County Sunday Cup Final

Friendship FC Crowned 2024 County Sunday Cup Champions

The Gainsborough side beat Hykeham Town TRFC 2-0 to win their second title in two years

Friendship FC have been crowned the 2024 Lincolnshire FA County Sunday Cup champions following a 2-0 victory against Hykeham Town TRFC at Scunthorpe United's Attis Arena.

Ashley Page's side clinched their 2nd County Cup title in two years after goals from Joe Edwards and Billy Housham, in front of a 319 strong, North Lincolnshire crowd. 

It was Friendship who started on the front foot, with Geno Robinson and Jack McMenemy linking up with a beautiful one-two that led to Robinson charging into the Hykeham box, before a Hykeham defender's tackled denied Robinson from getting a shot away. Hykeham soon responded by attempting to create chances of their own, as a ball over the top was greeted by Andy Anderson. Andy Gillum was soon off his line and there to intercept the chance before Anderson could do much with it. County Sunday Cup Final

Geno Robinson was soon on the end of a Friendship free kick that was curled into the box, but he could only manage to knock the the effort over the bar on that occasion. Hykeham were keen to be first on the scoresheets, with Callum Murphy whipping a good delivery into the Friendship box - soon to be met by the head of Andy Anderson at the back post. The header wasn't enough to trouble the experienced Gillum though, who caught the attempt with relative ease. 

Friendship did have the ball in the back of the net on the 19th minute of the game though a sublime strike by Henry Cook, but the whistle had already gone for a foul he'd committed in the build up. Cook soon demonstrated his striking force again from a set piece, though his attempt was tipped over the bar by Hykeham's keeper - James Cooper. Not long after this, Geno Robinson went down inside the Hykeham box which was followed by big penalty shouts from the blue's touchline, though Referee Jon Barrs was soon quick to wave the shouts away. We headed into the break with neither side able to break the deadlock.

The second half kicked into life with more penalty shouts from the Friendship support, as Geno Robinson laid a ball off for Josh Nicol who hammered an attempt at the Hykeham goal. The effort was blocked by Josh Thomas and Friendship contested for a hand ball - though once again Jon Barrs said no and waved off the pleas. 

It was around the 65th minute when Friendship number 10, Jack McMenemy, was fouled about 28-yards from goal to win a free kick for his side. Up stepped Joe Edwards who curled an effort around the Hykeham wall and into the bottom left corner goal and just out of reach from James Cooper to give Friendship the breakthrough and send them 1-0 up. County Sunday Cup Final

Jayden Driver attempted to give Hykeham a footing back into the game, with some good deliveries into Friendship's box. None of the crosses could be met by a red attacker, and the chances went unanswered. 11 minutes after Joe Edwards free kick, Friendship doubled their lead as Jack McMenemy chested down a throw in, moved into space inside the Hykeham box before squaring a superb ball to the back post for the oncoming Billy Housham to knock into the back of the net - the goal that ultimately secured Friendship the title.

Ashley Page, Manager of Friendship FC, said: "I'm absolutely buzzing! We won it in 2022, and to come back and win it again this year - especially losing Banger early in the season - has been brilliant. It's been a really good team effort. First half, I don't think we really got going. We were quite solid at the back, and as soon as we put a bit of quality in the game, with the free kick from Joe Edwards and Billy Housham's tap in at the back post. Though I'm sure he'd say it was a 30-yarder!" 

Talking about losing 'Banger' early in the season, Ashley said: "Banger stood for one word really and that was 'legend'. The amount of people that turned up to his funeral was unbelievable. During the funeral, people were coming up to us saying 'go and win the County Cup for him now', and that's what we've done. So this is for Banger himself, Banger's family, the club, Gainsborough as a town - it's a fitting end."

Joe Edwards was presented the Player of the Match award from Lincolnshire FA's CEO, Nick Hanson. The Match Officials were Jon Barrs, James Day, James Needham, and Gary Caley. County Sunday Cup FinalCounty Sunday Cup Final







The full image gallery, taken by Lincolnshire FA's Official Photographer - Ed Mayes Photography - can be viewed here

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