half extra Time, it was Athletic;s turn to gain a corner kick on the right side, where all 11 of their players entered the box, as the ball came across, up went MATT SISSON and headed home to take the tie to penalties.
United were first up and missed, with Mansfield scoring theres, sot he advantage was with the home club, Bilborough scored their second, whilst Athletic hit the post, so it was level after 2 pens a piece. JOHN GREAVES then hit the target with what turned out to be the winning kick, as all other pens were missed or saved.
A real good match played in the right spirit by two clubs from which both their leagues can be very proud of.
PHOTOS FROM THE MATCH CAN BE SEEN ON THIS LINK