Staffordshire FA Midweek Floodlit Youth Cup Final
Rushall Olympic 2 Stafford Rangers 0
Monday 1 April 2019
The Scholars Ground, Chasetown FC
Midland Floodlit Youth League rivals Rushall Olympic and Stafford Rangers went head-to-head in the final of this season’s Midweek Floodlit Youth Cup at Chasetown on Monday evening.
Having already played in two close fixtures so far, it was no surprise that there was little to choose between the two sides in the opening 45 minutes.
Both sides missed opportunities to take a lead into the break, with Keiron Berry the first to go close for the Pics but Charlie Baker in the Rangers goal kept him at bay and Berry saw another chance fly over the crossbar.
At the other end, Declan Arber was a constant menace but also couldn’t find a way past Alex Graham in the Rushall goal.
Brad Shinton saw his way into the referee’s notebook shortly after seeing a penalty appeal turned down, while Max Dixon saw his shot from inside the box cleared to safety.
Arber appeared to have the Rangers defence beaten for pace as the clock ran down on the opening half, but Ben Cadwallader tracked back and forced a shot from distance that was deflected for a corner.
The second half, however, belonged to the Pics as they started fast with a Brandon Herkes free-kick flashing across the face of goal shortly before they edged ahead.
Berry turned provider, laying the ball off at the edge of the area for Joe Pemberton to strike beautifully into the top corner, giving Baker in the Rangers goal no chance.
As is always the case with this final, the action was relentless - but with very few clear cut chances, the second goal of the night would be crucial and so it proved with just over 10 minutes to go.
Berry, having missed chances in the first half, made amends with a smart lob over Baker from the edge of the area which found the back of the net despite Connor Taylor attempting to hook the ball clear from the goal line.
The final ten minutes saw Rangers push for a way back into the game but they rarely troubled the Pics goal and the full-time whistle sounded to confirm Rushall as this season’s Midweek Floodlit Youth Cup champions.
Congratulations to both teams for a hard fought battle played in the right spirit and thanks to all supporters who came along to support their teams on the night.