The Northamptonshire FA Under-18 representative side’s visit to Staffordshire for their FA County Youth Cup 3rd round tie ended in disappointment when Staffordshire grabbed a late winner in the 85th minute.
The game started brightly for Northamptonshire and early pressure lead to chances, but a mixture of bad fortune and good saves from the Staffs ‘keeper kept them at bay.
With both sides settling down, the game was very evenly matched and either side could have taken the lead, however the contest was turned on its head after 30 minutes when a Staffs player fouled a Northants forward, and with the referee deciding he was the last man, was given a straight red card.
After 35 minutes another key decision from the referee resulted in Staffs being awarded a penalty - but an excellent save from Jonathan Thick kept the scores level.
The second period started much the same with both sides evenly matched. The chances came and went for both sides and with the clock ticking down extra time seemed inevitable, but in the 85th minute a defensive mistake cost Northants dearly as Staffs smashed home the winning goal from close range - giving Northants’ ‘keeper no chance.
Credit to Staffordshire for their workmanlike performance and good luck in the quarter-finals from all at Northamptonshire Football Association.
Full-time: Staffordshire FA 1-0 Northamptonshire FA