The final between Derby County Academy & Buxton FC was held at Pride Park Stadium, in front of 799 spectators.
The first good chance of the game came for Derby after 25 minutes when Kido Taylor-Hart danced around the Buck’s defence and fed a cross into Dajaune Brown, who headed wide.
The Young Rams opened the scoring after 34 minutes when Taylor-Hart received the ball on the right, cut inside and fired home with a low, drilled effort. The goal was enough to see Derby through to half-time with a 1-0 lead.
Just five minutes into the second half, the Young Rams nearly doubled their lead, Taylor-Hart forcing a smart save from Richardson in the Buxton goal. The ball then find it’s way to Brown, who’s effort at goal was blocked by Joe Ackroyd.
The Bucks grew into the game and thought they’d equalised on the hour mark; Sam Osborne headed home but was adjudged by the assistant referee to have been in an offside position. With time ticking, Buxton continued to press, Diego De Girolamo going close after 83 minutes, his powerful shot saved by Harry Evans.
The equaliser finally came in the 89th minute. The ball came across to De Girolamo in the box, who got on the end of it to level the proceedings with barely any time. Deep into stoppage time, the expected outcome from fans and probably players alike was that the result would have to be decided by a penalty shootout.
Until in the 95th minute, tireless Bucks midfielder Connor Kirby met an inviting cross with a header, finding the back of the net and sending the Buxton fans into raptures! With no time remaining for the Young Rams to fight back, the full-time whistle blew, and Buxton run out 2-1 winners, thanks to two very late goals!
Buxton have enjoyed a fantastic season, including fighting for play-offs in the National League North, a good FA Cup run, and now some well-deserved silverware, as they are 2022/23’s Derbyshire Senior Challenge Cup winners!
We at Derbyshire FA would like to congratulate Buxton on their success in the cup this season and commiserate Derby County Academy who have endured a great cup campaign during a testing season. We would also like to thank the competition sponsors Cawarden for their fantastic support this season.