It was Shilbottle CW who lifted the trophy in the inaugural Stephen Carey Memorial Cup with a 4-0 victory over league rivals Red Row Welfare at St James’ Park, Alnwick.
Friday 30th August 2013 saw the first ever Stephen Carey Memorial Cup fixture, the new curtain raiser for the North Northumberland League, in front of a respectable crowd.
Both sides took to the field full of confidence led out by officials Tom Armstrong (snr), Tom Armstrong (jnr) and Amy Armstrong, a likely unique line up all from the same family, who gathered the teams around the centre circle for a minutes silence.
The first whistle blew and Red Row took the initiative kicking downhill they had the better of the opening exchanges, and even clipped the crossbar on five minutes, as Shilbottle appeared sluggish out of the blocks. Within 15-20 minutes the match had evened out as Shilbottle began to reduce the number of forays into their own box and venture deeper into the opposition half. The first goal came from stalwart Ron Murray who notched from the edge of the six yard box.
Shilbottle doubled their advantage approximately 10 minutes later through Stephen Shendon who stroked the ball home from within the penalty area.
With the half time scoreline at 2-0 to Shilbottle the match restarted and Red Row breathed a sigh of relief as an early effort from Liam Brooks was ruled offside. This rallied those clad in red and they dug deep to take the match to Shilbottle however dispite a rousing twenty minute spell Shilbottle scored their third with only ten minutes remaining on the clock via Brad McClelland. Within minutes the ‘bottle’ completed the evening with a forth again from Brad McClelland and saw the match through to it’s conclusion.
Shilbottle were deserving winners and Red Red sporting in defeat applauded the victors as they lifted the trophy.
These two sides will surely be ones to watch in the charge for the North Northumberland League title.
The fixture has managed to raise approximately £450 for charity which will be split evenly between The Stephen Carey Fund and the Northumberland FA Benevolent Fund.