Photo gallery: Marlborough light up the way to a famous treble
One down, two to go! Marlborough secured the first leg of what they hope will be a glorious treble as they swept aside the Grove in a one-sided Norwich Sunday League Cup final.
Goals from Jamie Speller, Jason Armes and Martin Magee secured a seventh competition success success for the north city pub side against the Earlham-based outfit who were unable to rise to the occasion in the second cup final to be staged at Norfolk County FA’s flagship FDC 11-a-side pitch.
Disappointed Grove manager Steve Greening admitted his team were second best on the day, blaming a lack of match practice as the chief factor. “We had not played for four weeks and it showed. We were poor by our usual standards. The last time Marlborough beat us like that was three or four years ago.”
To add to the Grove’s woes they lost left back Luke Jones, 29, with a broken arm after an accidental first half collision with John Blake, one of his team-mates.
He was recovering this week after a trip to hospital revealed a broken humerus.
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Two goals in the opening 15 minutes put Marlborough in command as Speller and Armes struck. Aaron James and Lloyd Greening had chances to reduce the deficit as the Grove threatened briefly after the interval but Magee secured a result that few neutrals in the estimated 200-strong crowd would disagree with.
Marlborough will now focus their attention on their final league game away to Reepham, when a victory will see the side managed by Mark Jones pip AFC Wanderers to the Evening News Copy IT Norwich Sunday League Premier Divsion title.
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All eyes will then turn to the Sunday Senior Cup final against Yarmouth’s Camden Tavern at Carrow Road on Wednesday – the final piece in the jigsaw of an elusive treble, which has only been achieved by five teams in over half a century of Norwich Sunday League history.
The Grove were left to reflect on a disappointing end to the season, which saw them lose their last five games including the cup final and has left them with a repeat of last season’s third place top flight finish. In a bid to take things a stage further next term Greening will be looking to strengthen the team, which cut out the title race running for much of the campaign this season before falling away in disappointing fashion.