The annual Monxton vs Amport Challenge took place on 5th February on Amport Green, following a close contest last year which ended in a penalty shoot out. This year saw an excellent turnout with Amport fielding a squad of sixteen and Monxton fourteen, with the side lines packed with enthusiastic support for both teams. The 8 a side contest with rolling subs saw a frenetic first half dominated by the Amport team where an experienced midfield controlled possession. Half time saw Amport go in with a healthy lead with Fraser dominating the show for Amport. Arguably it could have been worse had it not been for the heroic efforts the fans have come to expect from the Monxton keeper, Steve “I’m retiring” Nichols.
Monxton came out in the second half with a spirited performance and seemed to have the upper hand as the experienced Amport footballers started to tire. Tackles were formidable, including Tiff Boldt taking a heavy tackle from Charlie Horrell (yes, they do both play for Monxton). Having weathered long periods of pressure including goals from Tyler and Boldty, Amport scored a late goal to seal Monxton’s fate with a 5 – 2 win.
Congratulations and warm handshakes were exchanged, along with celebratory drinks in the Hawk. Richard Pearce presented the new Amport vs Monxton Challenge Cup to Fraser on behalf of the Amport team, and duly announced that the trophy will be kept behind the bar at the Hawk as a constant reminder of the century long standing, albeit recently, more friendly rivalry between the villages.