The photograph shows Iain Kean, Managing Director of Fortay Media presenting the cup to the victorious Denaby Main team.
Both goals came in the first half on a cool spring evening where a noisy crowd of just over 200 witnessed a fantastic game of football.
From the start, Denaby Main showed that they were up for the game, with Danny South hooking a delicious ball for winger Jake Ford to latch onto in the first seconds of the game.
This intensity throughout the first ten minutes saw AFC Emley’s development squad unsettled. Their quick, technical players spawned a counter attack on the 11th minute however, with Jordan Corduri forcing a save from Craig Pears after a marauding run on the left wing.
The action was relentless, with a penalty awarded in the 12th minute when Danny South was fouled by an Emley defender in the box. South picked himself up and converted the spot kick.
AFC Emley fought back though and the talented Jordan Corduri had a couple of chances to equalise.
After 18 minutes, he was put through on goal by Matty Crookes and attempted to round the Denaby goalkeeper, but was thwarted by a clever thinking shot stopper.
Chances for either side came before Denaby Main’s hammer blow on the stroke of half time. Aaron Rumble picked up the ball on the left wing and cut in on his right foot and unleashed a shot that found its way past Greg Moorhouse in the AFC Emley goal.
2-0 down at half time, AFC Emley needed a response and they provided one.
Perhaps something they lacked in the first half, Emley came out for the second half fired up and had an early chance when Matty Crookes hit a teasing volley towards goal which narrowly missed the target.
But after 15 minutes of solid defending, it was Denaby Main who regained control of possession and had a number of half chances.
Jake Ford muscled his way through the Emley defence and was one on one with the goalkeeper, but the young keeper managed to force Ford wide.
Two minutes later, it was that man again with Ford who was sent through on goal by Dan Phillips after some fine link up play, being thwarted again when his clever lob was anticipated again by the Emley goalkeeper.
AFC Emley hit the crossbar in the late stages from a looping corner, and just before the final whistle, Denaby Main substitute Tom O’Neil lashed a menacing half volley over the bar.
It was Denaby’s intensity and strength that saw them eventually run out Association Cup winners this season, a mentality that comes natural for the players according to co-managers Keven Eley and Richard Winstanley. ‘’We wanted to win that cup. That desire is engrained into the players. We can still win the league too, so we’re going to treat the last few games like this one…as cup finals.’’
So it’s congratulations to Denaby Main and not forgetting the efforts of AFC Emley Development Squad on the night with both teams looking to finish their seasons off with league success too.
Thanks also go to Max Ross and his team at Handsworth Parramore for the help in hosting the game.
Finally, well done to the officials for the evening who kept the game flowing, referee Paul Tomes, his assistants Mehdi Najefi and Justin Carpenter and 4th official Wayne Escreet.