Staffordshire FA County Youth Under 16 Sunday Cup Final
Tuesday 17th April 2018
at Stone Dominoes FC
Ball Haye Green Youth 1 Red Star AFC 3
Wellbeing Park welcomed both teams on a pleasant evening in Stone as we saw a north v south clash for the right to be crowned Under 16 champions of Staffordshire.
Both teams looked to make a fast start to the game with the crowd being treated to an open, end to end game of football in the opening minutes with very few clear cut chances but plenty of effort and attacking intent.
Red Star settled into the game and began to press forward although they were just missing that final ball to carve a way through the Ball Haye Green back line with a similar story at the other end of the field with the game looking like a set piece would provide the opener.
Red Star had a series of corners and free-kicks around the box that caused issues for their opponents but they defended these well and, again, few clear opportunities resulted.
On the half hour mark the breakthrough finally came when Dominic Lewis headed the ball into space for Callum Shermer-Hull to run onto and fire low into the bottom corner giving keeper Matt Morey no chance and putting Red Star 1-0 ahead.
Shortly after they almost doubled their lead when a corner kick drifted across the face of goal but the header from Jack Horton drifted inches wide although it proved to be a brief escape for Ball Haye Green.
With only moments to go before the break, Shermer-Hull picked up the loose ball after a challenge on the edge of the box and stabbed the ball past Morey to send Red Star into half time with a 2-0 lead.
The second half saw the Leek side battle back into the game and they almost pulled a goal back early in the second half when a corner kick led to a scramble and the shot on goal from Jay Wilkinson was cleared off the line by Tom Perks to keep Red Star’s lead intact.
The next goal would be crucial and, despite Ball Haye Green being on the front foot for most of the half, it came at the other end when Jack Horton fired home from the edge of the box to seal the game at 3-0.
Ball Haye Green did score a much deserved consolation towards the end with a Jay Wilkinson thunderbolt from just outside the area giving Connor Myers no chance although with only a few minutes remaining they could not find a second to set up what would have been a tense period of added time.
Credit must go to both sides for serving up a great game of football played in a competitive but sporting manner with experienced Premier League referee Alan Wiley not having to brandish a single yellow card all evening and both concentrating on playing football - both sides were a shining example to their clubs and to the county for their conduct.
Congratulations to Red Star on their victory and thanks to all supporters who came along to support both sides.