Sunday, 8 May 2011

Northern Star in the Ascendant

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 7 May at Kiln Park (Raunds Town FC)
Peterborough Northern Star 2 St Ives Town 0
United Counties League KO Cup Final
Lifetime ground #400, and I am here because a tetrahedron landed on face number 3 in the middle of the night.  See previous post for explanation.  (This is the second time I have watched PNS this season - click on the team name in the tag cloud on the right to get to the earlier post on the home league win over Irchester United.)
This match in one sentence
An efficient goal-in-each-half win for Peterborough Northern Star, with the second coming from Karl Gibbs who has the satisfaction of scoring in every round.
So what?
This is PNS’s second cup win in consecutive seasons – they were the holders of the Hinchingbrooke Cup until yesterday.  St Ives were the cup-holders in this competition but have lost two finals this year – one here and one to St Neots Town in the Huntingdonshire Senior Cup.
The drama unfolds
The first half was rather uneventful in terms of real chances and incident, but gradually Northern Star gained the ascendancy and it was no real surprise when they took the lead after 39 minutes.  Ali Nyang was prominent in midfield.  Yellow-booted Josh Moreman received the ball on the left and someone shouted “One on One!” from the touchline.  He made the space to shoot and finished well from just outside the area.  The first clip shows Moreman finding his shooting range just before the goal.  1-0 at half-time

Northern Star nearly added a second right after the restart but Conroy-Owen made a good stop in the St Ives’ goal.  However, the second was not long in arriving.  St Ives’ Scott Fielding was booked for a cynical trip on an opponent.  The ball was floated into the box from the free kick and Gibbs placed a header just inside the post.  2-0

St Ives made a double substitution and managed to exert some pressure while leaving themselves vulnerable to the break.  Full-back David Cobb in particular ran his socks off and turned up anywhere and everywhere on the pitch.  Northern Star should have added a third just after the hour when Jon Stead rounded the goalkeeper but his shot from wide towards the open net clipped the post.

The second and third clips show some of the St Ives' attempts to get back in the game.  English viewers will enjoy the tackle at the end of the second and may reflect on how long the game would have paused for theatrics had that happened in the Premiership.

St Ives came close on a couple of occasions – Nicky Conroy saved at close quarters from substitute Liam Read, and then a stoppage-time consolation was denied for offside.  This was a workmanlike and efficient performance from a strong and well-organised side – PNS were better on the day and deserved the win.  Final score 2-0

Conroy saves from Read late on

Alternative activity of equal excitement for tourists in Raunds
This was not a pulse-racer of a game to be honest, so it would be watching the DVD of Time Team’s 2003 visit to the town when an Anglo-Saxon cemetery is unearthed in someone’s garden.  Then burying your DVD collection nearby so someone can get equally excited in the year 3011.
A snippet from the programme
Peterborough NS were promoted from step 6 last season and have had a good season in the higher division – for the record, this is their route to the trophy:
1st round: Sileby 2 Peterborough NS 3 (a Gibbs hat-trick)
2nd round: Huntingdon T 4 Peterborough NS 4 aet
(Peterborough NS win 5-4 on penalties)
QF: Newport Pagnell 2 Peterborough NS 3
SF: Peterborough NS 2 Boston Town 1
What I learned today

The Hinchingbrooke Cup is a more impressive trophy than the United Counties League Cup, but the UCL have a natty tablecloth to add class to the presentation.  League winners St Neots had been kicked out of this particular competition for fielding an ineligible player in the QF against King’s Lynn, but King’s Lynn themselves were beaten in the SF by St Ives Town.
What Next?
The FA Vase Final at Wembley – Coalville Town v Whitley Bay.

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