Date: 13th May 2017
Competition: Notts Senior League Senior Cup final
Venue: Ron Steel Stadium, Dunkirk, Nottm
Admission: £3 / £1 concession
We decided to go to this game despite some concerns with parking, but upon arrival it became clear those fears were unfounded as there were sufficient personnel on duty to ensure cars were parked in an orderly fashion, with no-one even looking remotely like being blocked in.
Picked up a programme - unusual but not unheard of, especially at cup final ties. There was a decent turnout, I reckon well over the 200 mark - and plenty of familiar faces on show. We spent the game in the company of Richard Lane, Pete Chappell and Maurice McFarland, and despite some initial black clouds in the distance, the rain held off and we were treated to a really decent game in what turned out to be very pleasant conditions.
Cotgrave were decked out in all red, whilst NTU were in a very striking pink kit - or to be politically correct I assume it would be called "coral"....
The first real action of the game came in the 6th minute - Andy McLean's shot well saved by the legs of NTU keeper Jake Cox. Great block, but from the resultant corner, Cox was beaten when NTU defender Connor Bartle managed to steer the ball into his own net.
Two minutes later, Cotgrave's Lee Potts picked out fellow striker Shaun Jackson on the edge of the box, but the shot from the no. 8 flew just over the bar.
Cotgrave's lead lasted until the 41st minute - then a corner from the left found Dan Busch who connected sweetly with the ball and watched it sail past Jon Gorton, the keeper watching in admiration along with everyone else in the ground as it flew past him. Great strike! H-T 1-1
Here we go again!
Cotgrave looked a little leg weary as the second half began, but some spring in their steps was restored on 55 when Adam Gray's speculative tame 18 yard shot looped over Cox's arms before nestling in the back of the net. Ten minutes later the scores were level again - this time Akim Akimbinu firing home from the spot after Graham Lynn had committed a foul in the box.
With ten to play, and most of us resigned to extra-time, Lee Potts received the ball just past half way, and raced into the area. Although Cox did brilliantly to parry the hitman's initial shot, Potts remained calm and simply side-footed the loose ball into the back of the empty net.
Despite intense pressure from NTU for the final ten minutes (+ 3 added), Cotgrave managed to hold on to their lead and are NSL Senior Cup winners 2017-18. F-T 2-3