Crane Sports’ cup success can be catalyst to SIL title challenge

Crane Sports players congratulate Mel Clarke (hidden) on scoring their third goal in the Bob Coleman

Crane Sports players congratulate Mel Clarke (hidden) on scoring their third goal in the Bob Coleman Cup final - Credit: James Ager

CRANE Sports captain Simon Head hopes the club’s Bob Coleman Cup success is the catalyst to a concerted Touchline SIL Senior Division title challenge next season.

The 35-year-old, who has played for a clutch of higher league clubs, said he plans to carry on next season, after leading his side to a 4-1 victory over Melton St Audry’s at Notcutts Park on Friday night.

Head, who had an Achilles injury and didn’t play at all last season, said: “I wanted a rest plus my job is quite involved, but Rads (manager Iain Radnor) asked me to come and play for Cranes this season, so I told him I would as a favour.

“It is a lovely club with great people and it has been very enjoyable.

“We started this season well and won a lot of games early on, but the squad was too small and once we got injuries we did not perform as well. But hopefully we can push on from this next season and challenge for the league.”

Head continued: “The first half tonight was pretty even, but it was difficult to play much football with the wind and we kept it really tight and then scored twice straight after half time.

“The first goal was down to a bit of quality from Ali Brett and that changed the direction of the game, especially with the second goal coming straight after it.”

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Cranes boss Iain Radnor said: “It was comfortable in the end. We had two tight games against them in the league, but we knew tonight we had quality in the wide areas.

“We went with a flatter 4-4-2 and the boys were comfortable with the system and I think we deserved to win.

“We spoke to the boys at half time and told them to continue doing what they had been doing and the chances would come.

“Those two goals knocked the stuffing out of them. The boys worked hard for each other and it paid off.”

Melton manager Steve Moore said: “Those two goals in quick succession killed us, although I thought the second goal was offside.

“We didn’t defend well enough and in the second half we didn’t get going. After the goals we just huffed and puffed.”

Moore added: “We have done well to get to the final. Our last six games have been massive for us fighting against relegation and maybe tonight was one game too many.”

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