Staffordshire FA Midweek Floodlit Youth Cup Final
Monday 30th April 2018 at Stafford Rangers FC
Wednesfield 1 Rushall Olympic 0
On a cool night at Marston Road the two title challengers in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Premier Division North met for the right to lift the Midweek Floodlit Youth Cup with a tight contest expected.
This competition has seen a number of single goal wins over recent seasons and this years version began in a similar vein with very little to choose between the two sides early on although it was Wednesfield who settled first and could have taken the lead but for a long range effort tipped over the bar by Jamie Pardington in the Pics goal.
Rushall themselves created opportunities to nick a decisive goal but were unable to test Vishal Sharma in the Wednesfield goal and with the half drifting towards stalemate they were made to pay for their misses.
Owen Odosomwan cut inside the box from the right creating space in front of goal and although Pardington got his hand to the ball, there was just enough power on his strike to find its way into the far corner of the net and give Wednesfield a 1-0 lead at the break.
The second half started with Pics on the front foot looking to get back on level terms.
Despite a number of set pieces they could not create a clear opening although the Wednesfield goal led a charmed life when one cross drifted across the box just a couple of yards out with nobody on hand to get the final touch.
The task got a little harder for Pics midway through the second half when Jakob Burroughs saw red for a heavy challenge on Wednesfield defender Steven Camara so any comeback would have to be with a man down.
For a while though the Pics remained on top but again they struggled to create clear openings from which to test keeper Sharma and a penalty appeal waved away midway through the second half only added to their frustration.
Chances at either end were at a premium with set pieces being dealt with comfortably with Rushall keeper Pardington only called into action to beat Wednesfield skipper Kieron Cooke to a long bouncing through ball.
Rushall’s final opportunity of the night came with a free-kick on the edge of the box which cleared the wall but also the bar and that was that, another close encounter of the Midweek Floodlit Youth Cup kind saw Wednesfield take the trophy back to Amos Lane with a 1-0 win.
Congratulations to both sides on reaching the final and to Wednesfield on their win as well as a big thank you to the supporters who made the trip to Marston Road to cheer on their sides.