Staveley to face Buxton in U21s cup final

Ryan Watters
Ryan Watters

Staveley Miners Welfare U21s will face their Buxton FC counterparts in the final of the HKL North Midlands Development Football League Cup.

Staveley booked their place in the final, to be held on May 7, after a 2-1 victory over cup holders Sheffield FC at Inkersall Road earlier this month.

Jay Roper’s Staveley youngsters took the lead on 36 minutes when Greg Fitzpatrick netted from the penalty spot after Mohammed Tijani had been tripped as he burst through.

Tijani thought he had doubled the lead three minutes later, but he had strayed narrowly offside and his effort was ruled out. Staveley went in to the break a goal to the good.

Sheffield were proving to be lively opponents and on the balance of play probably deserved to be on level terms when Dan Barnsley netted from close range in the 74th minute.

But the game was settled in the 80th minute, when Staveley’s captain Ryan Watters held off three challenges as he dribbled through the Sheffield defence and crashed home.

It was always going to take something a bit special to separate these two traditionally productive development sides and Watters unstoppable strike was worthy of first team duties.

Both sides created several more clear cut chances on the night but Staveley held on to earn their place in the final where they will face Buxton who beat Mickleover Sports 5-3.

Staveley U21s: Chris Butt, Tom Gambles, Greg Fitzpatrick, Ryan Bates, James Finnigan, Alex Pugh, Ryan Watters, George Johnson (Charlie Board 57), Ross Goodwin, Mohammed Tijani (Joe Harris 88), Josh Brown (Matt Cowan 73). Subs not used: Nathan Jessop, Jem Akinpar.

Attendance: 114.