Young Reds beaten in Bescot final

Report and reaction from a painful defeat for our young Harriers at Walsall’s Bescot Stadium

Harriers at Walsall in the ECFA Cup Final [01-05-19]

Harriers Academy were beaten in their ECFA Cup final at Walsall on Wednesday, falling to a narrow defeat against SGS on a luckless night.

The reds struggled in the opening stages, during which SGS came close with a shot in the fifth minute before taking the lead from the penalty spot eight minutes later.

Past the midway point of the half, Harriers started to create; great work from White saw him supply Taylor-Randle, whose header was saved, before the same player fired over with ten to go until the break.

Soon after the restart, SGS again went close with an effort that bent just beyond the target, before White’s brace of efforts took Harriers close to an equalise. His play was again instrumental in a chance on 73 minutes as he played in Cartwright, but his shot across the face of goal fizzed past the post.

Harriers pushed hard and looked to be finishing the stronger, only remarkable defending stopping the ball from heading home amid a goalmouth scramble involving Christie, Cartwright and Taylor-Randle, but with a swift breakaway, SGS put the result beyond doubt courtesy of a close-range finish.

The boys from Aggborough did get themselves a goal deep in injury time when Cartwright coolly bent the ball into the bottom corner of the net, but there was no time for it to become anything more than a consolation in a 2-1 defeat.

Reacting to the night, coach Luke Astley commented: “The lads did us really proud and I’m really happy with their attitudes and application.

“They were unlucky not to win the game and I think their goalkeeper has come away with the Man of the Match award, so that says a lot.

“It took us 20, 25 minutes to get going [but] we were better in the second half. Maybe we should have been a bit more clinical but, on the whole, if you look at the performance, we’re quite happy.”

This article is about: Academy, Youth


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