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Lincs FA Over 50s MD1 Sunday March 6 @ Sincil Bank Lincoln

The squad for the inaugural Lincs FA Over 50s competition was:

  • Paul Newiss

  • Iain Ross

  • Ian ‘Billy’ Baxter

  • Andy ‘Molly’ Malton

  • Phil Hall

  • Andy Ward

  • Tim Marsden

The format for MD1 was two leagues of five teams, the top two from each league to contest the Cup, the third and fourth teams to contest the Plate, and the fifth team would go home early. Games were 15 mins one way.

Our first game was against Sutton Sharks. Strollers started well and controlled the game, but were indebted to a good save from Paul Newiss to deny an early Shark attack! Mid way through the game Molly Malton played a one two with Tim Marsden and smashed his shot into the roof of the net 1 – 0. Iain Ross marshalled the Strollers defence and we comfortably saw out the game to record a 1 – 0 victory.

The second game provided Andy Ward with his competitive debut in Stamford colours and also a sterner test in the form of Louth Town. Again Strollers started well and Billy Baxter took a cross field pass from Marsden in his stride to strike an unstoppable shot into the far corner. Unfortunately Strollers couldn’t hold onto their lead for long and conceded 2 quick goals, both coming from mistakes in possession. Undaunted Strollers continued to press their opponents and Molly was fouled twice in quick succession. From the second free kick Molly sliced open the Louth defence for Marsden to finish emphatically in the corner only for the referee to disallow the goal as “we had taken the free kick too quick”. Strollers continued to press and Molly was upended once again, but to the bewilderment of the Strollers no free kick was given. As the ball broke loose Molly caught a Louth player a bit late and received a straight blue card. Down to five men Strollers conceded a third to lose the game 3 – 1.

Next up for Strollers was Long Bennington, probably the best side we had faced thus far. In what was a very even game of few chances Strollers seemed to have regained their composure and the back three of Phil Hall, Iain Ross and Billy Baxter were largely untroubled and the game was heading toward 0 – 0. However, Strollers again gave the ball away cheaply in a dangerous position and we lost the game 1 – 0.

Our last league match was against Grimsby Corinthians, another good side. Similar to the previous match Strollers matched their opponents and were again on course for a clean sheet when a Strollers clearance cannoned off a Corinthian and into the far corner of the net, another 1 – 0 defeat.

One win and three defeats in the league didn’t really do justice to the quality and effort of the Strollers’ performances. It was with this in mind that Strollers took the field in the Plate semi against Gainsborough Trinity who were a very tricky and attack minded side. Trinity started the better and Paul Newiss had to pull off a string of good saves to keep us in the game, but there was nothing Paul could do to keep out the first goal of the game. A diagonal ball left to right sliced open the Strollers defence and was finished off emphatically at the far post. At this point Trinity were cruising, but instead of going for a second goal they tried to keep possession and run the clock down, resorting to taking the ball into the corners to waste time. With time almost up Strollers somehow managed to win the ball back and with almost the last kick of the game Marsden scored from distance to make it 1 – 1 and take it to penalties, three each. First up Molly 1 – 0, Trinity equalise 1 - 1, next Ross makes it 2 – 1, Newiss great save 2 – 1, last up Marsden, Strollers win 3 – 1 on penalties.

In the Plate final Strollers faced Gary Wildsmith’s Sleaford. Another close game ensued with the two teams largely cancelling each other out. However, the deadlock was broken when a Stroller clearance unfortunately cannoned into the Stamford net off a Sleaford backside. Strollers managed one last effort, a rasping drive from Molly bounced down from the underside of the bar and Marsden smashed in the rebound only for the referee to disallow for ‘above head height’! Sleaford scored a second in the final moments of the game to win the Plate.

On behalf of Paul Newiss and myself I would like to thank all the players for their time, effort, commitment and cooperation.

Tim Marsden

Although the author has made every effort to ensure the information in this report is correct, the author does hereby disclaim any liability to any parts for any loss, damage, disruption or insult caused by errors or omissions.

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