Staffordshire FA County Youth Under 15 Challenge Cup Final
Kidsgrove Athletic Youth 3 Red Star 2 (AET, FT 2-2)
at Eccleshall FC
Thursday 30th March 2017
While Kidsgrove kicked off and looked the most likely to open the scoring in the opening exchanges, Red Star settled into the game and took advantage of a set piece to open the scoring on 16 minutes when Jack Horton stabbed the ball home at the near post.
Shortly after it was almost 1-1 after a goalmouth scramble somehow failed to be converted with the ball eventually being cleared from inside the 6 yard box.
With the game end to end there was little time to catch your breath and more goals were sure to come - and so it proved shortly before half time when Josh Subhan fired Red Star 2-0 ahead after they had earlier seen an effort cleared off the line.
Going in 2-0 down at the break, it was Kidsgrove who were going to have to come out on the attack if they were to keep their hopes of winning the cup alive and that they did from the opening to the second 40 minutes.
Although clear chances were at a premium, Red Star were defending their lead well until 15 minutes from the end when rebound from a blocked header following a corner was slammed home by Cameron Jackson and it was game on.
Unbelievably, it was Jackson on target again just a few minutes later when he headed home high into the net and the comeback was complete - and extra time loomed large.
The additional period was almost avoided when a third goal from Kidsgrove was ruled out by an offside flag and so it was an extra 20 minutes to decide the winners and, from the outset, Kidsgrove were right at their opponents with the momentum swing clearly in their favour.
Red Star dug deep and kept the visitors at bay but could do nothing about the final goal of the game when Harrison Richardson fired into the top corner from 25 yards out to give Kidsgrove a 3-2 lead, a lead they held onto for the remainder of extra time.
Credit to both sides for providing a final worthy of the occasion, both teams can go home with their heads held high although it is Kidsgrove who etch their name onto the Under 15 Cup for 2016/2017.
Congratulations to them and also thanks to Eccleshall FC for providing their facilities again this season.