The final match week of the season saw the Midlands division finally crown a winner after a pulsating season and the finalists for the ESPFA Cup decided.
On Tuesday, ESPFA Derbyshire (Mickleover FC Red) were hoping to do their inter-club rivals ESPFA Derbyshire (Mickleover FC Black) a huge favour knowing anything less than a four goal defeat would send them through to the semi-finals on Thursday at the expense of their hosts ESPFA Nottinghamshire (Carlton Town). They went one better and secured a 3-1 victory, racing into the break three goals up through Conley Bowman and a brace from Oli Cass with Khai Smith giving the Millers a consolation goal in the second half.
In the Midlands division, destiny was in ESPFA Derbyshire's (Mickleover FC Black) hand with them hosting ESPFA West Midlands (Rushall Olympic Black) in their final game knowing a victory by seven goals or more would secure the division and a place in the National Grand Final next week, anything less and it would be their regional rivals ESPFA Derbyshire (Belper Town) who would advance.
Three goals in the first 30 minutes from Haiba Souyeh (2) and Amin Mouflih gave the home side hope and when Chris Bitshuangu struck immediately after half time, the odds were in their favour to get a further three goals but the visitors held firm and produced a strong second half performance to halt any additional goals before eventually the task became too big to reach.
The result meant there was delight in Belper and they will now travel to Stafford to take on ESPFA Cheshire (Witton Albion) in the National Grand Final on Thursday 11th May.
On Thursday, the two semi-finals of the ESPFA Cup took place with ESPFA Lancashire (Skelmersdale United) hosting ESPFA West Yorkshire (Ossett United) and ESPFA West Midlands (Rushall Olympic Amber) facing ESPFA Derbyshire (Mickleover FC Black) with all except Mickleover aiming to progress to the final for the first time.
Home advantage was key in both games with Matt Disley giving the Blues a half time lead before Dylan Quinn responded soon after the break to level the game. A Leyton Baines brace was the difference in the second half, his two strikes sending his team into the final.
A goal from Josh Langley and Giovanni Lwando either side of half time gave the Pics' a commanding lead in their tie before Hans Susakani struck back with 20 minutes left to leave the game on a knife edge but the hosts held on and will now meet ESPFA Lancashire (Skelmersdale United) in the final on Thursday 18th May.
In the final game of the week, ESPFA Cheshire (Runcorn Linnets) hosted ESPFA Cheshire (Witton Albion) in a rearranged game after a torrential downpour before Easter called the game off just before kick off.
In a comprehensive victory for the hosts, goals from Jayden Boardman, Ryan McAlpine, Sam Bignall and a double from Adam Moseley were the key strikes for victory despite goals from Zach Williams and Josh Butler in a game that had no bearing on final group standings.
Final League Tables after Matchweek Twenty Four
Final Group Standings after Matchweek Twenty Four
TEAM OF THE WEEK - #MatchweekTwentyFour
Congratulations to all students who have been nominated by their coaches for their performances during the last matchweek of the season - #MatchweekTwentyFour
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