Wednesfield FC stunned Darlaston Town last night to win the Midweek Floodlit Cup 2-0 at Solihull Moors’ Damson Park.
Team Line Ups
Darlaston: 1 Evans, 2 Jones, 3 Wilkinson, 4 D Turton, 5 Foreshaw, 6 Priest, 7 Lewis Gill, 8 Winwood, 9 Nicol, 10 Pearson, 11 T Turton. Subs: Pinder, Dangerfield, Mason, Miller, Leo Gill.
Wednesfield: 1 James, 2 Southall, 3 Griffiths, 4 Butler, 5 Finch, 6 Bennett, 7 Tuckley, 8 Lee, 9 Dew, 10 Herkes, 11 Novis. Subs: Pain, Montague, Bochniak, Yates, Handley.
Darlaston came into the contest as strong favourites having been promoted on Saturday to the Midland League’s Premier Division following their second-place finish in Division One.
However, it was fellow Division One side Wednesfield, buoyed by their vociferous fans, who came out firing, beating their rivals despite finishing nine places below them in the league (11th).
The Citizens had a couple of chances in the first ten minutes though with efforts from midfielder Ryan Winwood and striker Andrew Nicol.
Wednesfield broke the deadlock however on the 15th minute. A wicked corner delivery by Shaquille Lee found centre back Joe Finch at the back post to put the Cottagers ahead.
With Darlaston struggling to string any serious chances together, Wednesfield came close to doubling their lead on the 33rd minute.
A sloppy mistake from defender Ben Priest gave Wednesfield’s Jack Dew plenty of space to run at the goal but Darlo keeper, Paul Evans did well to snuff out the danger.
Wednesfield coach, John Griffiths rued his side’s missed opportunities after the game, and they had another great chance only a couple of minutes later as their corner deliveries continued to trouble Darlaston’s defence.
This time it was the unmarked right back Ashley Southall who missed the target, heading over the bar.
Darlaston began to get more success in the final quarter of the first half, courtesy of good strikes from Lewis Gill and Nicol but it was the Cottagers who came the closest to a second goal once again with Brandon Herkes smashing the crossbar.
The second half told a similar story as Darlaston struggled to create whereas Wednesfield flourished.
During a period of domination that included Wednesfield hitting the cross bar again, their continued pressure finally resulted in a goal on the 55th minute.
In a moment of madness, Darlaston keeper Evans ran out to clear the ball from a through ball, only for the far quicker Craig Tuckley to round him and cross the ball into the box where Darlaston’s Alex Foreshaw failed to clear and scored an own goal.
The Cottagers didn’t stop there though and could’ve scored a third on the 70th minute.
Another darting run by Herkes made him one-on-one with the keeper but a superb dive by Evans to his right denied Wednesfield yet again.
Darlaston coach Dean Gill brought on all his forward substitutes to try and make a comeback as Wednesfield began to sit in deep to see out the game.
Substitute striker Kieron Miller made a difference coming close on a couple of occasions in the final 10 minutes.
But it was too little too late for Darlaston as Wednesfield’s fans burst onto the pitch to celebrate with their players who put in a valiant effort to secure the 2021/22 Midweek Floodlit Cup.
The man of the match was awarded to Wednesfield’s number 9, Jack Dew after a performance to be proud of leading the frontline.
You can view the photographs taken by Gareth Evans Photography by clicking here.
Extended highlights of the Cup Final can be watched below: