Arnold Town 3-2 Winterton Rangers followed quickly by Calverton MW 2-3 South Normanton Athletic.
Not planned, but when blogging supremo Rob Waite messaged me to say he would be "doing" this double-header, it seemed too good an opportunity to meet up with the lad again, before the season's end. Kev was DIY - ing so wasn't able to join me - unfortunately that means that there are no decent pics to enhance this blog entry.
The Eagle Valley pitch was looking a bit worse for wear - they've had several cup final played on it recently - and with all the recent heavy rain, it seems like it hasn't had enough recovery time between games.
Give both teams players credit though - they gave us a good game despite the pitch and the freezing cold conditions.
Rob was with Mick Cook - also in attendance were Deadly Derek, Paul & Maurice MacFarland, Aggedor and a plethora of ground-hoppers.
Unusually, the line-ups were announced on the PA system, but Rob, bless him, blagged a team sheet from someone!!
The game started off a bit slowly, "typical end of season fayre", but a defensive mistake on 16 allowed Arnold's RYAN WHITEHURST a clear run at goal, and with Turner advancing, the striker calmly lobbed the ball over his head into the net.
MARTIN CARRUTHERS added a second for the Eagles after 35 minutes had been played, clipping the ball home from close range. H-T 2-0
The second half was only 16 seconds old when WHITEHURST capitalised on another defensive lapse and added the home teams third goal, but Rangers replied just a few seconds later when JACK CROSS was played in one-on-one with Martin Kearney and calmly slotted the ball into the net.
Liam Garner gets close and personal with Craig Fisher
On 52, the visitors reduced their arrears to just one goal - LIAM WILKIN on target this time. No more goals, but Whitehurst had a great chance to complete his hat-trick in the 63rd minute, but fluffed his header inches from goal after Chris Freestone's effort had cannoned off the post. F-T 3-2 and then followed a mass exodus and a mad dash up the road to Calverton. Arrived at Hollinwood Lane just as the teams were lining up for the kick off.
Met inside the ground by new twitter friend Sam Hodkin. Sam is a University student who uses public transport to get to matches. Nice, pleasnat young man, but lordy, lord can he rattle!!! Self proclaimed FC United of Manchester fan, and knows a hell of a lot about the Northern football scene - mind you when he got together with Aggedor and they started talking about the Welsh Premier League, I was totally out of my depth.
South Normanton were third from top before kick off, while Welfare were third bottom. Handsome home win predicted by all, but after a fairly stale uneventful period it was the home team who went ahead with just two minutes of the half remaining. DANIEL HOUGH went one-on- one with James Baker and nutmegged the keeper to give the home the lead. H-T 1-0
I was joined at the break by Eastwood Town gaffer and good friend, John Ramshaw. He has had a torrid time since taking over at Coronation Park, but is hoping to put things to rights next season as the Badgers, after relegation from the Conference North, try their luck in the Evo-Stik Premier.
Already has players committed to playing for him next season, and has also secured the services of young keeper Sam Andrew. Rammers will be spending time in the States again pre-season, leaving Richard Cooper to oversee the pre-season friendlies. Has already pencilled in games against Lincoln city and Scarborough.
I was just checking out her equipment, honest!!!!!
The visitors were on level terms with just 5 minutes of the half played - a harsh penalty awarded by Referee Paul Dixon, who had to explain to the Welfare players on several occasions, just why he had awarded the spot-kick. Seems to have been a push down on a Normo striker. STEVE CHAMBERS rammed the ball past the Calverton keeper to level the scores.
Athletic went in front on 59, LUKE CROSBY turning superbly for a big man before firing home from 12 yards. DANNY BRISCOE made it 3-1 after 80, collecting the ball at the corner of the box and curling a beauty into the top corner. Welfare had the last word though, HOUGH again on the scoresheet with 6 minutes to play. F-T 2-3. Straight to the car and home just in time to see the Cup final kick off.
Arnold admission £5
Calverton admission £3
Programme - sold out unsurprisingly
Sam H/C 32, but there were a few arrivals throughout the game, so I reckon it peaked at 50.