A late winner from local legend Mark Baines delivered Northants County Cup success for Netherton United at Northampton Town FC last night (May 8).
Baines struck three minutes from time at Sixfields to seal a 3-2 success over Northants Combination League side Moulton FC in the Les Underwood Junior Cup. It was rare for this ground to see such excitement, although common to see a Peterborough team leave victorious.
The outcome was always in doubt in a match full of twists and turns. Karl Gibbs fired Netherton into an early lead, but the city side struggled for the rest of the half and reached the interval 2-1 behind.
But then the Netherton management brains trust formed a huddle on the pitch and came up with a second-half masterplan which workd a treat. Powerful cewntre-forward Gibbs, a man for the big occasion, was injured and withdrawn as boss Jon Harrison adopted a 3-5-2 formation enabling Ryan Wood to run free down the right while speedy Tom Randall played just behind the front two, but with instructions to break beyond the Moulton defence.
And the benefits soon arrived with Baines setting Randall free early in the second-half to equalise before the midfield maestro grabbed the winner himself turning in Wood’s cross.
Baines was awarded man-of-the-match as Netherton prepared for the third leg of their potential quadruple trophy success. The Peterborough Premier Division title was already in the bag, now for the League’s President’s Shield Final against top flight rivals Thorney on Saturday (May 12) followed by the PFA Senior Cup Final against Moulton Harrox at the ABAX Stadium on Thurdsay, May 17.
Whittlesey Athletic confirmed a third-place finish in the Peterborough Premier Division with a 3-2 win at Thorney last nignt. Dan Redhead, Ollie Gale and Jack Bates scored the goals.
Elsewhere there was a shock for United Counties Premier Division Deeping Rangers who were beaten 2-1 on their own turf by Division One Huntingdon Town in the semi-final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup.
Richard Baines, younger brother of Netherton’s Mark, and substitute Jamie Waterworth scored early in each half for Huntingdon who then survived a Deeping siege and a red card for skipper Chris Jones 20 minutes from time.
Deeping skipper David Burton-Jones headed Deeping’s reply two minutes into added time. Huntingdon now await the winners of a much-delayed semi-final between Yaxley and Eynesbury.
Tuesday, May 8
NORTHANTS JUNIOR CUP FINAL
Moulton FC 2, Netherton United 3 (Gibbs, Randall, Baines).
Semi-final: Deeping Rangers 1 (Burton-Jones), Huntingdon Town 2 (Baines, Waterworth).
Premier Division: Moulton Harrox 1, Holbeach United Reserves 1; Stamford Lions 0, Ketton 1 (W. Bird); Thorney 2, Whittlesey Athletic 3 (Redhead, Bates, Gale).