The Senior Challenge Vase Final was the final stop on the County Cup trail before the Easter break and a dry but cool evening greeted the teams as…

Staffordshire FA Senior Challenge Vase Final
Ball Haye Green 3 Newcastle Town U21 0
at Stafford Rangers FC
Monday 10th April 2017

Newcastle Town were first to settle and were clearly trying to use their pace and energy to grab an early goal to unsettle their opponents but, despite a number of corners and set pieces around the Ball Haye Green box, were unable to break the deadlock.

That honour went to Aaron Butt for the Leek based outfit as he curled a sublime shot into the top corner of the net to give the Green Army behind the goal an early celebration and a 1-0 lead.

The goal seemed to settle the greens and despite Newcastle looking lively, they were creating few clear cut chances and, as the match drifted towards half-time, Butt was again the toast of Leek when he slotted home past the keeper having been given the freedom of Stafford in the final third of the pitch.

Newcastle would need an early goal in the second half to make it a contest but, try as they might, they could not breach the green back line and just after the hour mark it was Butt who stretched for a header that somehow looped past the keeper into the far corner to complete his hat-trick and put one hand on the trophy.

Their opponents did not give up but faced an uphill battle and it was clearly not going to be their night when a shot came back off the post late on, keeping the Ball Haye Green clean sheet intact.

With just a few minutes remaining there was a chance for the greens to match last season’s Vase Final scoreline when they were awarded a penalty after a foul in the box but Mike Keates saw his penalty bounce back off the post - and with it went the final chance of the match.

Congratulations to both sides on reaching this stage of the competition and to Ball Haye Green for their victory.

Thanks to Stafford Rangers for the use of their ground - we will be back there in 2 weeks time for the Midweek Floodlit Youth Cup Final when Newcastle Town Youth face Wolverhampton Casuals Youth in what will be another battle of blue vs green!