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Sunday 10th May 2009
Milko Delivers The Britannia Cup Back To Harvey Close.
Britannia Cup Final, Caldecote 3 Blunham 1
Before a Biggleswade United FC, Second Meadow crowd of 135, Caldecote duly collected a seasons top flight Bedfordshire Football League, League and Cup double by coming from behind to beat Blunham 3-1 whose caused was not helped by the sending off of Chris Dunne just nine minutes into the second half when the game was still evenly balanced at 1-1.
It was the underdogs Blunham who were quickest into their game and after just five minutes they took the lead when from all of thirty yards Michael Hutton unleashed a effort which was to rocket into the back of the net as Caldecote goalkeeper Luke Kiteley remained rooted to his line, however just two minutes later Kiteley was showing his true colours when a cross delivered in from the left flank by Nigel Drummond found Andy Smith whose powerful shot on the turn saw the Caldecote custodian equal to the task to beat Smith effort around his uprights.
Caldecote's first chance of the game arrived on seventeen minutes, Steve Starling seeing his effort save well by Blunham goalkeeper Stuart Kelly before moments later the Caldecote supporters again had their hearts in their mouths as Hutton again let rip from distance, but this time the ball was to dip over the Caldecote crossbar having seemingly beaten Kiteley on route.
The game was now bringing to flow more evenly end to end, Blunham's Scott Tallentire making a fine tackle to prevent Leeroy Odd going clear on goal then perhaps Starling should have done better than place his final effort wide of the posts after the ball had dropped kindly to him after Kelly in the Blunham goal and Tom Wallace fought out an aerial battle to contest a deep cross delivered in by Glen Renforth.
With just seven minutes of the opening half left, Blunham were to say the least somewhat unlucky not to double their lead, Percy Chagwiza lobbing a ball onto the edge of the area to find Smith whose executed chip over the advancing Kiteley looked for certain to be heading for the back of the net until its bounce on the rockhard surface carried it over the crossbar, Kiteley was then again required to save well from Hutton before the half closed with Blunham having a slice of luck themselves when from a Lee Marshall cross, Blunham stalwart Paul Smith sent a header out of play over his crossbar to ensure his side would lead the game at the interval.
If Blunham had been the quickest into their stride in the opening period it was a much different tale in the second period as the league champions came out firing all guns blazing, Russell Kemp warming the hands of Blunham goalkeeper Kelly with a free kick from forty yards out then Odd with perhaps his first clear chance of the game to date sailing an effort over Kelly's crossbar.
On 55minutes Caldecote were to level the tie, Kemp sending Odd racing away down the left flank who quite unselfishly rather than going for glory himself spotted Starling unmarked right in front of goal but Kelly having also spotted the same did just enough to close him down and divert the ball away for a corner but from that resulting flag kick delivered to the backpost by Renforth there on hand was Kemp to bundled the ball into the net from close range for the equalizer.
For Blunham perhaps the telling moment of the game was to arrive two minutes later with the sending off of Dunne for a crude tackle on Adrain Mapletoft which was to earn him a second yellow card to go alongside the one received in the opening ten minutes of the contest and thus leave his side to battle out the remaining thirty-four minutes with just ten men.
Just four of those minutes had passed before Caldecote took the lead, again Odd was allowed the freedom of the last flank and again he found an unmarked Starling who again found his master in Kelly but unfortunately for the Blunham goalkeeper the ball this time bounced into the path of Renforth who gladly tucked it away to take his side 2-1 ahead and on their way to their seasons double.
Blunham's Smith then perhaps being fortuitous to see the colour of card shown to him by referee Martin Darlow being only yellow has he kicked out on Starling as his side were now at full stretch to prevent Caldecote netting that vital third goal, Blunham substitute Joe Cooper then only able to keep out a Kemp cross by heading it inches over his own crossbar before a slip by Tallentire afforded Marshall a chance to seal matters only to see him spurn his effort wide of Kelly's uprights.
Yet with just fourteen minutes to play, Blunham perhaps should have squared matters up, Carl Page and Smith combining and after Kiteley had blocked away Smith's effort there stood Cooper ten yards out with the ball at his feet and the open net begging to be hit only for the Blunham man to shoot well over the top of the crossbar.and with it also went Blunham's hopes of cup glory for another season.
Cooper of course had he netted could have been the substitute hero but this honour was to go to a pair of players from Caldecote when just three minutes from time, Kai Griffiths-Shilton who had been on the pitch less then two minutes showed some nifty footwork in the penalty box to find fellow sub Mark ( Milko ) Endersby who so fittingly for one that as so faithfully served Caldecote over many seasons flicked home the goal that took The Britannia Cup back to Harvey Close for a sixth time in the clubs history.
Caldecote, Luke Kiteley, David Coleman, David Lenton, Darren Waddington, Russell Kemp, Glen Renforth, Adrain Mapletoft, Tom Wallace, Leeroy Odd, Steve Starling, Subs Used, Mark Endersby, Kai Griffiths-Shilton, Matt Basta,
Blunham, Stuart Kelly, Paul Smith, Chris Dunne, Scott Tallentire, Percy Chagwiza, Lee Arnold, Nigel Drummond, Carl Page, Gareth Hughes, Andy Smith, Michael Hutton, Subs Used, Luke Stone, Belgrave Barrington, Joe Cooper,
Mepershall Jurassic finally clinched this seasons Division Two runners-up medals by running out 5-1 winners at Potton Wanderers, two goals from Shaheen Miah plus strikes from Craig Damon, Craig Richards and Jamie McGregor doing the damage to a home reply from Zak Henry.
For, Great Barford its a third place finish after a 85th minute goal from Scott Moses took them to a 1-0 home win over Marabese Ceramics whilst for Lidlington United Sports after a 4-0 defeat at Oakley Sports Reserves its relegation and Division Three football next season, Ben Brown with a hattrick and Jason Angol on the scoresheet for The Sportsmen.
Dunton Reserves were to end their season on a high to claim fourth place in the final league standings with a 8-3 home victory over Riseley Sports Reserves, Ian Jakes and Steve Spiers netting twice alongside goals for Craig Hill, Nicky Albone, Andrew Spiers and Lee Threadgold against the visitors replies from Jon Glos, Phil Taylor and Michael Darnell.
The days final game seeing Renhold Village end the season with a 3-2 home win over Sandy A thanks to goals from Stuart Kester, Jason Wilson and Dan Luke against a brace in reply from Dean Haines.