Mansfield & Ashfield Schools fight back for glory

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Mansfield & Ashfield came from 2-0 down to beat Nottingham 3-2 to win the Notts Schools FA County Cup final at the Nottingham Forest Academy ground.

There was little evidence that Mark Sissons’ team had not played together for a while as they set out to play entertaining football from the first whistle.

Making good use of possession throughout the side it only seemed a matter of time before they might open the score.

However, with that final good last pass just lacking, and somewhat against the run of play, it was Nottingham who scored two goals in quick succession.

Mansfield and Ashfield pulled a goal back almost on half-time when Joe Laurie popped up at the far post to head home Ryan Stanley’s free kick to make the score 2-1 at the break.

After the restart the half-time substitutions and a more attacking formation had an immediate impact and Ryan Helmkay, Sam Pickering and Tom Batterham helped Joel Cooke to constantly threaten the Nottingham defence.

A Ryan Helmkay header from Jack Weatherer’s cross levelled the scores at 2-2, and as Mansfield and Ashfield dominated the game, Tom Batterham scored yet another header to give his side the lead for the first time in the match.

The Nottingham boys put in a late challenge, but Joe Laurie and Ryan Stanley were once again, outstanding at the heart of the Mansfield defence.

Both teams were presented with their medals and the Mansfield and Ashfield Boys also received their Association medal.

Mansfield & Ashfield: Jack Judson (Samworth); Brendan White (Samworth), Joe Laurie (Joseph Whitaker), Ryan Stanley (Manor), Declan White (Samworth); Tom Wilshire(Garibaldi), Jack Weatherer (Samworth) Harrison Day (Quarrydale), Rhys Gray (Joseph Whitaker), Kyle Bacon (Samworth), Ryan Helmkay (Garibaldi); Theo Rodney (Ashfield), Tom Batterham (Ashfield), Sam Pickering (Ashfield), Joel Cooke (Garibaldi), Josh Smith (Queen Elizabeth).