The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 15th May 2012
.....back from two cup final defeats to retain the Walsall Senior Cup against Brocton at the Banks's Stadium on Monday night.
Holders Rushall retained the trophy following an extremely comfortable three-goal success against Athium Midland Combination outfit Brocton to claim the old trophy for the third time in four seasons.
The Pics shrugged off the disappointment of two previous cup final defeats in their end of season trophy trilogy as they took a 20th minute lead when Martyn Naylor’s flag-kick from the left was picked up by Ahmed Obeng. As the front runner turned goalwards his rasping drive appeared to be diverted over the line by Badgers defender Andrew Chandler.
Olympic suffered a setback in the 44th minute when player/assistant-manager Nick Amos was forced off the field with what appeared to be a broken nose. However, Rushall deservedly doubled their advantage right on the stroke of half-time when Naylor again turned provider with a corner from the left that was met by Kyle Brady at the far post who drilled in a clinical finish from 12 yards out past ‘keeper Adam Whitehouse.
The Step 3 side continued to make most of the running during the second period with Brocton from three levels below them in the non-League Pyramid rarely posing an attacking threat.
Jonny Haynes and Brady both went close before the Pics were forced into another change as Christian Dacres was stretchered off in the 70th minute with what appeared to be a flare up of a knee injury.
With Olympic comfortably in control and rarely having to get out of second gear, Brady continued to enjoy the better of the goal scoring opportunities on offer. As the contest entered the final ten minutes a good run by Obeng ended in a slide rule pass into the path of Brady who proceeded to smack a 15 yard drive off the foot of the right hand post.
In the 88th minute Rushall added a patina to the final score line with a superb individual goal from Luke Bottomer. After advancing purposefully out of the centre circle some 35 yards out from goal the midfielder spotted Whitehouse well off his line and proceeded to send an exquisite lofted finish over the custodian via his fingertips into the net.
Still there was time for the holders to extended their advantage in the final moments as the legs of the Brocton custodian prevented Obeng from netting after carving his way past two defenders, while Naylor rifled inches over the edge of the box after latching on to a flag kick from Haynes.
The final whistle was greeted with scenes of jubilation from the Olympic contingent as they finally had something to celebrate after bringing to an end what has been a truly excellent campaign.