FreshLinc County Senior Trophy 2024

Lincoln United Crowned 2024 FreshLinc County Senior Trophy Champions

The Whites clinched the crown after an unbelievably dramatic penalty shootout

Lincoln United have won the 2024 FreshLinc County Senior Trophy following a 7-8 penalty shootout win at Boston United's Jakemans Community Stadium. 

The Whites claimed the title against 2023 winners, Boston Town, after a tight and cagey 0-0 draw that saw both sides have chances to score, before eventually sealing the win in a dramatic penalty shootout that saw 4 missed penalties in a row - before United goalkeeper, Jack Steggles, made himself the hero of the night and made a crucial save that saw Chris Funnell's side snatch their first silverware of the season.

Lincoln United started the game lively and looked the more threatening in the opening minutes of the game, but it was Boston Town who had the first clear cut chance as Harry Limb's well timed run found him one-on-one with Jack Steggles - only for the Boston number 9 to selflessly square it to a team mate, though the pass didn't reach its intended target and the chance went begging. 

Boston then continued to grow in confidence in the game which resulted in numerous attacks on the Lincoln United goal, all with no avail. Lincoln United soon respond though, when a fabulous effort from a free kick on the edge of the Poachers' box from Kallum Smith curled towards the top left corner. Travis Portas had other ideas however, as he made a spectacular save to deny Smith's attempt the keep the game all square.

Martyn Bunce's side continued to try find a way through the Lincoln defence, finishing the half as the stronger of the two sides - but unable to break the white wall and the half ended 0-0. FreshLinc County Senior Trophy 2024

Lincoln United came out stronger in the second half, and thought they'd found a breakthrough in the 54th minute as Jack McMenemy's looping effort looked set to bulge the Boston net. It wasn't to be for the Lincoln United number 10, as his shot rattled the bar and denied The Whites from taking the lead. Boston Town were soon to respond, with their number 8 - Liam Adams - hitting a powerful effort from the edge of the box which struck the back of his team mate, Harry Limb, and looped the ball into the air and briefly over the head of Jack Steggles. Luckily for the Lincoln keeper, it lands on the roof of the net and both sides still seek the opening goal.

Boston don't take long to look dangerous again though, as Harry Limb goes through one-on-one with Jack Steggles and attempts to chip the ball over the Lincoln keeper. Steggles makes himself big and smothers the attempt to deny Limb of a 73rd minute goal. Lincoln United continue to seek a way into the Boston box, dominating possession in the final 15 minutes of the game and sat in the Poachers' half for large periods of the game. The Whites continued to whip crosses into the box in a bid to find target man, Jake Park, but the number 9 could only nod an effort narrowly over the bar. 

As is traditional with cup finals, drama soon reared its head and in the 91st minute of the game, Jack McMenemy goes through one-on-one with Boston keeper, Travis Portas. McMenemy takes it round the Poachers' keeper before going to ground, followed by hysterical penalty shouts inside the Jakemans Community Stadium. Referee, Ethan Nundy, waved away the shouts and awarded a goal kick. 

Unknown to the 547 strong crowd inside Boston United's magnificent stadium, the drama had only just begun as the game ends 0-0 and we head straight to a penalty shootout. It's not long before we find ourselves in sudden death; as Liversidge, McMenemy, Smith, Dye, and Priestley all score for the Whites, with Adams, Limb, Beeson, Bayliss, and Tate all slotting home for the Poachers. Park and Tuntulwana slots calmy home for both sides, before Travis Portas makes a huge save to deny Mitch Griffiths and putting one hand on the trophy for Boston Town. 

FreshLinc County Senior Trophy 2024Worthington stepped up for Boston, just needing to score to win it, but blasts his effort high and wide - giving Lincoln United a way back into the shootout. Travis Portas then made a massive second save to deny Ted Gibbons, who went the same way as Griffiths, to put the ball back in Boston's court. Lucas Dakin then stepped up, and blasted his penalty over the bar to keep the shootout in the balance for the second time! Converted penalties from Wright and Wilson see the shootout reach 7-7, with Lincoln keeper Jack Steggles stepping up next.

Steggles hammers it into the bottom left, then putting the fate of his side into his own hands as he then steps into the goal to face Boston's next penalty taker. "Steggs" then gets a big hand to the Poachers' penalty and, seemingly against the odds at one point in the shootout, wins the 2024 FreshLinc County Senior Trophy for Lincoln United - their first piece of silverware since 2016/17.

Speaking to Lincolnshire FA's Media Officer after the game, Jack Steggles said: "First half both teams were cagey, nobody wanted to make a mistake to lose the game. We've rode our luck with penalties this season, I think we've won 8 on the bounce now. The past 7 of them I've made saves in, so I knew I had to do the same tonight. Their keeper has made some terrific saves, they've missed the target twice, so for me to then step up and save the last one was brilliant."

Boston Town Manager, Martyn Bunce, spoke of the character and courage his players showed in the shootout: "We've said in the changing room that nobody is to blame. There's no blame on anybody and when you get that deep in a shootout, the pressure increases and it's just a lottery. Huge credit to them, they've had a lot of practice lately and they've been successful in it. Good luck to them for the rest of the season and I've just said to Chris that I wish them to best of luck in the FA Vase Semi Finals. We now have to pick ourselves up for Saturday and look to finish the season strong."FreshLinc County Senior Trophy 2024

Manager of Lincoln United, Chris Funnell, spoke of his delight to win Lincoln United's first trophy of the season: "I'm unfortunately used to penalty shootouts this year! I'd rather not get it done that way, I'd rather get it done in 90 minutes but I'm delighted. I thought it was a really tight, nip and tuck game. It was quite a cagey affair, not many chances. I'm delighted to win the first piece of silverware for the club in a few years, and hopefully it's a catalyst for us to kick on for the rest of the season. 

When they have two chances to win it, you think your luck's run out a little bit. But we go on, and Steggs has both stepped up and scored and then saved the subsequent penalty. If he goes the right way, I'm always confident he'll get his hand to one, and he's proven that time and time again for us this year. 

It's massive for the club. It's obviously the players who get the accolades because they're the ones on the pitch and they're the ones that people see, but the chairman, the board, the matchday volunteers, the junior section, the people that ultimately make this football club happen day in day out - because it's essentially a full time job without the pay - they do an incredible job and I'm just hopeful that we can bring more silverware and more nights like this for them because these are the memories that will live on forever for people so this is for them and we are hugely grateful for the work they do behind the secenes, so hopefully we can give them more occasions like this."

The Player of the Match award was presented to Lincoln United's Tobias Liversidge, and this year's 2024 FreshLinc County Senior Trophy Match Official's were Ethan Nundy, Rob Nunn, Andy Pontin, and Matthew Maddison. 

FreshLinc County Senior Trophy 2024

 FreshLinc County Senior Trophy 2024










 FreshLinc County Senior Trophy 2024










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

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