Carnforth Rangers make history with Lancashire Cup triumph

Carnforth Rangers celebrate their Lancashire Cup triumph.
Carnforth Rangers celebrate their Lancashire Cup triumph.

Carnforth Rangers became the first team from the district to win the Lancashire Football Association Amateur Cup on Friday night, beating Belair 2-1 in the final.

From the first whistle Carnforth were pushed onto the back foot by a very pacey and often tough tackling Wigan side.

Carnforth Rangers lift the trophy.

Carnforth Rangers lift the trophy.

Belair were much quicker to the ball but their football was a bit wayward and did not create any chances of note.

Carnforth created the better chances with Mambwe Chilufya being brought down just outside the penalty area after going on a fast run when he beat three defenders on the half hour.

The resultant free kick went over the bar but the second chance came after some good passing movements down the right which resulted in a terrific 20 yard shot from Byron Nixon which brought a good save out of Belair ‘keeper Martyn Corry.

The second half started with a bang when after just four minutes of the restart the dangerous Chilufya was brought down on the right wing some 35 yards from goal.

He picked himself up and took the free kick to the far post where it was headed back across goal by Mark Plevey straight into the path of the unmarked James Rafferty who from two yards out had the simple task of putting his side into a well deserved lead.

The Carnforth euphoria was short lived when straight from the kick-off and with some Carnforth players still celebrating the Belair side struck back immediately.

Keeper Tom Barnfield and a defender allowed the ball to reach Alex Spencer who prodded the ball into the net from close in, a rare error from the Carnforth side.

Carnforth regained their composure and started to get on top for the first time in the game as the Belair side started to tire from their exertions of the first half.

The Belair side had no answer to the speedy runs of man of the match Chilufya who had the answer to everything that Belair threw at him.

The Carnforth winner came with 20 minutes remaining after a corner had been headed wide by a defender.

As the ball reached 17 year old George Henderson his first time volley to the far post went straight into the net to give Carnforth the lead again.

This time Carnforth were more aware and easily held off the Belair challenge.

With 10 minutes to go there was more drama when the match referee had to leave the field suffering from a hamstring problem.

A fine evening was completed when Gavin Darby made his final appearance for Rangers before hanging up his boots.

Elsewhere at the weekend, in the Premier Division leaders Caton United knew they faced a daunting task when they travelled to play Cartmel and District.

Cartmel are on a hot streak and fancied themselves to win the game and get back into the race for the title.

Both sides played really good attacking football which left the half-time score at 2-2 after Matthew Burrows and Joel Drinkall had scored for Cartmel and Nathan Jackson had scored twice for Caton.

The second half was not as frenetic as the conditions got to both sets of players. It was nip and tuck throughout the second half as either side could have won the game but at the end a draw which did neither side much good was probably the fairest result.

College AFC moved off the bottom of the division after an excellent win over Marsh United. College, who have had some excellent results this season against the better sides, played really well in this game.

It was a close affair with both sides having their chances, but the one chance taken was by Alan Davies which was enough to win the game for College with a welcome three points moving them above Bowerham who slip to the bottom.

Trimpell and Bare Rangers entertained fellow strugglers Storeys with both sides looking for valuable points to keep them on the top division.

The game started well for Storeys as they took control and opened up a 2-0 lead with goals for Paul Turner and Gary Turner.

This was a wake up call for the Trimpell side who retaliated and turned the tables on Storeys by fighting back and equalized with goals from Andrew Wray and Sam Sandham.

The one point gained by each side leaves them just three points above a relegation place.