Stocksbridge Park Steels U18s won a sensational double after beating Worsbrough Bridge 4-1 to win the final of the Meadowhall and Bud Evans Cup.
The Steels U18s were coming into this final having got this far last season only to lose to Kiveton Miners Welfare. This time, they were happy to have got control of the game early on. They weren’t able to get clear cut chances as Worsbrough’s defence remained strong but it was clear the Steels were in the ascendancy.
Eventually, Stocksbridge got a clear cut chance and they took it. A cross floated in from the right wing was headed back into the six-yard box and who else but John Hennessey was there to tap in from close range to give the Young Steels the lead.
A common football saying is that you are at your most vulnerable after you’ve scored. This adage looked true here as Worsbrough had their best period of the first half. They almost scored within a minute of going behind but their strike was denied clearly in the box by a great save from Daniel Emery. The Steels looked a bit shaky at this time too, giving the ball away in a bad position at one point but they were able to recover to stop a big chance for the Barnsley based side.
The Young Steels will have wanted their second to ease their nerves and that’s soon what they got. A brilliantly delivered free kick from deep was put into a dangerous area and Tyler Folly rose highest to loft his header over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
From there on, Stocksbridge had completely control of the game and they had chances to kill the game off as a true contest before the end of the half. A fumble from the Worsbrough goalkeeper was only partially cleared but Alex Cromack’s volley was blocked by the last man. Later on, Matty Lee used fantastic footwork to beat his man before hitting a powerful strike but that was well saved by the goalkeeper.
Stocksbridge would get their third before the break though. Ollie Nowak came to life, beat his man before whipping a ball in. It’d loop out of the box to Joe West who resisted the urge to shoot, passing the ball sideways to Cromack. He then duly took his opportunity and smashed it into the top corner, giving the Young Steels a fantastic lead going into half time.
Worsbrough came out with fire in their bellies and they got their ideal start for their wishes of a comeback. They successfully broke and it seemed like the opportunity might have gone away due to the hard work of Folly. But eventually, they got the back into the six-yard box their Number 2 to hit it into an empty net.
The game would have a serious incident that would delay things for an hour and a half. Hennessey was about to break through and then a massive challenge came in on him. It was the Worsbrough defender Brandon Clifford who was worse off though as he stayed down with a suspected break. The game would stop while we waited for an ambulance but the game would resume later on.
After the restart, the game was quite cagey with both sides struggling to get any flow to their game. This was pretty unsurprising considering the long break where players were spending time with their parents in the crowd drinking and eating. Worsbrough did get one shot off on goal, but it was straight at Emery. The major incident in this part of the game happened off the pitch with the Worsbrough manager being sent off for dissent.
In the end, Stocksbridge would finish off the match just as the 90th minute mark was hit. After breaking into the box, a ball got to Ben Ransford who chested it down before hitting a good volley into the bottom corner. The Worsbrough goalkeeper got a hand to hit, but he was unable to stop the ball from nestling in the back of the net. A few minutes later, the referee would blow his whistle and Stocksbridge U18s were confirmed as the Cup and Double winners.