South Normanton are in the League Cup final after a 2-0 win at Ellistown.
The home side started well and nearly took the lead after 20 seconds when Ellistown captain Ben Harris hit a thunderous 30 yard shot that was creeping under the bar until Steve Smith rose to tip the ball over the bar.
But that was the nearest the Leicestershire side got to scoring as South Normanton controlled this game to progress to the 2nd May cup final at Gedling MWFC against Nottinghamshire side Radcliffe OFC.
After the early scare, the Shiners stamped there authority on the midfield with a high tempo approach that left Ellistown making unforced errors and misplaced passes.
Despite a tall defence the Leicestershire side looked decisively uneasy from free kicks and after a couple of scares they were undone from a Jamie Pawley corner when Whitt spun and turned on a Roberts down header and fired in the opening goal from six yards out.
The Leicestershire side tried to respond, but Skipper Roberts and his fellow defenders was making custodian Smith a patient bystander in goal.
Johnson, Kirk and Riley in particular were full of energy and snuffed out any danger.
Pawley’s silky skills were pulling United all over the park and Fay and Whitt were a constant problem.
Fay took some heavy tackles but knuckled down and the Leicester side could not handle him. Leigh and Riley worked well down the right and Keenan and Pawley did likewise on the left.
More pressure was exerted on the United goal and after, a period of pinball from another corner kick, the ball came to Johnson 15 yards out and he struck a perfect volley passed a despairing Sam Taylor.
The Shiners expected a response from United after the break and they got it, but once again Danny Roberts marshalled his team perfectly and soaked up the onslaught.
In fact it was remarkable that they did not add to the two goals as gaps appeared and frustrations appeared from the Ellistown bench that transferred to the players.
The game drew to a close after 6 minutes of added time and the SHINERS were in the league cup at the first time of asking, a tremendous effort in their first EMCL season and what ever the outcome on May 2nd everyone associated with the club will be bursting with pride at these achievements.
ELLISTOWN & IBSTOCK UNITED – Sam Taylor, Cameron Laywood (Jamie Darrett 76), Connor Bartle, Jack Robinson, Tom Rowell, Rich Willman, Carl Timms, Chris Rudkin, Carl Benson, Adam Joynson (Pat Rowell 46), Ben Harris – Subs not used Robert Lea, Sam Hanmin, Rich Lewis
SOUTH NORMANTON ATHLETIC F.C. – Steve Smith, Dave Leigh, Sam Keenan, Danny Roberts, KANE JELLYMAN, Fraser Kirk, KYLE JOHNSON, Dan Riley (Tom Leighton 70), Ash Whitt, JAMIE PAWLEY, Anthony Fay – Subs not used TOM BETTERIDGE, Tom Lewis, CHRIS GREEN, Sean Staton.
Goals – Ash Whitt 11 minutes (Fox in the box strike) KYLE JOHNSON 35 (Great right foot volley from 15 yards)
MAN OF THE MATCH – Danny Roberts (A true skipper’s performance)
MATCH OFFICIAL – Referee Mark Curwood assisted by David Henfrey, Andrew Harland & Paul Buck
VIEW FROM THE TERRACE – Following the disappointment of losing Hit man Crosby, the team responded magnificently and continued the tremendous performance that we have witnessed in this league cup competition this season. The SHINERS have now played 5 games over 510 minutes across 4 rounds against the best that Leicester can throw at them. It is now to be seen if they can beat the ever improving Nottinghamshire side Radcliffe Olympic FC in the May showcase at Gedling.