Shambles blown away despite good display

Action from Ashington RAOB v Shambles FC Morpeth in the Morpeth Sunday League Ken Gray Memorial Cup Final. Picture by Neil Brinsdon Photography.
Action from Ashington RAOB v Shambles FC Morpeth in the Morpeth Sunday League Ken Gray Memorial Cup Final. Picture by Neil Brinsdon Photography.

Ashington RAOB 4 Morpeth Shambles FC 0 Ken Gray Memorial Cup Final

The Morpeth Sunday League staged its last final of the season at Woodhorn Lane, the home of Ashington Community Football Club, on Sunday.

Formerly known as the Subsidiary Cup, the league management committee decided to run the competition as the Ken Gray Memorial Cup in order to commemorate over 40 years of service that Ken gave to the league as its chairman.

A new cup was provided by Ken’s family and his son-in-law, Sean Willis, presented the cup and trophies at the end of the match.

The first half was very keenly contested and the better chances fell to Ashington RAOB. They came close when a free-kick hit the crossbar, but the teams went in level at half-time.

There was quite a strong wind blowing straight down the pitch and the Buffs had the advantage of this in the second half. They started the half well and kept their opponents on the back foot for quite a time, but the Shambles defence held firm and they also created a couple of decent chances themselves.

But, at just about two thirds through the match, Ashington RAOB struck twice within a couple of minutes through Michael Angus and Lee Scott.

It was difficult for Shambles to come back from this, but they stuck to their task very well and kept the Buffs at bay until very late in the match when Luke Robinson, who had earlier come on as a substitute, scored twice to seal the game.

The eventual 4-0 scoreline was probably a bit flattering because Shambles gave a good account of themselves.

The two men adjudicating the man-of-the-match award admitted that they had a very difficult task because nobody had really stood out. They plumped for Robinson because of his general play and the two goals he contributed, even though he had not been on the pitch for the full match.

A good crowd had been entertained with a sporting game, which was well controlled by referee Michael Floyd and his assistants Andrew Armstrong and Steven Slater, with Peter Taylor acting as fourth official.

It was fitting that Sean Willis’ two sons, who play for the Buffs, came up to receive the cup from him. Ashington RAOB have also won the Morpeth Sunday League this season and the Champions Shield was presented to the team’s long-standing secretary, Tony Matthews.

League runners-up Amble Tavern won the ES Johnson Challenge Cup and the George Cave Memorial Cup in hard fought games against Bedlington Market Tavern and Bedlington Social Club respectively.

With one league match left to play, the committee has thanked all the referees who have officiated throughout the season. It also thanked Ashington Community FC and Morpeth Town FC for hosting the cup finals and being very hospitable hosts.