The Phoenix Trophies Floodlit Cup dominated the midweek fixtures with four matches being played in the first round.
On Tuesday evening Clay Cross got their campaign off to a whirlwind start, running up a three goal lead in the first 20 minutes against Askern. This must have revived unpleasant memories of their last visit to Mill Lane for the Yorkshire side who were on the wrong end of a 10-1 scoreline in their last encounter in August. Ant Lynam, Jordan Hendley and George Slack were the early scorers for the home side, and although Phil Doran reduced the deficit on 23 minutes, two Lee Clay goals gave Clay Cross an almost unassailable lead by half time. Joel Holland got the Miller’s sixth on 48 minutes and although Jason Kearsley pulled one back with 73 played, Clay completed his second hat trick in three days to complete the scoring and set up a local derby at Staveley Reserves in round two.
Appleby Frodingham came from behind to pip Lincoln Moorlands Railway 2-1 at Brumby Hall. Robbie Smith put the Moors ahead after half time, and it wasn’t until the 83rd minute that a Daniel Ricketts cross was turned into his own net by a defender. The decisive goal didn’t arrive until added time, Simon Welton claiming a second round trek to Dronfield Town Reserves.
Eastwood and Tideswell advanced to the second round on Wednesday evening. Eastwood were two up against Keyworth United inside 4 minutes as Greg Conn and Rory Smith gave them the perfect start. Matthew Antcliffe narrowed the gap on 10 minutes but Paddy Webb widened it again seven minutes later. Antcliffe netted for a second time before the half time break, and although Keyworth exerted considerable pressure in the second half, they couldn’t force an equaliser, and it was deep into added time when Webb finally settled the tie 4-2 in Eastwood’s favour. In the next round Eastwood host Hucknall Town, who will no doubt be keen to reverse last Saturday’s Vase result.
Division One’s only representatives, Retford United’s development squad travelled to Tideswell United but had little to celebrate on the way home after falling to a 6-0 defeat. Jack Bradbury and Matt Brown put the home side two up at the interval, Bradbury completing his hat trick after the break with Ben Bagshaw and Henry Litherland also on the scoresheet. Harworth Colliery will travel to Tideswell in round two.
Wednesday’s other game saw a thoroughly entertaining match at Station Road as Collingham beat Staveley reserves 5-4. In appalling conditions both sides played constructive football which was a credit to both sets of players. Staveley went in front on 14 minutes through Joel Smith before George Asplin scored from the penalty spot five minutes later, the first of his four goals on the night. The visitors were reduced to ten men before Marlon Grundy put the home side ahead on the half hour, Asplin giving them a two goal cushion just before half time. Ash Bartle got Staveley’s second shortly after the restart but two in three minutes for Asplin put the game beyond reasonable doubt. Staveley battled on and Jason Carter reduced the gap on 78 minutes before the goal of the game in stoppage time saw Joe Knowles score from fully 35 yards.
Report by Richard Lane.