Ryton & Crawcrook Albion Reserves were celebrating silverware as they claimed a 3-2 success in the Neville Cowey Cup Final against Lindisfarne Athletic on a dreary evening at Heaton Stannington’s Grounsell Park.
They had got off to a great start inside the first 15 minutes when a through ball saw Matthew Fothergill speed clear to break the offside trap, keep his cool to round goalkeeper Andrew Toothill, and slot the ball home from a tight angle.
The remainder of the first half saw proceedings played out in a somewhat cagey manner, and it was not until midway through the second half that the game came to life, with Fothergill again running onto a perfect forward pass and lifting a delightful chip over Toothill and into the back of the net to double the lead.
Lindisfarne, however, refused to give up, and they reduced the arrears as a cross from the left edge of the area was headed back across keeper Steven Robinson and in at the near post by Stephen Dynes, a glimmer of light through the mist for Tony Fawcett’s side.
However, it looked as though the game had been put beyond them soon afterwards as Ryton substitute Phil Hodges nodded home a free kick at the back post to re-establish their two-goal lead inside the final ten minutes.
Again, though, Lindisfarne would not lie down, and they set up a rousing finale when Johnny Storey smashed from a tremendous goal from outside the box in added time, rekindling their fading hopes of a league and cup double.
But it was not to be as the whistle sounded to confirm Ryton & Crawcrook Albion Reserves as deserving winners, with skipper Michael Robinson collecting the cup from Neville Cowey himself, while Matthew Fothergill’s brace earned him the man of the match award.
The next final is the North East Amateur Challenge Shield Final at 7pm on Friday, May 2, at Dunston UTS, when Stobswood Welfare play New York.