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Cup final season continues tomorrow night at Dagenham & Redbridge FC as the Fenton Cup reaches its climax with Chingford Athletic meeting Cranes United in the final of this prestigious competition.
There are interesting parallels between the two sides in this final with both having hailed from the Ilford & District Football League, been champions of that league and progressed onto the Essex Olympian League before both made returns to their roots.
For Chingford Athletic, it has certainly been a season to remember. They are on the verge of collecting the league title in their first season back in the top flight after being Ilford & District Football League Division One champions last term. They have been engaged in a tremendous battle all season with May & Baker EC A which culminated in a 2-1 win for Chingford in their most recent encounter leaving them with one hand on the trophy. The boys from E4 have so far knocked out both local rivals, Chingford Harriers and Chingford Town, as well as Dagenham United and St Francis in between so have not had the easiest run to the final. Technically, Chingford Athletic are the holders of the Fenton Cup title having been the last winners of the equivalently named competition under the old Ilford & District Football League banner and will, I am sure, be wanting to make it two in a row. Looking through the statistics, a lot has rested this year on the goals of Michael Mignot who has notched 30 goals for the season and the cleansheets of Jack Francis between the posts.
In Cranes United are a side who are universally recognised as being able to beat anybody on their day. It’s no surprise that the cup competitions have afforded Cranes their best days of the season having knocked out the high-flying May & Baker EC A in the second round before going on to beat lower division opposition in the form of Singh Sabha Barking, Three Colts and Grove United in their run to tomorrow’s cup final. Indeed they also have a chance of a second cup final this season as they entertain Chingford Town in this weekend’s Premier Division Cup semi final with both sides eyeing up a place in the last final of the season. Cranes United are also former Fenton Cup winners under the Ilford & District Football League banner and were involved in one of the most memorable finals of all time in 2009 when, facing rivals Castle United, they won a dramatic match 5-4 after extra time to get their hands on the cup. In the league this season, Cranes are currently in fifth place with three games to play and have been assisted greatly this season by the amazing goal scoring feats of striker Nelson Senkatuka who has bagged 39 goals this term and is on course for the golden boot award.
Looking at results between the sides this season, Cranes United actually knocked out their Chingford counterparts 5-2 in the Premier Division Cup first round but Chingford gained revenge with a 3-2 win in the only league game so far between the two sides. Indications are therefore that we are in for quite a match tomorrow night!
Congratulations also to our third team tomorrow night, the match officials, who have worked hard on the field this season to earn themselves a place on this cup final. Adam Storey is the man in the middle with the whistle tomorrow while Steve Worpole and Howard Brown accompany him with the flags. Our fourth official for the evening will be Alphie Ibrahim who also celebrates this season being successful in being promoted to a level 6 referee.
Good luck to everybody involved tomorrow evening in what should be a wonderful occasion.
Tickets for the match will be available at the turnstiles on the night at a cost of £5 (adults) and £3 (concessions).