Cup final fever at Fylde for the Blackpool Youth League
The Blackpool and District Youth League staged a thrilling day of showpiece action at AFC Fylde, where the three Hogan Cup finals and two Hogan Plate finals were staged. Here are reports on all five matches.
HOGAN CUP FINALS
Fleetwood Town Rangers
Foxhall JFC Under-18s 0
Champions Foxhall were denied a double by a determined Fleetwood side.
Jacob Cheeseman’s penalty with only 10 minutes left sealed the cup and Fleetwood’s first victory over Foxhall in 12 years of trying.
After the penalty, awarded for holding at a free-kick, Fleetwood were under the cosh in the closing stages and a great save by Hayden Fleming completed an excellent display by the keeper.
Man of the match Cheeseman was unlucky not to have opened the scoring earlier, when his bullet shot from 25 yards bounced down off the bar.
It left manager Steve Simm looking forward to the introduction of goalline technology next season.
But, joking aside, he said: “Jacob gave a great captain’s performance but it was a great effort by the whole squad against a team unbeaten for two seasons.”
It rounds off an excellent season for the club, who used to play as Blackpool Rangers but have been welcomed into the Fleetwood fold.
Steve added: “Fleetwood Town took us on board and it has worked really well. The final was a great advert for our competition.”
Lytham Juniors Home Heat Under-16s 2 Foxhall 1
Lytham Juniors Home Heat completed their campaign by coming from behind to lift the Hogan Cup.
Foxhall striker Vinny Blakely had given his side an early lead when he converted from a left wing cross.
But Lytham soon settled down and came back strongly.
Indeed, they had chances to equalise before Billy Gallagher tapped home, when Max Older’s shot had thundered back off the crossbar.
Lytham continued to press but Foxhall looked dangerous on the counter and it remained 1-1 at half-time.
Rory Montgomery and the lively Alex Price were introduced to the game at half-time and Lytham’s winner came in the 56th minute, when Daniel Pilling slotted home from inside the Foxhall box, set up by Billy Gallagher.
The Foxhall keeper Ellis Sutherland made some great saves as Lytham attempted to extend their lead.
Foxhall had shooting chances of their own but James Ludlam and Ollie Seers stayed solid at the heart of the Lytham defence.
Kai Clarkson-Lowe picked up the man of the match award, while team-mates Cian Menzies and James Ludlam also impressed.
Winning manager Lee Mitchell said: “We were the better team and it was a great end to the season.
“We have only lost once in the league but we’ll probably have to settle for second place.”
Foxhall boss George Young said: “Everything seemed to be going well after the early goal but we struggled to contain them.
“But it was our first season together as a team and they are smashing bunch of lads.
“Now we’re looking forward to next season.”
Foxhall’s battling central midfielder Dylan Ward gave a very strong display until being forced off
BJFF Blades Under-13s 3
Squires Gate 2
Lancashire FA Cup winners BJFF Blades saw off Squires Gate 3-2 to continue their outstanding season.
Blades raced into an early 2-0 lead thanks to a screamer from Donny Barrat and a Matthew Finney goal.
It looked all over for Gate as Blades continued to press but they hung on until half-time and regrouped in the second period.
Gate came out strong and pulled one back through a Daniel Fryer penalty.
They went in search of an equaliser but were punished as Finney grabbed his second to make it 3-1.
Fryer again reduced the deficit to one with a 20-yard strike but it was too late for a comeback. The teams were due to meet again in the league last night, when victory would seal the title and a fabulous treble for BJFF.
Gate manager Nick Grindley, who hailed the performane of substitute Harry Stanley, said afterwards: “It was an amazing day at Fylde and we did well to give the Lancashire champions such a good game.”
HOGAN PLATE FINALS
Poulton Under-16s 6
FC Rangers Under-16 0
Poulton were impressive winners in the Under-16 Plate final, getting off the the best of starts at AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm when Michael Finch scored after only two minutes.
Max Resina doubled the lead on 22 minutes, though the game was nip and tuck until the last half an hour, when Sydney Sullivan scored a brace. The scoring was rounded off by Steven Lambert and Resina’s second .
Lambert made some great tacklew and Finch had one of his best games of the season, while the man of the match award went to fellow midfielder Nathan Feeney.
Delighted manager Adrian Manford said: “It was a very pleasing performance and now we are going for the double.”
That would be sealed with victory over St Annes in Sunday’s final league game.
Rangers were delighted to have reached the final in a season which has seen a change of manager.
Lewis Gottfreund has stepped into the breach and said: “We were up against a very good team but it’s great experience to reach the final.
“We did very well to hold them for a while but struggled with the heat as the game went on. We’re looking forward to taking the team into the under-18s next season.”
Thornton Whites Under-13s 4
Kirkham Blues U13s 3
Thornton Cleveleys Whites edged out Kirkham Blues in a cracking Hogan Plate final.
Fraser Burton put the Blues ahead after 12 minutes but Prince Yelagon scored two goals in as many minutes to turn it around in the Whites’ favour.
Aaron Ousby equalised for the Blues at the start of the second half but once again man of the match Yelagon wasted no time in replying, when he made it 3-2 with his hat-trick goal.
The game looked dead and buried when Adam Meadows added a fourth, but the Blues made the most of a disallowed goal from Meadows as they hit back to make it 4-3 through Lewis Weaver and set up a nervy and frantic finish, in which the Whites held on.
Winning manager Garry Ray said: “It was an outstanding win but they piled the pressure on late on.”
He reckoned the pace of Yelagon was a decisive factor on the big Mill Farm pitch, while boss Ray also praised the hard-working Mason Bunting and Jack Meadows for clearing his lines with such determination.
Blues manager Michael Snape said: “We were a bit unlucky and had one cleared off the line, but it was a cracking game played in the right spirit.
“It’s been a tough season but the lads came through well and got their reward by reaching the final.”