COUNTY UNDER 18 REPRESENTATIVE TEAM
F. A. COUNTY YOUTH CUP – SEMI FINAL
SUNDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2018
BERKS & BUCKS v. STAFFORDSHIRE
At BRACKNELL TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB
Having received a Bye in the First Round of the Competition the Team had beaten Manchester FA at Hednesford Town FC in the Second Round by 2 – 1. This was followed up in Round Three with a 1 – 0 win over Northamptonshire FA at Stafford Rangers FC and a 3 - 1 win on kicks from the penalty mark following a 2 – 2 draw after extra time against Oxfordshire back at Hednesford Town FC.
The stage was now set for a first Semi Final since 2011 against Berks & Bucks FA on the artificial grass pitch at Bracknell Town FC.
The Team had very much been the ‘Underdog’ in all of our previous matches, and this was to continue against a Team who had scored 19 goals in their four matches in the Competition. They had beaten London 2 – 5, Sussex 5 – 1, Cambridgeshire 0 – 4 and Liverpool 5 – 1.
The game started well and two excellent goals from Jordan Dodd after 10 mins and Brad Sharman after 14 mins gave the Team a dream start. However, Berks & Bucks got back into the game when they converted a penalty after 23 mins – but only the rebound after another excellent penalty save from Jamie Pardington.
A second goal from Brad Sharman after 50 mins restored the two goal advantage which lasted all of six minutes when Berks & Bucks made the score 2 – 3 after 56 mins. The game swung from end to end as Berks & Bucks sought an equaliser and Staffordshire looked to put the game out of their reach.
After 79 mins Staffordshire did just that when Jordan Dodd scored his second of the day and Staffordshire's place in the Final was sealed when Liam Riley-Stewart made it a nap hand on 86 mins.
The Team kept their heads and after the interminable stoppage time were able to celebrate their place in the Final.
We look forward to receiving the details of the Final following Saturday’s Second Semi Final between Norfolk and Gloucestershire.