Staffordshire FA County Youth Under 16 Sunday Cup Final
Tuesday 9 April 2019
Hillfields, Rocester FC
Phoenix Rangers Juniors lifted the Staffordshire FA County Youth Under-16 Sunday Cup with a 2-0 victory against Lichfield City on Tuesday 9 April.
The match, taking place at Rocester FC’s Hillfields Ground, saw Rangers seize the lead after only eight minutes from the spot. A late strike from Nathan Brown capped off victory for Rangers.
The clash itself was highly-anticipated, with the top two in the Burton & District Junior League Division One facing off. The previous three match-ups between them saw little to choose from.
Whilst this time it was Lichfield who looked the more dangerous in the opening exchanges, going close with a header from a set piece, they were to find themselves a goal down when they conceded a penalty just eight minutes in. Ryan Tait was the man to step up and confidently strike the ball home to give Rangers an early lead.
Lichfield pressed throughout the opening half but were unable to create too many clear openings. Jacob Grant was presented with one of their rare opportunities before the break as he almost connected with an overhead kick but the ball drifted wide of the target.
Phoenix almost hit a second on the break as a close range header was lifted over the bar. They almost paid the price for that miss when Marcus Baikie’s strike from the edge of the area on one of Lichfield’s forays forward rattled the Rangers’ crossbar with keeper Charlie Leake beaten.
The second half saw a similar pattern with Lichfield unable to unlock a stubborn Phoenix defence. Alfie Young though missed a golden chance to draw his side level when his shot from just inside the area lacked enough power to beat Leake.
Lichfield almost went two goals down 10 minutes from time but Noah Young pulled off a fine save from Kyle Bambrick. It proved to be a short lived escape when Nathan Brown skipped round Young to slot into an empty net just a few moments later to seal the victory and the Under 16 Sunday Cup for Rangers.