Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The President's Cup

Written For:-
Chester vs Witton Albion 27th October 2010
After Chester’s 2-0 President’s Cup win over Leek Town nearly two weeks ago The Cestrian thought it would be a good idea to shed some light on the competition Chester were competing in.

The President’s Cup has been running since 1981, the first winners being Buxton, and is now currently one of three cup competitions ran by the Evo Stik League. The other competitions are The Chairmen’s Cup, competed for by the two winners of the respective first divisions, and the Challenge Cup, which has every team in the Evo Stik League playing in it, with premier division sides being given a bye to the third round.

The President’s Cup is only for first division teams. This has been the case since the first division expanded into two north/south divisions in the 2007-2008 season. Over the years the cup has been won by teams as varied as Morecombe and Macclesfield, both now league clubs, to South Liverpool, who currently play in the Liverpool County League. The cup has also been won by two Welsh teams, Bangor City and Rhyl, as well as many teams that are still in the first divisions of the Evo Stik leagues.

Dave Laughlin, the club secretary for last year’s winners Belper Town spoke to The Cestrian about the cup run they enjoyed last year. “The ties were not particularly well attended (certainly lower than equivalent league matches) but that wasn't to say that the matches themselves were not exciting. 
Belper won on penalties in the opening two ties. The first one in particular was amazing. Glapwell were 3-2 ahead on penalties and only needed to net the next one to go through. They missed, then allowed Belper to score and finally they missed their next attempt too and went out in sheer disbelief.

The second penalty shoot out was much more straight forward. Sheffield FC's attempts were simply woeful as Belper's reserve goalkeeper, Martin Kearney saved three spot kicks in a row.

Belper played very well to beat a very good Chasetown side 2-0 in the second round and then demolished Grantham Town 4-0 in the quarter final with Lee Stevenson (who by the way scored a hat trick for Eastwood Town in the Blue Square North on Saturday) netting twice.

The 3-2 win at Skelmersdale United in the semi final was particularly pleasing as Belper were losing 2-1 until the final minutes when two late goals from Anthony Wilson (now starring for Blue Square North leaders, Alfreton Town) turned the tie on its head.

The final at Quorn was played on a superb pitch and was a credit to both clubs and the league. Belper went head after two minutes through Ryan Hindley but Quorn levelled matters just after half time. Again the match looked destined for extra time before Luke Fedorenko's low cross shot found its way inside the par post and a late Tom Naylor penalty (now a full time pro with Mansfield Town) was the icing on the cake.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. A superb trophy and £1,000 prize money made it all the better.”
So there should be plenty to look forward to in the President’s Cup this year. The next tie is on the 27th October against Witton Albion; let’s hope for a positive result to begin furnishing Chester’s trophy cabinet once more!

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