Monday 16th April 2018
at Stafford Rangers FC
Ossma Blurton TTFC 2 Redgate Clayton 1
Marston Road hosted this season’s Senior Challenge Vase Final as two Staffordshire County Senior League sides did battle for the crown with Division One leaders Ossma Blurton TTFC facing Premier Division Redgate Clayton.
The first half began with Redgate on the front foot and Ossma keeper Mark Jones had to be alert when a looping cross into the box looked like causing a problem but he collected confidently and the danger passed.
There was a competitive edge to the game and it was an even start but Delroy Fox would have hoped to have done better with a shot from the edge of the area that flew over the bar.
Jones almost handed Redgate the lead but his error came to nothing as Matt Barlow’s shot hit the side netting.
Ossma put the Redgate defence under pressure midway through the half with a series of set pieces where they saw a headed effort from just over the bar from Ben Lees and a shot cleared off the line from inside the six yard box when it looked certain Lees would put the Division One side ahead.
Keeper Matt Holmes was being kept busy in the Redgate goal and he was penalised for picking up a back pass later in the half but he and a crowded goal line prevented Ossma’s Danny Meek opening the scoring.
At the other end Jones in the Ossma goal was quick off his line to snuff out Redgate’s attack on a number of occasions but it was Holmes again called into action with a close range save under pressure from Lees again after a deep cross into the box.
The second half started in spectacular fashion with a wonder goal from Redgate’s Jimmy Gartside who struck from well outside the area to give them the lead just minutes into the second half.
This marked a spell of pressure for Redgate as Ossma struggled to replicate their performance in the opening half. Dogged defending kept Ossma from conceding further goals but they missed a golden chance to draw level when Sean Turner headed narrowly wide from 6 yards out.
Shortly after Ossma were handed a route back into the tie when Danny Meek was adjudged to have been fouled and he stepped up to stroke home the penalty and tie the game up.
Both sides were now on the hunt for the winner with Ossma’s sub Billy Silvester looking lively going forward but Redgate came close late on when Wayne Glover headed over from a corner.
With time slipping away and a penalty shoot-out looming it was Meek who settled the tie, creating space in the box and slotting home past Holmes to give Ossma a dramatic late winner and they held on for the remaining moments to claim this year’s Senior Vase crown.
Thanks to all the supporters who came out to cheer on their sides and to Ossma Blurton TTFC, Staffordshire FA Senior Challenge Vase champions for 2017/18.