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Under 14 Blue - Match centre

Bingham Town Youth FC
Arnold Town Blue
J H (10'), J G (58')
Full time
Sat 16 May 15:30 - Cup

Bingham Town U12 Blues v Arnold Town Blue YEL Trophy Final


So...can Bingham in the final game of the season make it over the line and finish with a victory?

Let me take you back to the 6th of September 2014...on a half mown dog fouled pitch the Blues have just lost their first game of the season to West Bridgeford Pirates 3-2 and languish at the bottom of Division 5....the crowd are despondent and it looks like a year of disappointment is facing us all.

Fast forward 8 months and we stand near the top of division 4 and in the League Cup Final. Our last defeat was the 11th October 2014 and we have played some scintillating football, full of passion and heart to get here.

Let's check out the stats as it stands before this game:

  • a 17 game run without defeat
  • 16 goals conceded and 56 scored
  • Since Christmas conceded no more than two goals in a game
  • Beards grown 1...beards shaved off 0
  • Cookies made 340

This has been a record breaking run!

So...can Bingham in the final game of the season make it over the line and finish with a victory?

The team convoy leaves Bingham the usual 17 hours before kick-off and it was a good job as the Chief Bus Inspector 'Blakey- i hate you Butler' Lunn took us to the wrong football tournament at the wrong ground! Having paid an entrance fee, bought a raffle ticket and then wondered where El Tel and Diego were we set off again....via a garden centre and industrial eventually reach the ground!

I check in with the management team for a pre match interview with Mr Strategy and team fashion designer Benitez....So serious were the management team about winning, unknown to the crowd there had been a late night strategy meeting at Castle Beggan during the week to talk about sock, shirt and short colour combinations...but shock horror...also football formations and tactics had been worked out and documented for each eventuality (for once I do not joke)...managers doing manager stuff! For the second time this year....I'm speechless!

Team talk over and warm up concluded, the boys walk onto the pitch to rapturous applause. Mrs Benitez and Babs take another deep sip from their gin filled hip flasks and pray for a victory and a summer of happiness as the crowd falls silent and the team lines up with: The Cat in goal. A defence of The Godfather, The Rock and The Machine. General, Beast mode, The Silent Assassin and (Jack 'The Hitman' Taylor) in midfield . With The Fox in the Box leading the line.
Waiting in the wings, Mr Electric, The Dude, Ollie 'Raging Bull' Sameris, Man Mountain and Aviv 'The Whirlwind' Harkavi prowl the touchline itching to get into the action.

We kick off and the 75,000 strong crowd spring into life....and with the traditional Bingham Blues team song of 'Hands off hips' ringing around the ground the boys go quickly through the gears.

It's a frenetic midfield battle for the opening 5 minutes. Arnold are a well drilled team, looking to hold the ball and lay it off and Bingham need to pressure the ball to win it back. Callum, JT, Stapes Josh and Hockerz are burning up the pitch and chasing every ball down. This endeavour is rewarded with a quick break and pass which almost releases Josh onto goal. Bingham are having the best of the opening exchanges and another hard won Bingham ball falls to Hockerz who dances inside his marker and tries his luck from range....the ball finds the gap under the keeper and nestles in the corner of the goal!.....Bingham lead 1-0. The crowd goes wild....and on the far side of the pitch the substitutes bow down and pray once more to the lucky beard of Bingham.

Arnold restart and immediately go on the attack forcing a good save from Joseph and the game opens up into a system of individual contests between players. Bingham are going to have to win each and every one to keep their lead as Arnold have pace and power in their ranks. It's box to box stuff with JT running half the length of the pitch to just miss out on a lovely through ball. The Bingham defence are working as a well oiled unit. James and Harvey are attacking the ball hard with Joe sweeping behind on any loose ends that need mopping up. This double layer defensive model is holding firm and Arnold cannot break through.

Subs roll with Callum and Stapes off, Vinnie and Ethan are on. It's a great spectacle with total commitment from each player across the pitch. Vinnie try's an elastico down the touchline to set himself free for another Bingham attack.

Callum is back on and Josh makes way for Jack as striker. More Bingham pressure and a Free Kick is floated onto Joes head for the ball to drift wide of the post. Arnold respond with their own corner and it's a well taken header from them that bounce over Joseph and into the net to level the score at 1-1.

El Tel rolls the subs with JT, James, Harvey off for Charlie, Olli and drilled are the Bingham team now that they slot into place seamlessly and we don't miss a heartbeat as they are straight into the action with Ollie making a good challenge and Charlie putting his head in where it hurts to clear the ball.
With 2 minutes to go to halftime Ethan epitomised the spirit of the Blues that have taken them so far this year. All alone up front he chases flat out a number of lost causes as Arnold pass the ball around the back. Not giving up, he eventually forces the error and runs the ball down and Bingham pick up the loose ends deep in Arnolds half. That is great show of commitment for the team cause! The whistle goes and we are into the half time entertainment.

With no canine companion to look after and the boys locked into a 1-1 battle, Babs takes another healthy glug and the raffle is drawn. With the top prize being a day's pass to the local health centre with as much massage and wax as you can handle we knew a big crowd would be drawn. So it was no surprise to see Pete 'Ferguson' Griffith trade in a racehorse to buy half the tickets and scoop the main draw. Enjoy my friend!

The second half kicks off and the subs continue to roll. Every Bingham boy is going to get his chance to play a part in this game today and every 10 minutes the team is swapped and changed as injuries and player combinations are tried. Well done management team, the crowd and players appreciate that level of rotation and by doing this as all season you have built a stronger more productive team.

The game is locked at 1-1 and the first chance falls to Aviv, a Bingham ball goes across the box and Aviv rockets his shot in from close range to pull a great save from the Arnold keeper. However, Arnold are not going to just give the game to Bingham. Harvey pulls off a last man challenge and Arnold have a period of pressure from set corner pieces. Joe continues to command the box and clears ball after ball and finally Joseph under extreme pressure from the Arnold strikers catches and clears the ball. Arnold continue to enjoy the ball in the Bingham half but with Joseph in superb form behind him Joe sets about his man of the match winning performance with a series of interceptions, tackles and just commanding presence at the back to hold Arnold at bay.

It looks like this may go to extra time..but then it happens! Bingham win a free kick at the right hand side of the box. Callum steps up to take and seeks out Joe in the box...the ball is floated across, Joe cuts in front of his marker, stoops his head and angles the ball across the keeper and into the bulging net! 2-1 Bingham and the crowd explodes with delight!

With 2 minutes to go can we hold on? Arnold change formation and throw the kitchen sink forward and we have a frantic final (what turned out to be) 5 minutes to endure. The Bingham defence that has served us so well over the year grows an extra inch to absorb everything that is thrown at them...the ref looks at his watch and blows..Bingham have won the cup!

Lots of jumping, shouting and happiness ensued.....for many hours.

At this point as the last game of the season, I would like to thank a few people.

  • Firstly the boys for playing so well all year. You have played, bigger, faster and more technical teams but your sheer heart and team spirit has taken you to victory. Teams win games not players, so well done for being a team.
  • The three Amigos...thank you for all your time and effort. Without you there wouldn't be a team and we appreciate the sacrifice you make.
  • Jason and the Navy Seal accountant for running the line all year and learning new words
  • Blakey Lunn for his photographs and not bus driving skills
  • Babs and Barney for the half time entertainment
  • Hint of mint Hollywood for his egg production line, cooking, voice of the balls and camera work
  • The whole Bingham town parents supporters club who have made watching the games such fun

Thank you...and let the good times roll!

By Pete Hocknell

Callum B


Callum B
Joe G

Player of the Match

Joe G

Key moments

Goal James H scores for Bingham Town Youth FC
Goal Joe G scores for Bingham Town Youth FC
Replay game

As it happened

  • Bingham Town Youth FC
  • Arnold Town Blue
  • 0
  • James H Goal 10:00'
  • Vinnie W Sub On 20:00'
  • Ollie S Sub On 20:00'
  • Charlie M Sub On 20:00'
  • Aviv H Sub On 20:00'
  • Ethan F Sub On 20:00'
  • Joe G Goal 58:00'
  • Callum B Assist 58:00'

Team selection

Bingham Town Youth FC


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