Monday, 15 April 2013


(4-2 on penalty kicks)
Saturday 13th April 2013
Grantham & District League Junior Cup Final
Harrowby United FC, Dickens Road, Grantham

My final game of the weekend sees me make the drive across country to Grantham for a re-visit to Harrowby United Football Club. They are hosting the final of this year's Grantham & District League Junior Cup Final between two Croxton Kerrial sides, Croxton AFC and CK Dons. 

I attended the final of the same competition two years ago which also involved the Dons, but they were on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline against Heckington Millers. This year I was invited to attend  by the Dons secretary Jeremy Hill and would be rude not to accept. Also like two years ago my first game of the day involved Greenhill being the away side, but hopefully this time the Dons will be victors.

About the teams
Croxton A.F.C.

Croxton AFC were borne from a youth team in Wilsford and have been a long standing side in Croxton Kerrial for several years. They have gone through many years, good and bad, and have seen many players come and go, but some still remain from the "old days" of youth football". An evolving side and a new era is in development though, with a new logo and a new motto - Ad Finem (To The End), and this cup final comes in the second year of a plan to ensure Croxton AFC remains a team firmly involved and supportive of Saturday football in the Grantham area.

C.K. Dons

Based in Croxton Kerrial, the CK Dons were extablished in 2009 and have played their football in the Grantham & District League Division One (GDL) since their inception.

After two seasons of mid table finishes and a final appearance in the HITS Junior Cup the Dons decided to withdraw from competition for the 2011/2012 season to improve the structure of the club.

This season has seen a marked improvement, having represented the Grantham & District League well in the Leicestershire Saturday Trophy, narrowly being defeated in the quarter finals by Leicester & District League side Oadby Boys Club '93. The Dons are currently still in 4 cup competitions with promotion to the GDL Premier Division already secured.

Off the pitch the club has worked well to improve commercial aspects. ITA Taxis have joined our current sponsors Mandev and we look forward to representing them both in future competitions.

Route to the final
With only seven teams competing in this seasons competition, there have been only five matches leading up to today's final...

Round 1
AFC Skillington 0-4 CK Dons
Bottesford Reserves 5-1 Caythorpe
Rippingale & Folkingham 2-4 AFC Three Gables

Semi Finals
Bottesford Reserves 0-3 Croxton AFC
CK Dons 2-1 AFC Three Gables

The game
It was played for the most part in driving rain, that was as times almost horizontal, and a scrappy game ensued. No real clear cut chances for either side but it was the Dons that looked the most dangerous when going forward. After forty five minutes it was no real surprise that the score remained goalless.

The second half was a different matter altogether with the Dons scoring early on. In the space of a few minutes after their goal they should have put the game out of sight for their opponents, but a headed clearance off the line and a cracking save kept Croxton in the game. An equaliser came in spectacular fashion, when either a free kick or corner was not cleared it was volleyed home from the edge of the area via the underside of the bar. A superb strike worthy of any game. The game became scrappy again, and it wasn't until the last ten minutes that the Dons caused the Croxton defence problems. No real surprises then when they re-took the lead with around two minutes remaining, but like before they could not hold onto their advantage and see the game out. Within about sixty seconds Croxton equalised for a second time, and again with another world class strike. This time it was a sweetly struck shot from thirty odd yards from goal that flew past the CK keeper into the top corner of net. Very rarely do you see one goal of that caliber, let alone two.

With no extra time being played the game went straight to a penalty shoot out, and it was Croxton who held their nerve to win by four goals to two. On the drive home I did feel sorry for the Dons, but they still have other fish to fry this season, starting with a Culverthorpe Cup semi-final @ Bottesford this Saturday (20th April).

60 photos of Harrowby United FC and of the game can be viewed in the slideshow below:

For good measure I preceded this with a visit to East Leake Athletic FC in the North Leicestershire League Premier Division. Photos from their game against Greenhill Y.C. can also be viewed below:
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