On another warm summer’s day it was a pleasure to play in the Corinthians tournament at Welton in Lincolnshire. Not only well organised by Mick Hill and Corinthians but also excellent, true walking football refereeing from Mick and Mark Allington.
The Stamford curse raised its head again and we started slowly once more, going down 0-2 to Scunthorpe in the first game. Well in control of this one, Will Barrett picked up a blue card for a tackle from behind and with a man down we allowed Scunthorpe to notch the first goal. After that we struggled to find our rythmn and a tight decision gave Scunthorpe a penalty which they put away for a 2-0 win.
Going into match two we knew we had to do better. We changed things around to put skipper Taff Lovesey up front and dominated this game. The Corinthians B keeper was in superb form though but we squeezed through with a 1-0 win leaving all teams on 3 points going into the last game.
The final group game was against our friends from Boston. We love these games, always tight and competitive, but played fairly it was our turn to take the plaudits with a 2-0 win following goals from Taff and our England 60+ man at the back, Graham Curry.
This win meant we won our group stage and moved into the playoff group for the tournament cup, a second group containing the top teams from the qualifying stage.
First up were Scunthorpe again and we were determined to reverse the result of the first game. Things didn’t turn out that way though and we fell behind to a long range effort that squeezed inside the near post. After this we created numerous chances but had to rely on a very late equaliser from Graham Curry to share the points.
The second game in the group brought us up against the tournament favourites, Grimsby Corinthians. We knew this was a tough one and decided to play deep and try to hit them on the break (aka parking the bus). Superb work from our midfield of Steve Gates, Angel Goumal, Will Barrett and Kurt Garbutt kept Corunthians in check and when they did break through they found Trevor Oliver in excellent form in goal. Despite delivering on the first part of the game plan we didn’t get many break aways and the game finished 0-0.
The final game was against Scarborough Barons and the run of the game followed very closely to the Scunthorpe game. We fell behind fairly early but came back hard but not quite managing to create many clear cut chances. Late in the game Graham Curry made a good run from the back and was fouled, the ball ran to Taff Lovesey and a great advantage played by the referee (Mick Hill) allowed Taff to tuck the equaliser in, cementing the runners up spot for the Stamford Strollers.
Squad: Trevor Oliver, Taff Lovesey, Kurt Garbutt, Will Barrett, Steve Gates, Graham Curry, Angel Goumal, Mel Gardner
L 0-2 Scunthorpe
W 1-0 Corinthians B (Taff L)
W 2-0 Boston A (Taff L, Graham C)
D 1-1 Scunthorpe (Graham C)
D 0-0 Corinthians A
D 1-1 Scarborough (Taff L)
Stamford Strollers finished runners up.