Frecheville Blades 3
Erdington Villans 0
The burly Frecheville Blades have won the sixteen-club The Benchwarmers Challenge Cup after their 3-1 aggregate win over English manager Richard "Richie Villa" Birchall's high flying Erdington Villans in the Final.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, in which the superb Villans had dominated and won through a goal by Menez converting former Bladesman Carles Coto's cross, the Blades had come out all guns blazing. Facing off the dangerous 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation applied by the Villans with an attacking 2-3-2-3 formation (2 DCs, wing backs and a DM, 2 attacking-minded MCs, and three forwards), the Blades almost got off to a dream start when Amauri fired home in the 10th minute, only to be ruled offside.
The first goal wasn't long in coming, however. Micah Richards charged down Amauri's shot, only for the ball to fall nicely for LEONARDO PISCULICHI to blast home left-footed. Play continued with the Blades in ascendancy until half-time but no more goals came.
The lead was doubled in the 54th minute, when AMAURI's shot was deflected by David Luiz past the helpless Erdington keeper to give the Blades an aggregate 2-1 lead. Nerves were jangling, and Villans boss Birchall sought to make the changes to get his side back in the game.
The killer blow came in the 75th when Blades pressure led to a fine double save from Villans keeper Marco Amelia, only for the loose ball to fall to former real-life Blade and recent signing COLIN KAZIM-RICHARDS to power home from 6 yards.
A truly delightful game for me, and a terrific win over a great manager and deservedly highly ranked side - all great, but the £423,334 prize made it even sweeter!
Even nicer was that with the late sub appearances of Nicky Law and Michael Tonge, the side that won this game featured no less than SEVEN former or present Sheffield United players.