Staffordshire Senior Cup: Rushall Olympic 1 Stoke City 0 - Report and pictures
A goal from Joe Hull saw Rushall Olympic beat Stoke to clinch a place in the final of the Staffordshire Senior Cup.
In an entertaining clash at Dales Lane, Liam McDonald’s side deserved their win against a Potters team consisting of players aged 21 or under, writes Joe Masi.
Despite their inexperience, Stoke included promising youngsters Josh Tymon and Oliver Shenton who have both featured for the first team.
But they were second best throughout, with the Pics taking the lead shortly before the hour mark through Hull. Rushall will now take on Stafford Rangers in the final on a date yet to be confirmed.
In what turned out to be an opening 45 minutes dominated by the hosts, the Pics created a number of decent chances to break the deadlock.
They first threatened when Benjamin Lund sent in a wonderfully inviting cross which Potters keeper Daniel Gyollai just about dealt with ahead of Massiah McDonald.
Then from a corner, Lee Smith planted a header straight into the arms of Gyollai.
Stoke were looking bright in spells with Daniel Jarvis trying to orchestrate things in the middle of the park and winger Tre Pemberton also looking lively.
But while the Potters looked technically good they couldn’t cope with the tenacity and hunger of McDonald’s side.
Ashley Sammons and Lund both went close with efforts from just outside the penalty area. But just before the interval, Rushall should have opened the scoring when Sammons drilled a pinpoint pass to the back post.
It was met by Orrin Pendley but the centre-back headed wide when he should have done better.
Rushall continued on the front foot following the restart and deservedly took the lead just before the hour mark.
After winning a free-kick on the left, Sammons sent the ball into the box with Hull powering in a header from eight yards.
Stoke were only really looking dangerous on the counter with Pics keeper Matthew Sargeant a spectator.
And in the 65th minute, McDonald’s side wasted a glorious chance to double their advantage. After centre-back Nathan Collins under-hit a back pass, Danny Waldron raced through and was hacked to the floor by Gyollai.
Referee Chris Sarginson had no hesitation in pointing to the spot but under the double jeopardy rule the keeper only received a yellow card.
Waldron dusted himself down to take the spot-kick but Gyollai mend amends for both his and Collins’ errors by saving his strike.
Still in the game, Stoke put the Pics under pressure in the final 10 minutes. But they failed to force Sargeant into a save of note with Rushall deserving of the place in the final.
Rushall Olympic: Sargeant, Lyttle, Adelekan (Smikle 79), Smith, Hull, Pendley, McDonald (Soleman 70), Maye, Waldron, Sammons (O’Callaghan 89), Lund. Subs not used: Slinn, Whittal
Stoke: Gyollai, Coates, Tymon, Jarvis, Collins, Wara, Pemberton, Twyford (Porter 67), Kyeremateng, Shenton, Toure (Nia 57). Subs not used: Kanuric, Macari, Jarrett.