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2008/09 Season Review Part 2
In another rainy month St. Albans managed to climb away from the bottom with a 4-1 win over Re-united, Kev Morrow and James Mayne getting 2 each. James Twigg helped AOG get back to winning ways with a tight 1-0 win over Derby City and Long Eaton remained top due to the extra games and a 9-1 demolition of Re-united.
The Knockout cup had reached quarter final stages, AOG (previously beating Re-united) fell 5-2 to Littleover, having initially come back from 2 goals down. A goal each from 2 Kent brothers (Dan & Dave) sent Long Eaton to the semis at the expense of Beeston, and Derby City started defence of their trophy with a 4-0 win.
Mansfield's National Trophy adventure came to an end with a 2-0 defeat away to Anfield, who had previously knocked out Derby City.
With many of the top of the table clashes still to come, games like the pitches became harder and the league picked up momentum following the rained off weeks.
Emmanuel had been on a poor run which saw them becoming stranded at the bottom of the table but a 2-2 draw against Re-United thanks to 2 Luke Billingham goals saw them start to collect points again, even becoming the first team to win at Beeston Free's new ground (3-0). Above them though St. Albans had joined the mid-table pack, continuing their improvement with an eye catching 4-1 win over Derby City. The battle for places in mid-table was intense, Re-united refound form to beat New Life 4-0 thanks to a Rob Lowe hat trick.
At the top end AOG were repairing their reputation with a 5-2 win over Mansfield, 2 former Mansfield players, Mick Leivers and Russ Smith, came on to add gloss to the victory toward the end. Littleover put themselves in the driving seat for the league by beating Long Eaton 2-0 in a scrappy game on Darley Fields. The score sent Littleover top by 2 points with a game in hand.
Mansfield completed the Knockout Cup Quarters with a 2-1 win over New Life, who again might have wished they had saved their giant-killing exploits for the Cup.
The newly formed Plate competition debuted and Derby City and Beeston took advantage, beating Emmanuel (4-0) and Re-united (10-2) respectively. Hassan-Hicks (4) and Matt Robson (3) shared the majority of Beeston's goals.
The other semi finals were played in consecutive weeks at the end of the month. Firstly, in the League Cup, 2 Danny Taylor goals sent Mansfield to Ilkeston by cancelling out Lee Clements goal for Long Eaton. Littleover were more sure, beating a resurgent AOG 5-1 for their first final in 3 years.
An identical final was booked a week later in the Knockout Cup. Goals from brothers Alan and Eric Graves gave Derby City a chance but Jonny Cox, Danny Taylor and an Alex Canning penalty were the difference for Mansfield. The other semi final was also a tight affair, Adam Campbell reacted first to a rebound to nod Long Eaton ahead, only for Protus to score a late Littleover equaliser. A diving header from Jordan Glossop put Littleover ahead in extra time and Protus made sure with a curling shot near the end.