Staffordshire FA Sunday Premier Cup Final
Tuesday 1st May 2018 at Stafford Rangers FC
The Staffordshire Knot 3 Victoria 0
For the second successive evening Marston Road hosted a Staffordshire FA Final with the Sunday Premier Cup taking centre stage in a repeat of last season’s Sunday Challenge Cup Final.
Victoria were winners last season at the same venue and Knot were determined to make amends this time around - and it only took them two minutes to open the scoring when Sean Mountford was sent through on goal and he lifted the ball over Andy Hughes in the Vic goal to put them 1-0 up.
With the wind and a tenacious Knot team against them Victoria were struggling to create any clear chances and they could easily have been further behind before Craig Bannister’s glancing header over the bar threatened a way back into the tie.
Their task got harder midway through the first half when a shot from Kris Harrison was diverted over the diving Hughes by Mike Keats and despite offside claims the goal stood and Knot were 2-0 ahead.
Victoria had their best spell of pressure in the build up to half time and David Arrowsmith was denied by Matthew Acton in the Knot goal to preserve the two goal lead and it was Acton again preventing Victoria’s Nathan Stone from pulling a goal back almost on the stroke of half time.
The second half began in much the same vein with Knot defending their lead and maintaing a tight reign on the dangerous front two of Chad Birch and Craig Bannister for Victoria with neither striker allowed a clear sight of goal all evening.
As the game opened up with Victoria pushing for a route back into the game it was a counter attack at the other end that sealed the win for Knot when Kris Harrison slotted home a third to send their bench into raptures.
As the clock ticked away Bannister fired over from the edge of the box which turned out to be the last chance of the match and Knot were left to celebrate a great team performance and a 3-0 win to avenge their defeat in last season’s Sunday Challenge Cup Final.
Skipper Michael Keates stepped forward to receive the trophy and the celebrations began as Staffordshire Knot were crowned Staffordshire FA Sunday Premier Cup champions for 2017/18.