County U14 Boys' Cup Final 2024

Nettleham FC U14 Rhinos Crowned 2024 County U14 Boys' Cup Champions

The Rhinos snatched the County Cup title in a dramatic penalty shootout at Sleaford Town's MKM Ground

Nettleham FC U14 Rhinos have been crowned the 2024 Lincolnshire FA County U14 Boys' Cup champions following a dramatic 6-5 penalty shootout victory at Sleaford Town's MKM Ground. 

Tristan Timms side clinched the crown in front of 200+ strong crowd, after the game ended 0-0 after 90 minutes of football.

Andy Germany's Collingham FC U14 Panthers began the game as the stronger of the two sides, with Jack Hallam attempting to make an instant impact for his side by getting into space on the edge of the Nettleham box and driving a low driven delivery into the box, though the delivery couldn't be met. Yusef Lang-Hamidou looked to respond quickly for the Rhinos, first trying to get onto the end of a through ball - subsequently collected by Collingham keeper Theo Janaway - before using his impressive footwork to win his side a corner, though this came to little.County U14 Boys' Cup Final 2024

Logan Mountney had his shooting boot on, as he unleashed an effort from distance that rocketed towards the Nettleham goal, but Nathan Watling superbly caught the effort. A later effort from Mountney was also hit with venom, but was excellently blocked by Nettleham's Sam Ashcroft. 

A catalogue of half chances for either side concluded the opening half, with neither side able to break the deadlock. The second half kicked into life with Harrison Mitchell floating a great delivery into the Collingham box, but it couldn't be met by the head of a Nettleham attacker and the chance goes begging. Nettleham then began to push and looked the stronger of the two teams for much of the 2nd half, with Roman King and Yusef Lang-Hamidou being the two key threats for the Rhinos - but both having a hard time to break down the Collingham back line and find any clear cut chances. 

Nettleham then came incredibly close to an opener, after Sam Ashcroft got on the end of a brilliant overhead kick and was through one-on-one with Theo Janaway. The Collingham keeper covered his corners and Ashcroft could only find the woodwork. Just 5 minutes later, the Rhinos hit the post again after a brilliant passage of play that resulted in Cole Dobson pulling a ball back across the box, deflected up and met with the head of Alfie Coe who nodded onto the far post.County U14 Boys' Cup Final 2024

The game ended 0-0 and we entered a period of extra time, which saw little in the way of clear cut chances and quickly ended with both sides even and heading for the dreaded penalty shootout. Both sides converted all 5 of their penalties, some closer than others, and we headed for sudden death. Nathan Watling then made himself the hero of the hour, making a big save to give Nettleham the chance to win the title. Zac Zureiqi took the chance, burying his penalty into the bottom right corner and sending the Rhinos into pandemonium. 

Tris Timms, Manager of Nettleham FC U14 Rhinos, said: "I'm buzzing for the lads. Collingham made the game just what I thought they might do - incredibly difficult and hard to break down, especially in the first half. We had to say a few things to them at half time and they went out and outperformed them in the 2nd half. Obviously it goes the extra time and that's when you start to get a bit nervous and start to worry about penalties. I feel for Collingham because nobody wants to be taking penalties. 

In the first half, we was quite weak in the midfield. They were winning everything and could've been 2-0 up at half time, so we told the lads it's their last 35 minutes of the season, you're in a County Cup final, go out there with your parents and grandparents here and enjoy it. We performed well and anything can happen once you get to Extra Time and Penalties!".

Zac Zureiqi was presented the Player of the Match award from Lincolnshire FA's Referee Development Manager, Michael Brader. The Match Officials were Mason Bussey, Tim Edwards, Dawid Szymiczek, and Harry Crowley-Mott. County U14 Boys' Cup Final 2024County U14 Boys' Cup Final 2024







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

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