Young Dacorum District dynamos battle to a gutsy cup final victory

The Dacorum District U11s celebrate their cup win. Picture (c) Tony Hickey
The Dacorum District U11s celebrate their cup win. Picture (c) Tony Hickey

Dacorum District U11 beat a gritty Stevenage District side 3-2 in the Shires Cup final to maintain their 100 per cent win record for the season.

After going a goal down midway into the first half, Dacorum fought back and equalised before half-time with a goal from winger Matheos Maneli.

After the half-time break, Dacorum started strongly and went into the lead with Alfie Williams setting up Kofi Cripps for a poacher’s goal from three yards out.

Cripps then turned provider for goal machine Louie Potton, whose deft 30-yard lob put Dacorum 3-1 up.

As the game went on, Stevenage forced Dacorum keeper David Saunders into a series of fine saves.

With minutes left, Stevenage scored to make it 3-2 and set up a very tense last few minutes of the game.

Dacorum captain Harry McHugh was forced off with an injury leaving Matthew Ellis to marshal the defence.

To add to the drama, with virtually the last kick of the game, Stevenage had a free-kick cleared off the line by Maneli to secure the win.

Dacorum co-manager Luke Nicholls said: “The boys showed a great display of guts and selflessness to come back from a goal down.

“When you have players willing to cover every blade of grass, compete for every header and every tackle it’s possible to win finals like this. It’s an honour to be associated with such a team.”