Solihull Moors U18 took the crown as they recorded a comfortable victory in the 2022 Joel Richards Memorial Cup final. The game was not short of drama, with a multitude of goals and cards on show on a slightly chilly Friday evening at Walsall FC.
Team Line Ups
Boldmere St Michaels U19: 1 Taylor, 2 Greenway, 16 Tyler, 21 Cockerell, 17 Jones, 6 Share, 7 Roberts, 8 McGuigan, 9 Reid-Miller, 10 Farmer, 22 Hart. Subs: Kitching, Brown, Manton, Davage, Olatundun
Solihull Moors U18: 1 Myatt, 2 Eades, 3 Howell, 4 Owen, 5 Martin, 6 Scott, 7 Chesterton, 8 Demulder, 9 Wood, 10 Conteh, 11 Nisbett. Subs: Lake, Middleton, Bruck, Ryley, Smith
The match officials donned ‘Smile for Joel’ t-shirts in their pre-match warm up showing the continued support for Joel Richards’ family and charity. Into the first stages of the match and it wasn’t long before Moors had their first effort as Demulder couldn’t direct his shot anywhere other than straight at Taylor in goal. In the next 5 minutes, there was a whirlwind of chances for both sides as Chesterton saw his shot smothered by Taylor, and at the other end Cockerell, Farmer and Tyler all had attempts at the Moors goal blocked or deflected. However, in the 11th minute, Moors got the breakthrough as Demulder crossed in and Wood found his header smashing off the bar, but the ball fell to Conteh who showed composure to slot it into the bottom right corner.
Cockerell, who seemed to be causing some chaos amongst the Moors defence, found himself with a couple of chances around the 20th minute but neither troubled Myatt in goal. 5 minutes later, McGuigan was replaced by Manton as he couldn’t overcome an earlier knock. Half an hour into the game, and it was very much end to end with Conteh almost adding to his first, Cockerell having another chance to equalise, and the best chance (other than the goal) to score falling to Chesterton. Somehow, Jones got back and as he slid across the face of the goal, he blocked the shot and it ricocheted between him and the bar before going for a corner.
Farmer found himself the first player in referee, Callum Johnson’s book before Moors finally extended their lead in the 35th minute as Nesbitt squared the ball to Wood for him to slot it past Taylor at the near post. Then came a 10-minute period of quiet in the game as both teams calmed down on the ball and no chances were made to shout about. Reid-Miller tried to make an impact on the latter stages of the first half as he battled upfront to create a chance for Farmer who saw his shot blocked before the rebounded cross was just too far ahead of Cockerell. The last chance of the half fell to moors as Demulder and Conteh exchanged passes before the ball is played to Wood who blazed well over the bar.
The second half began like the first with Moors having the first chance as Chesterton broke forward and the final shot from Demulder was saved by Taylor. Boldmere then made their second substitution as Davage came on to replace Hart in the 50th minute, which sprung them into life as Reid-Miller capitalised on a defensive error and slotted the ball into the far post past Myatt to make the score 2-1. A free kick, which resulted in Martin being booked for Moors, was almost the gateway to the Mikes equaliser as it was headed on and Reid-Miller attempted an overhead kick which looped high over the bar.
Moors tried to extend their lead to make it more comfortable for them and it took for a goal line clearance to deny them that as Nesbitt broke into the box and put the ball under Taylor but the defender slid across to clear. The next player to see a yellow card was Greenway for Boldmere, and the resulting free kick was blazed over the crossbar by Demulder from about 30 yards out. The next minute saw shouts for a penalty by Moors players as Nesbitt looked to have knocked the ball past Taylor before ending up on the floor, but the referee waved played on. Straight down the other end, Cockerell almost broke past Myatt but the keeper pounced on the ball as the striker tried to go round him. Tyler was then booked for the Mikes in the 66th minute, before they made their third change of the game which saw Brown replace Roberts.
Solihull Moors managed to extend their lead as they showed great perseverance to keep their eyes on the ball after a few shots were consecutively blocked, before Wood managed to slide the ball into the net. As Moors were celebrating, Boldmere made another substitution as Tyler was replaced by Kitching. Moors would then find themselves with a great opportunity to surely put the game beyond the Mikes as they were awarded a penalty after Share pulled the shirt of the striker and consequently saw red for his troubles. Wood stepped up for his hattrick and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner for his teams fourth of the night. This wasn’t the end of the goalscoring for the team in sky blue as straight from the kickoff, Moors applied pressure on the Boldmere back line and Conteh found himself in space to curl the ball into the corner of the goal to make it five and secure the victory.
Boldmere made their final change of the night as Cockerell was withdrawn and replaced by Olatundun, just a few short minutes before they thought they’d got their second goal before it was ruled out for a foul in the build-up, to keep the score 5-1. Moors then made a couple of consecutive changes as Martin, Owen and Howell were replaced by Lake, Bruck and Ryley around the 77th minute, before Conteh made way for Smith in the 81st minute. The next couple of minutes were scrappy as Olatundun and Smith picked up yellow cards for Boldmere and Solihull respectively. The next piece of action would see the Mikes get their second of the night as the ball was crossed in and Manton got his head on it ahead of the defender and watched as the ball looped in over Myatt. Solihull had the next chance to make it six as Chesterton found himself in space in the box, but his shot went comfortably high and wide past Taylor’s goal.
However, it wasn’t long before Moors did have their sixth as in the 88th minute, Nesbitt played the ball in behind to Bruck who strook it left-footed beyond Taylor to make the score line 6-2. The next two minutes were a moment of madness as Boldmere received their second and third red card of the night as Greenway and Brown both got their marching orders by Callum Johnson. Eades was booked for his involvement in the scuffle for Moors, before the full-time whistle was blown to bring the tie to an end and crown Solihull Moors U18 as champions of the 2022 Joel Richards Memorial Cup.
The two clubs had nominated their individual worthy of the Club Volunteer award which saw Matt Davage and Tyler Shambrook pick up the awards for Boldmere St Michaels U19 and Solihull Moors U18 respectively.
The man of the match, unsurprisingly, was handed to Solihull Moors U18’s number 9, Leo Wood for his contribution of 3 goals in the game.
You can view the official photographs taken by Focus Dunn Sports Photography by clicking here.
Extended highlights of the Cup Final can be watched below: