Grappenhall Sports u11 2 Sandbach United u11 0
GRAPPENHALL Sports under 11s football team have been rewarded for an outstanding season.
The youngsters, the only unbeaten team in the Mid Cheshire Junior Football League top division this year, lifted the Mid Cheshire Cup in Northwich on Sunday.
Sports won the silverware with second-half goals from Luke Urey and Jacob Mantle.
Sandbach started the game very brightly, putting intense early pressure on the Grappenhall goal and having an early goal correctly disallowed for offside and a penalty claim waved away.
Grappenhall were understandably nervous for the first 10 minutes, however as their nerves settled they began to impose their patient style of football on the game.
As the half progressed, Grappenhall grew and grew, spurning a number of opportunities with the Sandbach keeper performing outstandingly.
Jacob Dickenson went close for Grappenhall with two powerful drives and Ben Carty was unable to convert two chances cutting in from the left.
Despite these missed opportunities, Grappenhall continued to believe in their style of football, passing the ball on the ground and patiently waiting for opportunities.
At half time both teams went into their dressing rooms drawing 0-0 after an entertaining half.
The second half began with Grappenhall continuing to press for a breakthrough and with Sandbach defending heroically at times.
The poor surface was a struggle for both teams and on such a surface it was always going to take something special to win the game.
Sandbach began to rely on the counter for periods of the second half, with Grappenhal'ls defence of Ethan Finnen, Joe Baguley, Alex McDonald and Elliot Haskins standing strong and calmly building play from the back.
United were reduced to shots from distance with Ewan Robertson in goal performing as solidly as ever for Grappenhall.
Harvey Clark and Matt Yates continued to perform outstandingly in the Grappenhall midfield, building attacks and defending tirelessly.
With 15 minutes to go Luke Urey collected the ball close to the corner flag in the opponents half.
Urey showed some great skills to beat his man and create an angle for a shot.
Seeing the keeper slightly off his line, Urey unleashed a precise looping drive over the keeper and into the net. Urey then went on to celebrate with the 80+ Grappenhall spectators on the line.
The goal allowed Grappenhall to relax more and some great passages of play followed in the next five minutes.
With 10 minutes to go the combative Lucas Hayes was fouled 30 yards out from goal in a central position.
Jacob Mantle placed the ball down and proceeded to curl a stunning left-footed free kick into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Sandbach began to throw everything at Grappenhall, hitting the crossbar from a corner with a few minutes to go.
However, once that Grappenhall had secured a two-goal lead, the result never looked in doubt and it was they who were celebrating at the sound of the final whistle.