Challenge Cup

Challenge Cup Semi Final Preview


With two Challenge Cup semi-finals taking place on Saturday 1 February (3pm KO), Staffordshire FA takes a look back on each team’s route to the last four…


Challenge CupCastlecroft Rangers vs Lichfield City U21

Rushall Olympic U21 vs Uttoxeter Town Reserves


Castlecroft Rangers

Round 1 – Bye

Round 2 – Staffordshire Victoria 3-4 Castlecroft Rangers 

Qtr Final – Castlecroft Rangers 2-1 Ball Haye Green Res

Castlecroft Rangers have had a tough route to the final, coming up against two Staffordshire County Senior League sides in the shape of Staffs Victoria and Ball Haye Green, overcoming both teams by the tightest of margins. The Birmingham & District Football League outfit will look towards skipper Blake Ansell to fire them into the final as they come up against a strong Lichfield City U21 side, whilst also hoping Paul Dann helps keep the door shut at the other end of the pitch. Castlecroft currently sit third in the Birmingham & District Football League Division Five table, having taken 20 points out of a possible 27 so far this season. 

Lichfield City U21

Round 1 – Bye

Round 2 – Lichfield City U21 3-2 Wyrley Titans

Qtr Final – Chasetown U21 0-1 Lichfield City U21

Lichfield U21s are another team who have had to work hard to progress to the semi-finals, narrowly overcoming Wyrley Titans and fellow U21 outfit, Chasetown FC. The Midland Football League side will be looking to improve their fortunes this season as they currently sit 10th out of 12 in the Midland Football League U21 West Division, and with a potential cup final only 90 minutes away, they are likely to throw everything at Castlecroft Rangers. 

Rushall Olympic U21

Round 1 – Bye

Round 2 – Rushall Olympic U21 6-2 Norton Canes

Round 3 – Rushall Olympic U21 4-1 Madeley White Star

Rushall Olympic U21 so far have set the competition alight, with their attacking threat paying dividends as they currently stand as the competition’s highest scorers, notching up 10 goals on their way to the semi-final, including a revenge victory over Madeley White Star who overcame Rushall Olympic U21s in last season’s final. The Midlands Football League U21s West Division side currently sit top of their table having won 10 out of their 15 league games this season and will be a strong favourite of many to go on and lift the Challenge Cup trophy this season. 

Uttoxeter Town Reserves

Round 1 – Bye

Round 2 – Eastwood Hanley Dev 0-6 Uttoxeter Town Reserves 

Round 3 – Brocton U21 0-2 Uttoxeter Town Reserves

Uttoxeter Town Reserves are another team who have dominated throughout the competition so far, scoring eight on their route to the semi-finals without conceding a single goal. The Midland Football League Division Four side currently sit fifth out of 11 in the league, winning four of their nine games. Having won, drawn and lost in their last three, it’s fair to say their current form is inconsistent, but as shown by their route to the semi-final, if they can find some form against Rushall Olympic U21, they may well just make their way to the final this season.