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  • 17/06/09
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2008/09 Season Review Part 3


Littleover's defence was in miserly mood as they refused to slip up from pole position. Emmanuel gave the most hope of that happening when Andy Gregory equalised Chris Wheatley's opener but that was to be the last and only goal Littleover would concede that month as 3 late goals disappointed the chasing pack.

Due to earlier cancellations, the big games were flying in as Mansfield beat Long Eaton 2-1 thanks to Ryan Liliman and Adam Meadows. Long Eaton took revenge a week later, Callum Billington and defender Lee Bradly reversing the score.

AOG finished the month as the form team on an 8-game winning streak that had made them firmly favourite for the 2nd place. It was coming a bit too late though as Littleover were left needing just 1 win from their last 2 games.

Elsewhere New Life started to show again their early season form, John Goodwin's first 3 goals for his new side helped beat Derby City 6-0 to secure them 5th place, their highest finish since 05/06.

The League Plate Final was played out at Chester Green, Derby City helped Beeston to a 2-1 lead courtesy of 2 own goals, but Paul McBride rescued them with a 25 yard chip and minutes remaining. Alan Graves came off the bench to score 2 more and decide the tie in extra-time.


Littleover crossed the finishing line with a 5-1 victory over Emmanuel, 2 own goals and a Jordan Glossop hat trick securing the title before the cup finals came round. On the same day, other sides were more realistically aiming for 2nd place, and AOG made themselves strong favourites by beating the closest contenders, Long Eaton, 2-1 at Darley Fields, Danny Mills got both goals. Mansfield were now the next biggest challengers for 2nd place, keeping in touch by beating St. Albans 5-1.

That result gave Derby City the opportunity to win the mini-battle for 6th place, they gave themselves every chance by revenging last monthÆs New Life defeat by coming from 2 down to win 4-3, Paul Whittick scored 2 against his former club to get New Life off to a good start, until an overhead kick from Richard Gee swung the match the other way. Ben Hallam and Alan Graves (2) won the game for Derby City, whilst at the same time Nigel Harrison set a record for the oldest player to play 90 minutes for a winning side!

AOG carried on their winning streak to the end of season, beating the renewed champions 2-1 in a rather low-key match and finishing 4-0 against Re-united, in which James Twigg got a hat trick to make sure of the Golden Boot. These results made the Derby City - Mansfield tie another low-key affair, as AOG had made sure of runners up and Re-united had been unable to pressure Derby City into giving up 6th place. Mansfield could have finished 3rd, but awarded that to Long Eaton after they hosted a New Life side finishing the season strongly, the visitors won 4-3 to complete the double over the cup finalists.

The first 2 wednesdays in May again provided the Cup Final nights at Ilkeston. The League Cup was up first, both sides had won their group and fought off the semi final competition. The game started end-to-end with chances for both sides early on. Danny Taylor put Mansfield ahead midway through the first half with a firm low drive from outside the area. Mansfield went on top and were 2 up by the half hour mark, Taylor again driving the ball from outside the area, this time in the top right corner. Littleover came back before half time, Protus finished from a tight angle to keep the tie alive.

The 2nd half was scrappier and with fewer chances. Taylor finished the contest and completed his hat trick another strike from outside the area, and a late Dave Jarvis goal completed the scoring.

A week later the same sides met in the Knockout Cup. Mansfield had beaten New Life and Derby City to reach the final, and Littleover saw off AOG and Long Eaton. In a completely different match to the one a week earlier, Littleover were ontop for most the first half, without fully testing Steve Moore in the Mansfield nets. The 2nd half saw roles reversed and Mansfield had the ball but again with limited goal mouth action and the game drifted inevitably to extra time.

Jordan Glossop put Littleover in front with a drive from the corner of the penalty area. Littleover had chances to go 2 up but as extra time wore on the ball started to be camped in their own third. In the dying moments a header from Danny Taylor hit the post and was turned round. From the resultant corner Michael Oxley forced the ball in following a goal mouth scramble.

The tie was decided on penalties and after Liam Hadfield missed Mansfield's first, Andy Thompson and Dave Cokayne saw theirs saved to give Danny Taylor a chance to win the contest. His effort was dragged wide and eventually in the 7th round of spot kicks Matt Bell scored and was followed by Adam Meadows hitting the crossbar to give Littleover a 5-4 win on penalty kicks.