Poulton through to Blackpool and District Youth League's Under-16 Hogan Cup final after narrow win over St Annes Yellows
Poulton FC have won through to the Under-16 Hogan Cup final after the closest of contests away to St Annes Yellows.
A goal by Dan Knight midway through the second half was enough to seal a place for Phil Ashworth’s side on the Blackpool and District Youth Football League’s cup final day.
They will face FC Rangers but couldn’t have been given a tougher test by St Annes at Blackpool Road North.
Manager Ashworth said: “It was very tight and a good game to watch. It was a 50-50 match and I’d say both teams had an equal number of chances.
“I think the occasion of being in a semi-final may have got to the lads a bit and it was a bit scrappy.
“But we had a chat at half-time to calm them down and we started to get the ball down and play more football, but take nothing away from St Annes.”
The goal by Knight, moments after having one disallowed, settled the issue as Poulton stretched this season’s unbeaten record.
Yellows manager Steve Robinson said: “It was two strong and very well-matched sides. We would have a period in charge, then they would, but Poulton defended very well.”
Max Robinson and Ollie Cox both went close for the hosts, while George Mason’s bullet header flew just wide.
Elliot Collings ran the midfield for St Annes and was their man of the match, while Charlie Tomlinson took the accolade for Poulton.
The Yellows can look forward to league action until the end of next month and manager Robinson was not downhearted.
“It’s just good to be back after the lockdown,” he said.
“I told the players they don’t have much football left as under-16s and they will look back on this as a great time in their lives.”
The match was preceded, as were all Saturday’s games in the B&DYFL, by a tribute to Jordan Banks, the nine-year-old Clifton Rangers player who died in such tragic circumstances last week.
Ashworth said: “We held a minute’s applause for Jordan as we had at training on Thursday. This has touched so many people in the football community and beyond.
“All our players, volunteers and parents are thinking of Jordan’s family and we dedicated Saturday’s game in the young man’s honour.”
All B&DYFL teams paid their respects to Jordan impeccably.
Some Under-7 and U8 teams were in Hogan Plate action and others played development matches.
Through to the U7 Plate semi-finals are Kirkham Junior Ice, Thornton Cleveleys Tigers, St Annes Purples and YMCA Blacks, while the U8 teams to progress were CN Sports Blues, Foxhall Hoops, YMCA Orange and Kirkham Junior Fire.
FC Rangers earned their place alongside Poulton in the U16 Cup final thanks to a 4-2 win over Poulton Town with goals from Cal Hardingham-Clarke, Jack Murphy, George Wharton and Stevie Liptrott.
In the Plate semi-finals, Wyre Juniors defeated St Annes Diamonds on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Dylan Copeland fired Wyre in front but St Annes equalised as they controlled the second half.
Foxhall Hoops and Freckleton drew in a very well contested league game.
Look out for the match action picture gallery from our match of the week online soon.
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