Lincolnshire FA under-18s in play-off semi-final

Lincolnshire FAs under-18 representative team. Back from left, Mitch Taylor (Cleethorpes Town), Callum Foster (Lincoln United), James Blunden (CGB Humbertherm), Zach Beedle (Bottesford Town), Matt Dunn (Sleaford Town), Oli Donald (Bottesford Town), Ryan Douglas (Gainsborough Trinity); front, Lewis Smith (Lincoln United), Joe Pettit (Gainsborough Trinity), Zak Munton (Bourne Town), Josh Parker (Lincoln United), Jack Dykes (Boston United), Jordan Neil (Stamford) and Joe Parker (Lincoln United). Not pictured are squad members Dan Dougill (Holbeach United), Joe Edwards (Gainsborough Trinity), David Taylor (Gainsborough Trinity), Jack Wilkinson (Gainsborough Trinity) and Josh Desforges (Lincoln United).
Lincolnshire FAs under-18 representative team. Back from left, Mitch Taylor (Cleethorpes Town), Callum Foster (Lincoln United), James Blunden (CGB Humbertherm), Zach Beedle (Bottesford Town), Matt Dunn (Sleaford Town), Oli Donald (Bottesford Town), Ryan Douglas (Gainsborough Trinity); front, Lewis Smith (Lincoln United), Joe Pettit (Gainsborough Trinity), Zak Munton (Bourne Town), Josh Parker (Lincoln United), Jack Dykes (Boston United), Jordan Neil (Stamford) and Joe Parker (Lincoln United). Not pictured are squad members Dan Dougill (Holbeach United), Joe Edwards (Gainsborough Trinity), David Taylor (Gainsborough Trinity), Jack Wilkinson (Gainsborough Trinity) and Josh Desforges (Lincoln United).

Lincolnshire FA’s under-18 representative team face West Riding in the Northern Counties Youth League play-off semi-final on Saturday (1pm kick-off) at Bottesford Town.

The County side have already enjoyed their most successful season for some time by finishing top of Division Two.

County youth chairman Stephen Lilley said: “We started our season with the long journey to Cumberland but an overnight stay in Penrith built the team spirit of the squad and thanks go to the County FA for their support which was much appreciated by everyone on the trip.

“A very tight game saw Lincolnshire win by the only goal of the game.

“Our second game was at home to Westmorland FA at Brigg Town, a much harder game than we expected was finally won 2-0 but it was never a comfortable win.

“Our third game was at home to Lancashire FA who almost always have a very strong team and following a recent win over Liverpool FA they came full of confidence.

“The game was played at Stamford but heavy rain in the week led to the game having to be played on the 3G pitch.

“The Lincolnshire boys gave a superb performance to win by an impressive 3-0.

“We returned to Stamford for our next game against Liverpool FA who the previous week had won the National Championship against Sussex FA at Crawley 2-0.

“Sadly once again the weather intervened making for an unplayable pitch and therefore we had to play on the 3G again.

“A superb first 75 minutes saw the team 3-0 up but a battling Liverpool were not national champions for nothing and they scored three times to see the game end in a draw.

“With the East Riding FA sadly withdrawing from the competition this left our final game against Sheffield & Hallam FA as a title decider.

“The game had to be played midweek and in a county the size of Lincolnshire getting all the players together is no easy task, as luck would have it the game was played at Rossington Main near Doncaster so not so far to travel.

“Due to traffic problems in Lincoln the game did not kick off until 8.20pm and the team took some time to settle down, going behind to a rather soft goal.

“A battling second-half performance saw us equalise and win the title by two points from Sheffield & Hallam FA.

“With several of the players not arriving home until very early morning the night was quite an adventure.

“We will now be playing West Riding FA with a place in the final at stake against either Northumberland FA or Sheffield & Hallam FA but whatever the outcome the squad has been a credit to the county throughout the season.

“Martin, Dave, Scott, Dave and Mick have done a great job with the team and our physio Russ has kept them held together.

“We approach the next game in great heart and we all wish them a successful end to a great season.”