The Lord Jersey Cup was first contested in 1888 and, by coincidence, featured one of today's teams, Deddington (they didn't become Town until later in their existence). They lost that game 4-2 to Middleton Stoney despite being 2-1 in front at the break. The match report for that game is available online on the Deddington Town site and on the excellent Lord Jersey Cup site which also has masses of historical information and reports from past cup finals. Well worth a browse. Since that inaugural final, Deddington have appeared in seven more finals, winning four of them. However, this is their first appearance since losing to Middleton in 1908. Graven Hill, by comparison, were only founded in 2020. This, unsurprisingly, is their first appearance.
Looking at their league form this season, Deddington appeared to hold all of the cards. One division above Graven Hill and in better form. Deddington have won four of their last six games and finished in fourth spot, exactly mid-table. Graven Hill finished their season just two points and one place above bottom side SWIS. Having said that, they too have won four of their last six and, of course, cup matches are great levellers.
Both finalists receieved a bye in Round 1 but in Round 2 both had home ties, Deddington saw off Division 2 side Arncott Atheltic 11-0 whilst Graven Hill disposed of fellow Division 1 outfit AS Hanwell 4-1. Both sides scored three in their Quarter-Final ties, Graven Hill had a superb 3-2 win over Premier League Longford Park. Deddington also beat Premier League opposition as they went to Bodicote Sports and came back with a 3-1 win. In the Semi-Finals both sides won 2-0 against Division 1 teams, Deddington at SWIS and Graven Hill at home to Hornton.
One player that Graven Hill will need to watch out for is Joe Thornton. The Deddington hit-man has scored in all three games leading to this final. He got five against Arncott and all three at Bodicote as well as one in the semi-final.
Graven Hill were given the task of playing up the Ardley slope in the first half putting the emphasis on Deddington to come at them in the first period. The green & white stripes started quickly. However, the opening 20 minutes of the game were quite cagey. Neither side unduly threatened the opposition goalkeeper as the defences dominated play.
We were 23 minutes in before either keeper had to get his knees dirty. The chance came from a long punt down the slope from Deddington. The ball caught out the Hill defence allowing Deddington's Number 9 to get in behind and judge the bounce of the ball. His header looked bound for the top corner before Graven Hill's keeper stretched out a hand to tip the ball over. Good reactions from the keeper.
That piece of action seemed to stir Deddington who began to take a hold on the game, using the slope to their advantage. Just past the half hour mark their Number 9 again came close. Town were awarded a free-kick some 25 yards out but to the left of the Graven Hill goal. Shaping as if the ball would be clipped into the far post the striker cheekily drilled an effort towards the near post, catching out the keeper but seeing his effort zip just wide. Not to be outdone though, Graven Hill launched an attack of their own a minute later, winning a corner. The ball was played into the edge of the six yard box where Number 14 met it will a crisp half volley, but also saw his effort flash just wide of the post. Some promising goalmouth action at both ends. However, neither team could capitalise on that action. Deddington continued to apply some pressure and have more of the ball, but Hill held firm to get to half-time all square.
HT Graven Hill 0 Deddington Town 0. Hill started the better of the two but as the half wore on Deddington took advantage of playing down the slope and began to dominate possession whilst not really creating any clear cut opportunities. All to play for.
With extra-time time beckoning Deddington won a free-kick just inside the Graven hill half, way out on the right side. We were well into time added on and Town through their big players forward in a last ditch effort to snatch a goal, as the ball was delivered towards the far post. Sure enough Ash Lowe rose highest, directing his header past the keeper and into the net to cue wild celebrations from the Town team and support. 0-1.
FT Graven Hill 0 Deddington Town 1. A sixth Jersey Cup for Deddington but they had to work very hard to get past a well organised and determined Graven Hill team. This game could have gone either way right up to the very last second. If Hill continue to play in this style, they can look forward to a much higher league position next season. Both sides took advantage of the Ardley slope and, during their times to kick downhill, dominated possession. However, Deddington bucked the trend by snatching the goal against the general run of play and against the slope of the pitch, hence the blog title (rather than reference to a David Bowie track).
Apologies for shirt numbers rather than names but I don't have any copies of team sheets. If anyone wants to match them up or send me team sheets, I will happily edit the report.
Deddington Town(squad): Lowe, Shepherd, Reynolds, Reed, Arnold, Ashworth, Davies, Radcliffe, Thornton, McDougall, Catania, Large, Bradford, Hull, Hall, Atherton
Ground Number: re-visit