Sunday League club Crofton Saints win John Norton Memorial Cup twice in the space of a few weeks
Crofton Saints won the Gosport, Fareham & Solent Sunday League’s John Norton Memorial Cup for the second time in a matter of weeks.
Last month they defeated C J Glass on penalties to win the 2019/20 final at Fareham’s Cams Alders.
They retained the trophy for the 2020/21 campaign with a 3-1 success against Village Home at Fleetlands FC.
George Sanford, Dan Francis and Harvey Clark netted in the first half with Stan Edwards replying after the break.
There were three red cards in the second half - two for Village Home players and one for Crofton keeper Liam Lavin for two bookable offences.
Lavin was first booked for ungentlemanly conduct, and then dismissed for bringing down Ryan Marchbank outside the area.
Crofton, who finish their league campaign this weekend, took the lead when centre half Sanford netted from a Harvey Clark corner.
Left winger Dan Francis doubled the advantage when he converted a cross from George Clark - Harvey’s elder brother - at the far post.
And Crofton were cruising when Harvey Clark netted direct from a 25-yard free-kick.
Edwards replied late on for Village Home, with Crofton skipper Billy Broadway having taken over in goal.
Lavin had enjoyed Crofton’s first John Norton Cup win a lot more.
After a 1-1 draw with C J Glass, he saved two penalties in the resultant shoot-out which Crofton won 2-0.
In all, Glass missed four spot-kicks - firing one effort over the bar and seeing another rebound off the bar!
The second cup win completed a good season for Crofton’s two adult teams, as their reserves recently completed a league and cup double. They followed up winning Division 3 of the GFSL by beating White Horse (Portsmouth) Reserves 5-1 in the final of the Frank & Pat Marsden Cup at Cams Alders.
Four of the side against Village had played for the reserves against White Horse - Kai Sterne, Josh Fox, Adam Hatton and Nando Brazao.
Two members of the club’s under-18s, Ben Stabley and Kian Nixon, were on the bench at Fleetlands but have two Mid-Solent Cup finals of their own to look forward to.
Crofton take on Gosport in the Junior A U18 final at Westleigh Park tonight and next Thursday face Havant & Waterlooville at the same venue in the Challenge Cup final.
Crofton, formed in 1990, have 24 youth teams in all.