Castle Donington Cobras FC lifted the DCFA Divisional Cup South with pride after their 2-1 victory against Gresley FC Reserves in the Final at The Don Amott Arena, Mickleover.
Gresley FC Reserves vs Castle Donington Cobras FC
The Don Amott Arena - Mickleover
Wednesday 12th April 7:30pm KO
Referee: Rob Rees
Assistant Referees: Connor Hewitson & Mick Newton
Fourth Official: Darren Billings
Match Report by James McLoughlin
Castle Donington Cobras FC took the lead after 19 minutes when skilful striker Karl Munton tapped the ball past Gresley's defence and calmly slotted it home into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Munton had another chance in the 35th minute when he curled a long shot towards goal but was denied by Gresley's goalkeeper, Luke Hemmingway, who tipped it over the crossbar.
Gresley continued to push forward with convincing attacks but were unable to hit the back of the net before half time, despite the best efforts of Kane Lee, who often broke free down the left wing and attacked with pace.
After a well-contested first half, Castle Donington led 0-1.
Half Time: Gresley FC Reserves 0 Castle Donington Cobras FC 1
After the break, Castle Donington seemed likely to score again when Ross Simms attempted to reach the ball after it was crossed into the penalty area but was unable to make a connection due to the speed at which it flew across the goalmouth.
The first substitution of the match came 13 minutes into the second period, as Gresley's Zachary Hill was replaced by Connor Ward.
In the 62nd minute Gresley centre half Harry Hughes won the ball in his own half and continued with momentum up the pitch but his through ball was intercepted before it could reach Gresley's attack.
Five minutes later, Gresley made their second substitution when Harry Lansdowne came on in place of Sam Hammerton.
Castle Donington shortly followed suit, substituting striker Ross Simms for Matt Power.
Less than a minute after Castle Donington's first substitution, they extended their lead when Karl Munton added to his tally with a powerful strike that flew in, clipping the underside of the crossbar on its way.
With only 4 minutes of regulation time left, Harry Lansdowne pulled a goal back for Gresley, side footing in from close range, when the ball fell to him after goalkeeper Lance Millward collided with Gresley's Josh Dutton in the air. The collision left the Gresley FC Reserves forward with a serious looking injury which resulted in a lengthy break in play as the player was given treatment. (We are pleased to report that Josh Dutton has recovered from this and is ok).
Castle Donington Cobras FC goalkeeper, Lance Millward, was later dismissed as a result of the collision.
Once play had resumed, both teams needed to make adjustments so Joe Bale replaced the injured Dutton for Gresley FC Reserves and for Castle Donington Cobras FC, Matt Greasley came on in goal and Nathan Pearson came on outfield.
The clock ticked on but the scoreline stayed the same, although in additional time, Gresley substitute and goalscorer Harry Lansdowne, received a second yellow card for kicking the ball away in anger, meaning both sides would finish the game with 10 men.
The final whistle blew and Castle Donington celebrated in jubilation, with Captain Josh Hallam lifting the trophy amongst his delighted teammates.
FULL TIME: Gresley FC Reserves 1 Castle Donington Cobras FC 2