ACCRINGTON Stanley's fans team travelled to Radcliffe Borough to defend the Northern Premier Supporter Football Challenge Cup they won earlier in the year.
The omens were bad from the start for Stanley in the five-a-side competition, as the no show of their regular and substitute keeper's meant that player-manager Steve Lowe had to step into goal.
The first game in the group stages saw the Reds up against Bury Fans United, and with less than 60 seconds on the clock Stanley were 1-0 up from a Glen Barnes pile-driver. It was 7-1 at half-time, the Reds then gave some of the youngsters a chance and it finished 9-1 to Stanley.
The game that followed against Telford proved to be a much closer affair with Stanley running out 4-3 winners thanks to goals from Barnes, Brian Thoburn, Guy Walker and Neal Goulding.
The last game in the group presented Stanley with a challenge against their old adversaries Southport. Having beaten the Sandgrovers in 11-a-side and six-a-side competitions this year, the Reds knew they would be in for a game. But a captain's performance from Barnes who, along with Brian Thoburn were beginning to sober up, ensured they ran out 5-2 winners.
The scoreline was repeated in their next game as Stevenage Borough failed to stop the Red onslaught. Another Barnes hat-trick and some fine stops from the stand-in keeper ensured the Stanley boys an easy passage to a semi-final show down with Telford.
This proved to be no problem as they ran out comfortable 8-2 winners.
The final brought Dumbarton, the world.net winners from earlier this year. The Scottish boys had been just as impressive as the Stanley squad throughout the day with some good wins notably a 16-3 thrashing of Everton. The Reds took the lead through a Barnes penalty and doubled their lead with a strike from the impressive Goulding.
Dumbarton scored on the stroke of half-time to set the nerves on edge. The second half saw the Stanley lads tire and the Tartan terrors capitalised with three more goals. They did not have it all their own way as the Reds hit the post and crossbar on more than one occasion but Dumbarton held their nerve and lifted the cup with a 4-2 win. A return leg in Scotland has been arranged.
Stanley Line up: Stephen Lowe GK/Manager, Glen Barnes Capt., Brian Thoburn, Neil Golding, Darren Helm, Guy "the Duke" Walker, Rob Taylor, Paul Baldwin, Lee Carter.