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Jan 11, 2020

Under 18 Boys Quarter Final Victory

The Under 18 Boys travelled to Stocksbridge Park Steels FC in Sheffield to take on South Yorkshire Schools in an Inter County Quarter Final tie. The game was played on a very heavy pitch which had not been rolled and which made close control challenging.

Staffordshire started brightly with Oli Waddison's direct running causing problems and when a powerful shot was parried and fell to Christian Blanchette he fired over. South Yorkshire were posing few problems due to the dominanace of the central defensive pairing of Josh Lewis and Owen Turner. Staffordshire took the lead from an excellent free kick from Oliver Puttnam when Oli Waddison was hacked down. Staffordshire were now dominant as South Yorkshire were unable to gain possession and several Staffordshire players were the subject of horrendous challenges in the desperate efforts of the home side to keep Staffordshire at bay.

Out of the blue South Yorkshire found an equaliser when in their first meaningful attack a deep cross to the back post was knocked back and in a melee of bodies South Yorkshire scrambled the ball home. The home side then had their best spell of the game but when they were gaining a degree of control Staffordshire disposessed them close to their own area and four passes later Dave Perreira swept the ball home to give Staffordshire a 2-1 half time lead.

Staffordshire started the second half on the front foot and when Max Dixon was played inĀ  he raced clear to beat the keeper to extend the lead with an excellent finish. However South Yorkshire responded to score a second goal and leave the game well balanced but a second strike from Max put Staffordshire clear and such was his presence that he hit both bar and post in search of his hat trick.

Staffordshire won by 4-2 to move into the last four of the nationals for the second time in four years and will be hoping for a home draw and an opportunity to reach the final.