AFC Fylde U18s Youth have been crowned 2021/22 Lancashire FA County Youth Cup champions after claiming a narrow 2-1 victory over AFC Fylde U17s at the County Ground on Tuesday night.
It was the first time in the competition’s history that two teams from the same club would face each other in the final, and it proved to be a great, feisty spectacle for spectators to cast an eye on.
Coasters forward Stephen Dobbie, who leads the U18s, took charge of his first cup final as manager, whilst Conrad Prendergast was in the U17s dugout, hoping to claim the piece of silverware on offer.
The first 20 minutes saw both sides pumped up for the encounter, with strong tackles flying in left, right and centre before the game had its first bit of goalmouth action.
A bright display from winger Nathan Cliffe was just getting started after several darting runs down the right wing allowed him to carve out an opportunity for Theo Ball in front of goal, who hit the back of the net with a right-footed effort from close range.
After the interval, the U18s went on to double their lead. A clipped ball over the top of the 17s defence eventually found Matt Jones, who bundled over the line after a scramble inside the six-yard box.
The good football was to continue, and the U17s grew into the game as the minutes ticked by, which led to Dec Long winning a penalty after he was chopped down inside the area. Harry Hodgson stepped up and converted neatly into the bottom corner.
However, it wasn’t enough for Prendergast’s U17s, as the Coasters U18s Youth managed to see the game out and lift the 2021/22 County Youth Cup, giving Stephen Dobbie his first trophy as manager.