WALSALL SENIOR CUP MATCH REPORT
It was a thrilling encounter at the Pirelli Stadium as Walsall FC and Rushall Olympic battled it out in the Walsall Senior Cup final.
The reigning champions, Rushall, were looking to retain their title and complete a remarkable trophy treble, while Walsall were hoping to cause an upset and lift the cup themselves.
The game got off to a blistering start with Rushall taking the lead in the 11th minute. Carvalho-Landell received the ball centrally on the edge of the Walsall penalty area and calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner of the net. Olympic doubled their lead just eight minutes later, as Walsall lost possession in their own half and Alex Cameron ran through one on one, sliding the ball past Barrett in the Walsall goal and into the bottom corner.
However, Walsall refused to go down without a fight and pulled a goal back just two minutes later. Maher took the ball around the keeper but looked to have taken it too wide before cutting back and smashing the ball into the back of the net. Rushall nearly restored their two-goal lead straight from kick-off, with Cameron firing a shot through Barrett's legs and off the inside of the post.
The first half continued to provide plenty of action, but the score remained 2-1 to Rushall at the break.
The second half started in similar fashion, with Rushall hitting the woodwork for the second time in the 52nd minute as a freekick was headed down by Whittall but hit the inside of the post and out. Walsall had their chances too, with Maher going close with a deflected shot from the edge of the area.
But it was Rushall who scored the crucial next goal, with a looped cross towards the back post being met with a powerful header from Richard Batchelor in the 63rd minute. Rushall nearly scored a fourth goal in the 78th minute, but Cameron's shot was well saved by Barrett.
Olympic thought they had a fourth goal in the 87th minute through Cook's header, but not all of the ball crossed the line, and Walsall were able to escape. Barrett made another good save in stoppage time to deny Cook again, but it wasn't enough to change the outcome of the game.
The final whistle blew, and Rushall Olympic had retained their Walsall Senior Cup title, completing a remarkable trophy treble for the season. Final score, Walsall FC 1-3 Rushall Olympic.