Royal Earl lift the cup in a tight battle ending in sudden death penalties
On a warm sunny evening in South Yorkshire, Stocksbridge Park Steels hosted the first of the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA Cup Finals of the 2017/18 season between Mosborough Whites and Royal Earl.
A great start to the game with a quick tempo saw opportunities for both sides early on. The game was end to end over the first 10 minutes with both goalkeepers tested but equal to the attempts made. Deadlock was broken on the 23rd minute when a great attack down the left flank was met by an equally great strike on the Royal Earl goal from the angle beating the keeper. Mosborough 1 - 0 Royal Earl. As a result of the goal Royal Earl started to control possession and tried several different options to break through a resilient Mosborough defense but to no success. Mosborough started to sit deeper and deeper and resulted to counter attacking football when gaining possession which in the 41 minute lead to a great opportunity that saw the resulting shot fly narrowly past the post. Royal Earl continued to mount pressure and find several balls into the Mosborough box which were dealt with well by the Mosborough defense. With Royal Earl failing to capitalize on their chances the first half came to an end.
HALF TIME - Mosborough Whites 1 - 0 Royal Earl
Second half saw Royal Earl continue their high percentage of possession with Mosborough happy to sit off and defend when needed. Mosborough continued to launch counter attacks on gaining possession but the Royal Earl defense started to become more aware and dealt with these well. Several chances for Royal Earl came but lack of composure in the box meant they could not covert these opportunities. On the 65th minute the best chance for Royal Earl came with a well worked move down the left resulted in a great ball into the Royal Earl forward who found his attempt saved by the keep from inside the box. The game continued in much the same way until the 80th minute when a Royal Earl break down the right was met with a strike on goal that deflected into the far corner. Mosborough 1 - 1 Royal Earl.
FULL TIME - Mosborough Whites 1 - 1 Royal Earl
FIRST HALF EXTRA TIME
The first half extra time saw Royal Earl mount pressure on the Mosborough box but on 100 minutes a break from Mosborough found a cross to the back post of the Royal Earl box and a great half volley smashed the ball back across goal and high into the Royal Earl goal. Mosborough 2 -1 Royal Earl. With no other significant chances for either team the half ends.
FIRST HALF EXTRA TIME - Mosborough 2 - 1 Royal Earl
SECOND HALF EXTRA TIME
The second half started with Royal Earl showing their intent to get back in the game. The ball continued to be driven forward and on the 104th minute Royal Earl drew level with a ball into the Mosborough box resulting in a goal mouth scramble and the ball being pocked in to the Mosborough goal. The game now level at Mosborough 2 - 2 Royal Earl. Before the end of the half a last minute break away saw Royal Earl break free with the forward beating the keeper but the resulting shot clipped the post and is cleared on the line.
FULL TIME - Mosborough 2 - 2 Royal Earl
The game moves into penalties
With the pressure of penalties evident both teams missed opportunities to win the game within the first 5 penalties resulting in the shootout moving into sudden death. As Royal Earl score, pressure fell to Mosborough to stay in the shootout. The resulting penalty was saved by the Royal Earl keeper leading to the heartbreak of the Mosborough team and jubilation for Royal Earl.
FINAL RESULT - Mosborough 2 - 2 Royal Earl (Royal Earl win 5-4 on penalties)
A great cup final and performances from both teams. Great sportsmanship from Mosborough Whites despite the hard loss in penalties and congratulations to Royal Earl. Good luck to both teams in next season competitions.
A special mention must also go to the officials allocated to the game. A great performance from all demonstrated excellent game management and kept what is always an emotional and high pressure encounter fair and under control. The performances clarified why they had been nominated for this event and all deserved to be officiating the cup final. Well done to all and good luck in next season.