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Nov 7, 2017

Under 18 Boys v Humberside

The Under 18 Boys bowed out of the ESFA competition last night at Stafford Town in what can only be described as an under par performance. The squad selected is full of good players but very few  displayed their true potential on a night when they failed to cope with the extremely direct approach of a big physical Humberside side.

Both teams traded possession far too often and the game was broken up by niggly fouls and generally suffered with a lack of quality. Joe Trevor pulled off a great save to keep the scores level but Humberside took the lead a minute before half time when a cross was not closed down and the Humberside forward got across his defender and a deft flick lifted the ball over Trevor.

Several substitutions at half time did not bring about any marked improvement in performance but Connor Sewell lashed home a volley from 25 yards to equalise and tie the game up. Staffordshire now looked on top but some poor defending and a lack of awareness allowed Humberside to build a two goal lead.

Only then did the Staffordshire boys seem to wake up and they began to apply some real pressure to the Humberside defence. Their desperation was clear to see and they conceded free kicks too often and picked up three bookings for their over zealous approach. Staffordshire halved the deficit when Conor Grant powered home a header from a corner and as the clock ticked down another headed goal from Ed Capewell brought the tie level.

Humberside had a player dismissed for a second yellow card but despite this they broke away to score what proved to be the decisive goal. An amazing reaction save from a Will Byers free kick was as near as Staffordshire came to an equaliser and despite heavy pressure Humberside ran out worthy winners and will face Greater Manchester or North Yorkshire in Round 2.

The Staffordshire management team wer dumbfounded as they were convinced that the squad was stronger than last year and now the MCF title will be their goal and this squad is capable of bouncing back and winning the Midlands title.