In what turned out to be an extremely heated game, Buxton Stags beat Rangers 3-0 on Sunday morning to win the DCFA Sunday Junior County Cup Final.
81 were in attendance at the Silver X Stadium to watch a game that was eventually blemished by a series of red cards.
The first 20 minutes of the game saw both sides create chances for themselves, but both goalkeepers were able to make some impressive saves.
It was until the 25th minute that the deadlock was finally broken – Buxton Stags won a free-kick on the left edge of the box, and captain Jack Gregory was able to bend it low into the bottom-right corner.
There was little else in terms of highlights until Buxton Stags doubled their lead in the 40th minute – a very neat lay-off from Colin Moss fell into the path of Pete Richardson, who volleyed it in from about six yards out, giving the keeper no chance.
Just three minutes later Stags very nearly added another, a strong header from a wide free-kick troubling Rangers goalkeeper Higgingbottom, but he managed to keep it out, and the two sides headed to the dressing rooms at the half-time whistle.
Despite Rangers playing some good football in the early minutes of the second-half, Buxton Stags continued to show their class, with consecutive corners and shots putting a lot of pressure on Higgingbottom.
It was through this pressure that they were able to add to their lead – seconds before the hour mark another Stags corner was whipped in and James Gemmell rose high above the Rangers defence, his header putting the final nail in Rangers’ coffin.
The next 20 minutes of the game became very scrappy, both teams struggling to take hold of the game in the midfield, and it was in the 78th minute that Matt Tait received Rangers’ first red card for an off-the-ball incident.
Both sides managed to create another chance or so each, most notably when Rangers’ Liam Parker wriggled through the Stags defence, however his shot trickled wide, and his side’s frustration continued to grow.
During the four minutes of injury time, Rangers managed to pick up two more straight red cards.
Luke Slater was sent for an early bath in the 91st minute, and there were disappointing scenes just three minutes later was Tristan Brown was given his marching orders following an incident with the referee.
The game eventually ran it’s course, and it was Buxton Stags who came out the victors, a professional and composed performance sealing them the DCFA Sunday Junior County Cup on a day to remember for the club.
Stags captain will have been especially pleased, scoring the opener, lifting the trophy, and being named the DCFA Man of the Match.