Following a season of uncertainty where for long periods it didn’t seem as if we would get to play much football at all, it was to, great relief that in early April Grassroots football was given the green light to return.
Unable to complete the league fixtures, the shoestrings-chargrill sponsored Chippenham Sunday League set about completing both the Knockout Cup & WG Parr Trophy competitions which they did last weekend, with AFC Melksham and Lavis FC tasting success in the respective competitions.
The league also introduced a third competition, the Gooding Accounts sponsored Subsidiary Cup which was made up of teams who didn’t make the quarter-finals stages of the afore mentioned cups.
From the 14 teams that started out in April, Sunday morning saw Andy Anderson’s First Division underdogs Beeches FC and top flight FC Pilot bring the curtain down on what was the 55th season of the Sunday league.
With Graham Griffiths in charge, high scoring FC Pilot will arrive at the Jubilee Field, New Road, Bromham as massive favourites to lift the cup last won by the Lion & Fiddle in 2019.
Beeches suffered defeat in both the Knockout Cup and Parr Trophy before topping Group A to set up a semi-final showdown with Sutton Benger who they beat 6-3. It has to be said that Beeches had a fairly easy group stage as after beating Steeple Ashton 4-1 thanks to a couple of goals apiece from Jake Packer and Drew Adams, they didn’ t play another game as both North Star Club and Calne Athletic were unable to raise sides given Beeches a walkover in both games.
Against, Sutton Benger, Steve Ball led the scoring for Beeches with a hat trick, Drew Adams, a Lee Causon thunderbolt and an own goal completed the half dozen to set up the Cup Final meeting with FC Pilot.
Pilot found themselves in the Subsidiary Cup after being dumped out the Kouckout Cup by Bromham, before setting out on their Subsidiary Cup adventure where they netted 42 goals in their Group C matches ahead of beating Corsham Wildcats 4-1 in last Sunday’s semi-final showdown between the top flight rivals.
Their opening group match saw them beat Misfits 8-2, Tom Blackman scoring twice, along with an own goal the others were shared by Ryan Bell, Ian Dowell, Graham Griffiths, Luke Turvey, Kai Miller. Next up they hosted local rivals FC Libby who they beat 7-3, the evergreen Stuart Barber struck 3 times, Griffiths, twice, Sean Meer and Luke Turvey once each to make up the 7.
A 12-1 success over Misfits followed, both Barber and Edwin Escott scored 4-each, with Griffiths, Turvey, Blackman and Dowell sharing the others. A thumping 15-2 victory away at FC Libby completed their Group C matches, Rhys Talmash led the rout with 8 of the 15, Ryan Bell grabbed a hat trick, Blackman added a brace and Ollie Gee and Sean Meer also found the target.
Against Corsham Wildcats in the semi-final, Talmash opened the scoring with a controversial penalty before Wildcats restored parity only for Talmash to go on and complete a hat track and along with a Tom Blackman effort earn them a place in the final.
FC Pilot will be huge favourites to take the title and if Beeches are to upset the odds they will have to keep the likes of Stuart Barber, Rhys Talmash and Tom Blackman under lock and key and even if they do that that are likely to come up against Gary Higdon who has yet to score in the cup run, but is more than capable of turning on the style in the final and help Pilot fly off with the final piece of silverware of the season.