Middleton Colts are this year’s Robinson’s Brewery Sunday Amateur Cup champions after seeing off Jolly Carter Droylsden 3-1 at the Regional Athletics Arena.
Goals from Jordon Gill, Ben Vayro and Tom Currie early in the second half were enough to separate the two sides on the day, with Dan Watson scoring what would eventually prove little more than a consolation.
A tight affair resulted in a quiet first half, but the game dramatically sparked into life straight after the restart with all four goals arriving in a 15-minute burst. Colts were more ruthless with their chances, however, as they avenged last year’s narrow defeat in the final at the hands of GCJT.
It was Jolly Carter who had the first sight of goal, when Paul Collins’ shot was blocked by Middleton stopper Neil McNulty, while at the other end Steve Cass’ glancing header sailed wide of the Jolly Carter goal.
The game was a back and forth encounter within the opening exchanges, but with just over 10 minutes gone, Middleton defender Nathan Daly was robbed of possession by Andy Chambers and when the Jolly Carter winger bore down on goal, he dragged the resultant shot wide with Chambers feeling he had been upended by Daly, but referee Andy Ross waved away his appeals for a penalty.
Anthony Smith’s men were then forced into an early change midway through the first half when midfielder Collins came off the worst in a strong collision, with Rob Walton coming on in his place. That blow was almost forgotten about soon after however, when Paul Naylor spurned a glorious opportunity when one-on-one with McNulty as he shot straight at the Colts keeper.
Shortly before half-time, Middleton captain Ryan Burgess was presented with an equally good opportunity, when he met a James Wilson corner on the volley from just outside the six yard area, but his effort flashed wide. Moments later, the skipper suffered an injury scare on the stroke of half-time, but he was deemed okay to continue after the interval.
As the sun descended upon the Regional Athletics Arena, so did the goals. First, Jordon Gill pounced to prod home from close range following a Wilson throw-in to give Middleton the lead, before Dan Watson drew Jolly Carter level immediately, as he steered home a low header from a corner.
However, the Colts were quick to reinstate their lead through defender Ben Vayro, who beat the offside trap to slot home from close range as Paul Hindley’s side capped off a flurry of goals within 10 minutes of the restart. With the game sparking into life, Andy Chambers and Paul Naylor saw their efforts blocked from close range by McNulty and the Middleton defence respectively as they sought to restore parity.
However, Jolly Carter eventually succumbed to a superb Tom Currie goal, with the substitute bending the ball into the far corner past Chris Brown to give Middleton Colts a two goal cushion which they never seemed likely to relinquish, and they held on to be crowned champions.
Written by Jordan Eyre