Staffordshire FA Under 21 Sunday Cup Final
Tuesday 8th May 2018 at Eccleshall FC
Four Oaks Rangers 1 Redgate Clayton 9
A sunny evening at Pershall Park saw the Under 21 Sunday Cup Final take place with Redgate Clayton making their second successive appearance at this stage and hoping to go one better than runners-up in this, just the second ever season of the County FA’s newest competition.
Both sides started at a fast pace looking to make an early breakthrough and it was Four Oaks who went closest when Jordan Duncan saw his close range header blocked by Redgate keeper Thomas Platt.
However, it was Redgate who opened the scoring when Jack Finney crossed for Leon Hulson to fire home from 6 yards out.
Despite further pressure Redgate could not find a second goal and were made to pay on the half hour mark when Duncan headed home to draw Rangers level - although the stalemate lasted only moments.
Rangers keeper Adam Ball rushed out to meet a through ball just outside his area but Jack Finney got a toe to the ball to nudge it passed him and finished confidently to edge Redgate 2-1 ahead.
Two became three just a couple of minutes later when Ball completely missed his clearance when rushing from his box again and Kieran Brown had the simple task of guiding the ball into an empty net.
Four Oaks regained some composure and closed the half out the better and could have easily have pulled a second goal back with a couple of set pieces flashing across the goalmouth with nobody in a green shirt able to find the vital touch
The second half began badly for Four Oaks when Brown grabbed his second of the night, robbing a defender before chipping the keeper to make it 4-1 and then keeper Ball picked up a second yellow card after a foul in the penalty area leaving Zachary Nicholson to take over in goal.
The sub keeper saved the spot-kick but the rebound was lifted back into the danger area for Finney to nod home his second and a 5-1 lead.
Brown completed his hat-trick with 15 minutes to go, dinking the ball over the onrushing Nicholson before a smart headed finish saw him claim a fourth and stretch the lead to 7-1 going into the closing stages.
There was still time for Finney to complete his treble, firing home at the near post before Brown hit a fine strike from the edge of the box for his 5th of the night and the final goal of a 9-1 win.
Congratulations to Redgate for their win with a clinical display from their front two although Four Oaks will rue their missed opportunities shortly before the break which could have edged them back into the game.