Asfordby FC Development Squad lift first cup in debut senior season

Cup winners Asfordby FC Development are also unbeaten in the league EMN-180105-083657002
Cup winners Asfordby FC Development are also unbeaten in the league EMN-180105-083657002
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Asfordby FC Development completed the first part of a possible double with cup final victory over their title rivals last Thursday.

The youthful squad defeated Wymeswold Reserves 3-1 to lift the Bonser Cup after a clash of the top two in North Leics League Division Three.

The team, managed by Simon Atherley, have enjoyed a remarkable first season in senior football and remain unbeaten in the league.

“The cup final squad included 12 players who were 19 or younger, and two of them have been with the club for 13 seasons,” said Atherley.

“I’m proud of the lads. It’s been a learning curve for them and we haven’t fielded a single first-team player all season.”

The tie was set up perfectly, with both teams unbeaten in the league and having drawn their two previous encounters.

Both teams looked nervous early on, with heavy touches and misplaced passes, and striker Charlie Richards latched onto one such pass from a Wymeswold midfielder to run clear and slot past the stranded goalkeeper after 13 minutes.

Asfordby then took control and looked likely to stretch their lead.

Atherley and Watson were a constant threat in the wide areas, and the ever-willing Felstead probed Wymeswold’s defence at will.

But Wymeswold levelled against the run of play on the half-hour.

Asfordby’s defence missed a long throw from the left and the second ball fell to Joe Loesby whose well-struck shot evaded a host of players, leaving the unsighted keeper helpless.

Wymeswold grew in confidence and were well in the game without threatening a goal in the final minutes of the first half as Asfordby’s defensive quartet of Sharp, Wesson, Walker and Simpson had to be on top of their game.

Asfordby started the second half stronger and with more belief as De’Ath and Cochrane started to dominate central midfield, providing a platform for the forwards.

Wymeswold created little in open play, but were a constant threat from set-pieces and almost sneaked ahead from a free-kick which was sent into a packed goalmouth.

The ball broke to the edge of the box where the Wymeswold defender crashed a goalbound shot which took a wicked deflection off Walker and forced a brilliant save from Barratt-Clarke.

But Asfordby finally made their good possession pay with 20 minutes left when great work from Watson and Cochrane freed Richards who beat the keeper and restored the lead.

Atherley then twice went close, and Richards nearly grabbed his hat-track, before Watson collected the ball 30 yards out, dribbled past four defenders and slotted past the keeper for a sensational goal.

Wymeswold couldn’t mount a response and Asfordby ran out deserved winners.

Asfordby: Atherley, Barratt-Clarke, Sharp, Wesson, Walker, Simpson, R. De’Ath, Cochrane, Felstead, Watson, C. Richards, T. De’Ath, J. Richards, Herbert, J. Shelley, H. Marchington.

* Asfordby followed up the cup win with a 4-1 victory over Measham on Saturday thanks to goals from Atherley, Richards, Simpson and Herbert.

The result moved them top of Division Three with two games left, two points ahead of Wymeswold who have a game in hand.