A spectacular late show allowed Stanground Sports to cause something of a Peterborough & District Youth League Under 16 KO Cup final shock last night (March 20).
Two high-quality strikes in the second period of extra-time were enough to sink favourites Malborne 2-0 in a slow-burner of a showpiece clash at the Mick George Arena.
Livewire wideman Rhys Newman arrowed in a fierce cross-shot to finally break the deadlock before Jack Scholes clinched the honours with a fabulous free-kick strike.
“I believed we were good enough to win the trophy,” said Stanground boss Duane Baker. “And it is really satisfying to do it with such a new side.
“We went into this season with 10 new players and it took us a few weeks to get things right.
“We were bottom of the league until getting out first win against the leaders Wisbech St Mary Yellow and we’ve just kicked on from there.
“If the season started at Christmas we would have been in with a shout of the league title as well.”
Newman had earlier gone close in both halves of normal time. A smart Charlie Fisher save kept him at bay late in the first half and he also flashed a 20-yard drive just over the bar early in the second period.
Goalscoring opportunities were scarce although both teams did threaten in the dying moments of normal time as Malborne forntman Lewis Brisbourne’s 25-yard rocket required a flying save before Ryan Foster-Smith headed wide following a Stanground corner.
There was another blank in the opening period of extra-time, but Stanground eventually broke through to lift the trophy.
And, as league president Graham Phillips said during the post-match medal ceremony, they were goals worthy of the wait.
Malborne: Charlie Fisher, Lewis Brisbourne, Alex Slater, Jonny Crier, Rob Andrews, Sam Shields, Lee Fitzjohn Cammidge, Robbie Ellis, Josh Stubbs, Ryan Ellwood, Greg Barkess, Will Coulson, Austin O’Neil, Josh Digby.
Stanground Sports: Ben Morris, Connor Baker, Kieran Forbes, Steve Smith, Harry Bellamy, Rhys Newman, Ryan Buckley, Jacob Morling, Jack Scholes, Luca Ellwood, Ryan Foster-Smith, Rio Chilbvers, Dario Dinardo, Kundai Chizau, Ismael Coulibaly, Josue Amaral.