Staffordshire FA Challenge Cup Final
Monday 23rd April April 2018
at Brocton FC
Madeley White Star 3 Staffordshire Moorlands 1
Our second successive final at Silkmore Lane Sports Ground saw a much cooler evening for the re-arranged Challenge Cup Final between Madeley White Star and Staffordshire Moorlands on Monday evening.
The game kicked off with a blustery wind and grey clouds threatening rain but otherwise the pitch looked in great condition and it was Staffordshire Moorlands who settled first.
Their midfield, led by skipper Sam Golden, dominated the early stages and an angled long ball from Golden gave Tom Porter the chance to put in a cross which was just too high for Rich Smith in the area.
Aside from this the chances were few and far between with both sides struggling to create any clear opportunities and neither keeper had been called into action midway through the half.
Just before the hour mark the deadlock was broken when Golden nodded home from close range after the Madeley defence had failed to deal with a free-kick into the penalty area and the ball bounced in front of the Moorlands skipper with an empty net in front of him.
This led to a spell of pressure as Moorlands looked to double their lead with Rory Corden’s long throw always a potential danger for Madeley.
However it was a short corner that almost led to a second goal moments before the break when a low cross from Daniel Lancett evaded numerous bodies in the box and drifted wide of the far post leaving the scoreline at 1-0 going into the break.
The second half could not have seen a more dramatic turnaround in fortunes.
After Moorlands went into the break the dominant side, Madeley stepped up a gear in the second half and began press for an equaliser - and they should have been level around the hour point when Kieran Brown headed over the bar from inside the six yard box.
However, the equaliser followed soon after when Brown nipped in-between defender Tom Edwards and keeper Sam Brownsword to flick the ball into the net and tie the game at 1-1.
Within minutes the comeback was complete with George Bosson heading home from a corner and they settled the tie with ten minutes to go as Brown took advantage of a defensive slip by Moorlands to fire past Brownsword and finish the scoring.
Madeley could have added a fourth but a fine strike from Bosson clipped the outside of the post but they did not need it and celebrated a great comeback at the final whistle being crowned Challenge Cup Final winners for 2017/18/
It was certainly a final of two halves but credit to both sides for an exciting game of football, especially in the second half with the result very much in doubt until late in the game.
Thanks to all supporters who came to support their teams and to Brocton for once again supplying a playing surface fit for the occassion.