For once Stamford didn’t get off to their customary slow start.
Our first game was against Harborough Town. The team were lined up to play through the back and were fortunate to find themselves 1-0 up early in the first half when the ball was played into the corner and once crossed somehow managed to squeeze in bizarrely off the keeper.
The lead was short lived as we conceded an equaliser and the scoreline remained the same until half time. A superb second goal was scored by Jez Norris slotting the ball into an empty net after Glynn Williams beat a defender and drew the keeper before squaring to Jez. Brian Dunkerley scored a welcome 3rd goal with both team tiring due to the heat. With almost the last kick of the game a well taken goal from almost fully half way by Harborough made the final score 3-2.
After a 1-1 draw between two of our opposing team, in our next game Stamford knew a win against Cirencester would take them through to the semi finals. Maybe the team was a little over confident given the initial round of results and a close game of few chances ensued. Neither keeper was really challenged and a draw seemed on cards and the most likely result until Glynn Williams was adjudged to have encroached into his own penalty area. The penalty was scored and the ref blew for the goal and the final whistle.
An unlucky result but Stamford knew they still had a fighting chance to progress. Sadly two games in quick succession and playing against the favoured team in the group proved too much. A goal in each half settled the game with Grimsby Corinthians worthy winners and worthy of the pre game favourites title.
Cirencester recovered from their initial 5-1 drubbing to beat Harborough with a gifted goal in the last 20 seconds of the last game to finish the league section as runners up.
Grimsby ended top with 7pts. Cirencester 6pts. Stamford 3pts and Harborough with 1pt.
Had the penalty not been awarded Stamford would have progressed as group runners up.
A big thank you to Gary Wildsmith for managing the team today and for providing this report.
On the day Norwich City beat grimsby inthe final and will go forward to represent England at the June World Cup competition.
Strollers 3 Harborough 2 (Jez N, Briand D, + an o.g.)
Strollers 0 Cirencester 1
Strollers 0 Grimsby 2
Pete Climpson (gk), Jez Norris, Glyn Williams, Will Barrett, Bob Lear, John Phythian, Jez Hammant, Brian Dunkerley, Gary Wildsmith (manager)