Stoke City u23’s were triumphant against Chasetown in the Staffordshire Senior Cup final after a nail-biting affair at Vale Park which required a…

Report written by Ross Lascelles - Staffordshire University

It took no more than 2 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, as Liam Holt floated a beautifully weighted pass over the Stoke defence to find Matthew Gardner, who calmly slotted a left foot finish through the legs of Harry Isted to give the scholars an early lead.

Stoke very nearly replied instantly. A deflected effort from the edge of the box by Tyrese Campbell fell straight into the path of Dom Telford, but he fired his shot into the side netting from close range.

The next opportunity fell to the Potters once again in the 19th minute. A Tom Edwards cross from the right hand side found Daniel Jarvis at the far post who’s shot was deflected and just about tipped over for a corner by Curtis Pond.

Stoke began to gain real control of the game as they controlled possession with Chasetown looking happy to sit in their own half and defend their lead.

Just after the half hour mark, an in-swinging cross from the left by Ryan Hill fell to Dom Telford lurking at the far post, with the striker doing well to control and get away from his marker only for his shot to rebound off the near post.

10 minutes later Stoke rattled the woodwork once again, this time through a spectacular effort from Jarvis. The youngster teed himself up with a sublime first touch before smashing his volley at crossbar, leaving Pond rooted to his spot as Stoke continued their pursuit of an equaliser.

Stoke went in frustrated at the break, having dominated possession and multiple opportunities to level the scoring but a lack of cutting edge where it mattered.

The second half began with Stoke picking up where they left off. 2 minutes after the restart, Jarvis was gifted an opportunity after a misplaced clearance from Slater fell straight to him on the edge of the box, though his first time shot whistled just inches over the bar.

5 minutes later Stoke had one of their best chances of the game, as Tyrese Campbell found himself beyond the Chasetown centre halves with just the keeper to beat, but his left foot finish sailed way over the bar.

Stoke continued their pressure and were once again whiskers away from equalising in the 75th minute. A short free kick from Telford found Hill on the edge of the box who cut on to his right foot and curled a shot that skimmed just wide of the far post.

Following a series of desperate crosses that were all easily gathered by Pond, it looked as though Chasetown would hold on to secure their first senior cup title.

However, Stoke were awarded a corner in the 2nd minute of injury time and Harry Souttar rose above everyone in the box to nod home the well-deserved equaliser for the hometown side, forcing the game into a penalty shootout.

The first two penalties were dispatched comfortably, with both Peter Till and Dom Telford having success from the spot before Jack Langston’s penalty was expertly stopped by Harry Isted. Ryan Hill and Mitchell Piggon then both went on to score their penalties before Tyrese Campbell’s penalty was saved by Pond to even up the shootout. Liam Holt and Tom Edwards then made no mistake before James Dance had his penalty stopped by Isted to hand Stoke the match point. Jack Devlin then put away the all-important penalty to clinch the Senior Cup trophy for the Potters.