Killingworth Hit Six in Minor Cup Final

By Dan Simmonite

Killingworth Y.P.C secured their first silverware of the season after picking up the Stelrad Minor Cup with a convincing 6-0 victory over Haltwhistle Jubilee.

A 62-minute hat-trick from Martin Roper added to Malcolm Morien’s quickfire brace and Kev Grahamslaw’s second half goal to secure the win at Whitley Park.

The contest started with Haltwhistle Jubilee kicking off at Whitley Park, looking to keep their excellent defensive record of conceding just four goals in the run up to the cup final.

But it was Killingworth who started the stronger side, with top marksman Malcolm Morien being played through with a ball over the top, shaking his man, and smashing the ball into the bottom corner to take the lead just five minutes in.

After setting the tone early on in the game, Killingworth didn’t hold up and pushed for a second. They dominated possession in the early stages and were rewarded when Morien added to his tally with an outrageous 30-yard finish, which flew over a stunned Kieran MacMillan.

Haltwhistle eventually got into the game on 12 minutes with their first shot on goal – Denis Thirtle slicing high and wide after Phillip Holgate punched out a lofted ball.

It seemed too little too late for Jubilee to counter as Killingworth continued their attacking onslaught into the 20th minute; Dan Stephenson having two chances in quick succession, first a blocked effort off the line and then a shot from 10 yards fired over the bar with the goal gaping following a squared ball.

Referee Darren Williams produced the first card of the game on 26 minutes, with Jubilee captain Martin Cox going into the book and giving away a free-kick in a dangerous area on the left.

As the ball was swung in, Martin Roper lost his man and glanced a header into the far corner, effectively putting the game to bed with still 60 minutes to go in the final.

A first half Jubilee substitution following the goal halted any attacking momentum for Killingworth as the game evened out at the end of the first half.

But Killingworth had been prolific in this year’s cup campaign and it was clear to see why, with Joe Besford smacking the crossbar with a deflected drive from the edge, showcasing their attacking prowess in the latter end of the half.

Just as the referee was about the blow for half time Martin Roper managed to make it four, helping on a goalbound header from a corner to give his team a comfortable goal cushion going into the break.

Jubilee needed to start strongly in the second half, but Kev Grahamslaw made no mistake just three minutes in to shatter any hopes of a comeback, firing over the ‘keeper’s head to make it five.

A few moments after the goal, Morien grabbed the ball and opted to drive forward, shooting from distance - just a blue shirt getting in the way of him and the match ball.

And the one sided affair continued as Konner Lamb nearly capped off a brilliant midfield performance, only his boots getting in the way as the wide man hysterically tripped when trying to side foot into an open goal at the far post.

But the sixth goal finally came on 62 minutes; who other than Martin Roper slotting home to complete his hat trick in just over an hour.

The remainder of the game was taken up largely by substitutions from both sides and a late spell of possession for Haltwhistlwe Jubilee.

A late consolation goal never looked to materialise as Jubilee failed to break down the defence despite a few spells of attacking play, with Killingworth saving their legs for their remaining Northern Alliance league games.

After one minute of added time the referee blew his whistle to conclude a commanding Stelrad Minor Cup win for Killingworth Y.P.C in front of a 500+ crowd at the Northumberland FA headquarters.

Haltwhistle Jubilee: Macmillan, Tremble (Parker 45’), Cox, Wilson (Bowerbank 30’), Peel, Thirtle (Robley 72’), Jacobsen, Charteries, Burker, Irwin, Robson 

Subs: Calvert, Hall,

Killingworth Y.P.C: Holgate, Young (Johnson 66’), Stephenson (McCabe 59’), White (France 64’), Laws, Grahamslaw, Lamb, Besford, Morien, Roper, Latmer

Subs: Patterson, Waite

NFA Man of the Match: Martin Roper

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