Thursday, 7 May 2015

Buxton U21 1 v Staveley MW 2 - HKL NMU21L League Cup Final

HKL North Midland U21 League Cup Final
Thursday 7th May 2015
at AFC Mansfield, Forest Town Arena
Buxton U21 (0) 1
(John Ollerenshaw 90+2)
Staveley MIners Welfare (0) 2
(Kurt Morley 49 pen, Ryan Walters 51)
Staveley MW U21:
Chris Butt, Tom Gambles, Greg Fitzpatrick, Ryan Bates, Alex Pugh, James Finnigan, Ryan Watters (c), Ross Goodwin, Ryan Walters (Charlie Board 59), Mohammed Tijani (George Johnson 75), Kurt Morley (Nathan Jessop 89)
Unused subs: Joe Harris, George Slack.
Buxton U21:
Aaron Dixon, David Boden (Oliver Knowles HT), James Travis (Noah Evans 64), Shomari Doyle, John Ollerenshaw (C), Charlie Johnson, Matt Wilkinson, Danny Hopkins, Alex Airey, James Handley (Lewis Betts 82), James Gemmell. 
Unused subs - Thomas Knifton-Smith, Aaron Eyre.
Staveley's Under 21 side finished the season in a very creditable third place in the HKL North Midland U21 League, four points behind the champions Ilkeston FC (who's academy players are employed full time by their club), while tucked in between two step 3 Evo-Stik League clubs development sides, namely Carlton Town and Sheffield FC.
When these two sides had met previously this season, Buxton triumphed 2-1 at Silverlands and Staveley had won by the same score in the reverse fixture Inkersall Road, which indicated that tonight's game would be a close one to call.
The first half was very tight, with both teams trying to play a passing game, but cancelling each other out for long spells, a patient approach was required to what had begun as a cat and mouse type affair.
Ross Goodwin thought he had scored with a looping header, but the goal was ruled out and Buxton's keeper Aaron Dixon was fortunate that the referee had missed him handling the ball outside of his area... But this was a development team game and nobody wanted it spoiling as a spectacle, by having a player sent off. Especially one who had travelled to Forest Town from Manchester University under his own steam. These things balance themselves out over a season.
Staveley did create two clear cut chances, but they were rushed when taking a moment to pick a spot to place the ball would've been a better option.
Chris Butt dealt with the prolific Alex Airey magnificently in a one onto one situation, in a moment that was typical of the way the young Staveley keeper has been performing towards the end of this season for both the first team and Under 21 side.
The first half came to a finish when Ryan Watters burst into the Buxton area, seeing off two clumsy challenges, but just as he was weighing up his options about whether he should shoot or cross to Ross Goodwin, the referee Richard Eley blew up for a foul and the advantage was lost.
HT 0-0
Having weighed up Buxton in the first half, Staveley came out after the break on the front foot and stormed into a two goal lead, which Buxton never really recovered from.
On 49 minutes, Mohammed Tijani was bundled to the ground by Oliver Knowles and Staveley were awarded a penalty. 
Tijani is difficult to get around with his diminutive stature and ability to shield the ball, so Knowles won't be the last person to have to resort to nudging him out of the way ... but rules are rules.
Kurtis Morley stepped up and made no mistake from the spot. 
Advantage Staveley!
Within two minutes Buxton were dealt another blow, when Ross Goodwin sent Ryan Watters on his way and the Staveley captain drilled a cross into the six yard box that only needed a touch ... Ryan Walters was there to provide it, right on cue and he prodded the ball over the line.
The double whammy had knocked the stuffing out of Buxton and they lost their composure and shape for a while as Staveley pushed forward looking for a third goal to all but clinch the game.
Aaron Dixon saved superbly from a blistering Kurt Morley shot and was on hand again to keep out Alex Pugh's thumping header from the resulting corner.
Dixon also had to get down well to keep out a fizzing piledriver from Greg Fitzpatrick and was voted by the HKL NMU21L officials as man of the match ... even though I think personally, that they might have spelt Ross Goodwin's name wrong on the form.
Deep into stoppage time, with Staveley running the clock down, John Ollerenshaw flicked a long ball on over Chris Butt off of his head to nick a consolation goal for Buxton, as the highly rated keeper charged off his line to cover the danger.
But there were only seconds of stoppage time remaining now and Buxton barely even celebrated.
All in all, a great way for Staveley Miners Welfare to finish off the season after some recent turbulence at the club.
FT: Staveley Miners Welfare U21 2 v Buxton FC U21 1