Knowle FC 2 Shirley Town 1
In front of a bumper crowd in excess of 300 at Solihull Moors Stadium on May 9, Knowle won the Birmingham County FA Vase in an exciting encounter with local rivals Shirley Town.
The first half was tense but had some excellent passages of play with both sides creating chances. Shaun Edwards was the first keeper to cover himself in glory as he came out bravely to protect the Knowle goal.
Knowle’s pacey wingers Tom Hyland and Joey Smith were causing problems down both flanks but their final crosses always seemed to elude their leading goal scorer Jon Jackson-Berarey or the on rushing Craig Nichols and Stef Abonandi who were linking from midfield.
It was Shirley however who had the two best chances. Both were chipped over the bar when strikers were one on one with Edwards.
As the second half started, Knowle took the lead, Abonandi running at pace from halfway to thread a superb through ball to Tom Hyland who out-paced his marker and slotted the ball home. The large Knowle contingent were ecstatic. President Liam Coyle was ‘high fiving’ everyone and Tom was crushed under the weight of his team mates.
Before everyone could get their breath back, Shirley had equalised, heading home from a set piece. They then hit the inside of the post, the ball rebounding invitingly across the goal but fortunately for Knowle, Paul Farnell got there first and cleared it into the neighbouring field.
The game could have gone either way but with 15 minutes to go, it was Knowle who made the decisive strike.
The ball was crossed into the crowded box. After a bit of pinballing, Jackson-Berarey pivoted round to hammer the ball into the roof of the net. Knowle made sure they didn’t concede an equaliser, allowing captain Matty Shakespeare to lift the ‘Vase’ a celebration shared with their under 7s.
Last night (Thursday), Knowle met Littleton in the final of the Presidents Cup at Redditch United.