Denaby Utd – Denaby 1, Northcliffe W.M.C. 0 – Montagu Cup Final Replay

9 May 1970

South Yorkshire Times, May 9th, 1970

Two Minutes To Go…And Willey Cracks One In For Denaby!

Montagu Cup Final Replay

Denaby United 1, Northcliffe W.M.C. 0

Roger Willey and Kennie Bowden were the toast of Denaby on Sunday when they produced the goal that won the Montagu Cup for Denaby United……though it took the Yorkshire League club 178 minutes to crack Northcliffe’s defence.

There were only two minutes left in this tension-packed replay, just 120 seconds to extra time, when the cup-winning goal was scored by Willey.  Bowden and Northcliffe goalkeeper Whitehead had been involved in a chase for a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and towards Denaby’s right wing.  Denaby’s slip of an inside-forward got there first, coolly took the ball past Whitehead, and laid it across goal for Willey to shoot home, despite the despairing attempt of Holden to keep the ball out.

High Drama

It was a moment of high drama, and in that second, when Willey hovered in front of goal with the fate of the Montague Cup at his feet, the vast crowd was silent.  All the hopes and the tensions of this tremendous final were packed into that one moment.

For Denaby, it marked the triumphant culmination of a season in which they promised so much but won so little. It was the reward for a wonderful run in the new F.A. Trophy for some fine performances in the League and League Cup, and for suffering defeat in the Challenge Cup Final a week earlier.

But for Northcliffe, it was that despairing moment when all the effort came to nought, and the club’s chance of beating a side brimming with Yorkshire League talent was irrevocably lost.

Like the first 0-0 draw, this match could have gone either way to the very end.  Indeed, was Northcliffe, the Doncaster Senior League, who came nearest to scoring in the first half.


Sixteen minutes were up when Colin Pears, Northcliffe’s young schemer, received the ball twenty-five yards out and unleashed, a tremendous drive that rattled the crossbar before rebounding to safety.

In these opening minutes Northcliffe were on top, with Pears swinging the ball about intelligently and Kelly prominent in attack.  The centre-forward hit one just over the top after a lovely three man move after a quarter of an hour.

Denaby were tight in defence, with Peter Whitehead lending some stability and experience to the youth and vigour of Allen and Gray.

Lost Control

But Northcliffe were repicking up a lot of the ball in midfield, and 40 minutes were up before the Yorkshire League side had a real chance.  Then Bowden lost control on the way to goal and the ball was cleared.

It was Bowden again in the second half, hitting a fine shot that had Northcliffe ‘keeper Whitehead stretching to save.

The ball was in the Denaby net after 53 minutes but the referee had spotted an infringement, and for a long period afterwards it was Denaby on the attack.  Morley had come on as substitute, and with all guns firing he was soon the fray.  A neat flick of the head gave Bowden an opening, but the whistle blew for offside before the ball had hit the back of the net.

Only Just…

Morley himself was just over the top with a fine shot, before Northcliffe brought on substitute Mace and the game swung their way.

He almost made a goal straight away, clashing with the ‘keeper, but Kelly couldn’t turn the ball in from a difficult angle.

Extra time was on the cards when the final blow sunk Northcliffe and brought the Montagu Cub to Tickhill Square.  The end of the second all-Denaby final in 70 years of cup history.


Denaby United: Whitehead (k), Allen, Sapey (C), Pettit, Gray, Whitehead (P), England, Willey, Bowden, Sapey (H), Reynolds. Sub: Morley.

Northcliffe: Whitehead (H), Holden (M), Whitehouse (Keith), Laycock, Taylor, Cotton, Holden (B), Kelly, Pears, Reed, Sub: Mace.

Referee: Mr. G. Wordsworth,

Linesmen: Mr. D Jones, Mr. T. Richardson.