Sands shines as Cayton claim Trophy success

Cayton Corinthians celebrate after winning the Goal Sports Trophy. Picture: Steve Lilly
Cayton Corinthians celebrate after winning the Goal Sports Trophy. Picture: Steve Lilly
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Two goals from Isaac Sands fired Cayon Corinthians to victory in the final of the Goal Sports Trophy.

Jon Best’s side triumphed 3-1 over Division Two champions Trafalgar Reserves in Sunday afternoon’s showpiece at Seamer.

“It was a fantastic performance from our lads,” said Shaun Rennison, who oversaw things for the Corinthians from the sideline while player-boss Best was on the pitch.

“I think that we wanted it more, it seemed like Traf expected that they would win but once we scored our first goal it gave us a lot of belief.

“They have a lot of quality going forward, but we worked hard off the ball and defended brilliantly, especially with such a young back four.

“Harry Holden was superb in the heart of the defence and Isaac Sands up front took his goals brilliantly and caused Traf all sorts of problems. They just couldn’t live with him.”

Having won the second division title with ease and beaten Cayton twice in the league already this season, Traf went into the game as favourites, but it took Sands just four minutes to open the scoring for the underdogs.

The Traf defence let a long punt into their box bounce, and lone striker Sands got in behind on the right edge of the area.

He fired a powerful low effort across goal from 10 yards out, and although gloveman Chris Garton got a hand on the strike, the ball nestled just inside the far post.

The next quarter of an hour saw Traf enjoy the majority of possession without creating much by way of clear-cut chances.

They almost hit back after a scramble following a corner, while at the other end John Hodgson fired wide of Garton’s far post from the edge of the box.

With 22 minutes on the clock Traf eventually converted possession into a goal when Danny Glendinning beat the offside trap and raced down the left.

Having almost reached the byline, he sent a low pass across the face of goal to the back post where Tom Scales was on hand to tap home from two yards out.

Parity did not last long however, and after Traf again failed to deal with a ball into their box, Sands showed great strength to outmuscle centre-half Dave Bell before calmly sliding the ball past Garton and into the far corner of the net from a similar position to that which he registered his first of the afternoon.

Moments later, Sands let fly from 25 yards out, but his strike landed just wide of the upright, with Garton rooted to the spot.

Traf began to enjoy the lion’s share of possession again as half-time approached, but it was Cayton who should have added to their tally before the interval.

Jake McAleese broke into the box from central midfield and with just Garton to beat he opted for power and ended up smashing the ball a long way over the crossbar.

It looked like the Corinthians might be made to pay for that miss when Traf had the ball in the back of the net just two minutes after the resumption, but an offside flag curtailed their celebrations.

Mikey Barker’s men continued to see plenty of the ball and pressed hard for a leveller, Glendinning coming close when his glancing header from Alistair Jennings’ right-wing cross was parried at point-blank range by Corey Towell in the Cayton goal.

The perfect opportunity to even the scores then arrived when Traf were awarded a penalty, referee Jimmy Sutherland spotting the slightest of tugs on Luke Jones’ shirt.

The usually lethal Dave Bell stepped up to draw his side level, but dragged his spot-kick wide of Towell’s post, and the Corinthians’ slender advantage remained intact.

Traf kept pressing, but got very little out of a Cayton back four well-marshalled by skipper Holden, while at the other end of the pitch, Harry Sleep put in the hard yards down the right flank to provide his side with an outlet, ensuring that Best’s men remained a threat on the counter-attack.

As the game advanced into the final 10 minutes, Traf looked the more likely scorers, but the decisive moment arrived in the opposite penalty area.

More indecision in the Traf back line allowed substitute striker Dean Byerley to nip in and poke the ball over the head of the advancing Garton and into the net on 83 minutes.

Barker threw additional numbers forward in the closing stages, but his troops couldn’t find a way back into the game as Cayton put bodies on the line to ensure the door remained firmly shut.

Holden looked particularly solid at the back for the victors, while Sleep and Scott Davison were industrious in midfield, but the man of the match award has to go to two-goal Sands.

Although much quieter during the second 45 minutes as he dropped back into a deeper role, his quality in front of goal proved decisive in the first period and laid the foundations for his side’s victory.

For Traf, there were plenty of decent performances across the midfield and in attack, but Luke Jones was the one player to really catch the eye, displaying some nimble footwork, tidy passing and great energy, albeit in a losing cause.