Hakin United 2
Milford United 1
Steve Mathias scored a delightful second-half winner to secure Joe Lennon glory for the third year on the trot for Hakin United against Milford United.
With the game poised at 1-1, Mathias drilled in the winner from the angle of the 18-yard box in the 74th minute, the veteran midfielder unleashing a low right foot drive that flew in the left-hand corner of Jason Rickard’s net.
In the semi-finals played last week, Hakin United thrashed Milford Athletic 10-1 and Milford United won 3-0 against Hubberston to reach the final.
This is the fourth year of the Joe Lennon Memorial, and it’s the first time that the tournament was held at The Observatory Ground, the three previous finals were staged at Marble Hall.
Before the final both teams clapped for a minute in the middle of the pitch as a mark of respect to great man Joe Lennon.
The first half was keenly contested. The Robins’ Chris Thompson forced a terrific save from Vikings’ James Manson; the keeper tipping the striker’s shot from distance over the bar. Ryan Wilson struck a direct free-kick straight at Manson.
Nicky Woodrow and Justin Harding both had half scoring chances stopped by Rickard.
In the 34th minute the Vikings took the lead. Some good play between Ashley Bevan and Woodrow saw the latter set-up James Stanmore, who finished coolly from six yards.
But within five minutes the Robins equalised. Wilson was tripped inside the box by Vikings defender Steve Allen, referee Roy Boswell didn’t hesitate to point to the spot. Thompson took responsibility and successfully fired into the bottom of Manson’s right-hand corner.
The second-half started in frenetic fashion with the Robins pressing hard. Thompson headed over the crossbar, but the Vikings began to dominate for a long period.
Woodrow struck a lob from 40-yards over the crossbar and Gareth Fawcett should have got on the end of a dangerous Stanmore in-swinging corner.
But with 16 minutes remaining man of the match Jonty Bennett set-up Mathias who made no mistake with brilliant strike to secure victory.
Bevan and Goodall had a heated exchange on the ground, referee Roy Boswell asked to have both players substituted and that completely defused the situation, in an otherwise incident free clash.
Daisy Picton conducted the post-final presentation with Eric Alston naming the man of the match Jonty Bennett of Hakin United and delighted Vikings’ skipper Ewan Findlay got his hands on the Joe Lennon Memorial Cup.
Hakin United: James Manson; Gareth Fawcett; Ewan Findlay; Steve Allen; Ben Aldred; Steve Mathias; Paul Thompson; Ashley Bevan; Nicky Woodrow; James Stanmore; Justin Harding. Substitutes: Dan Howells; Dan Evans; Jonty Bennett; Josh Youds.
Milford United: Jason Rickard; Chris Davies; William Goodall, Scott Griffiths; James McCarthy; Liam Davies; Ashley Mathias; Ryan Mansell; Ryan Wilson; Chris Thompson; Liam Parr. Subs: Jason Hicks; Dan Coe; McCauley McKay; Jamie Black.
Referee: Roy Boswell
Assistants: Alan Boswell & Steve Badham