AFC Telford youngsters hold their nerve

AFC Telford United’s high-flying under-18s side overcame nail-biting late drama to win the Shropshire FA Premier Youth Cup in front of a big crowd at the New Bucks Head.

AFC Telford's youngsters celebrate. Photo: Kieren Griffin
AFC Telford's youngsters celebrate. Photo: Kieren Griffin

The Bucks youngsters and Haughmond under-18s saw out a 0-0 draw before a penalty shoot-out marathon that drew similarities to that of Manchester United’s Europa League final against Villarreal.

But Paul Jones’ side held their nerve in agonizing circumstances to prevail 12-11 on spot-kicks, with 13 taken each.

Jones felt his side should have secured the silverware in normal time but squandered chances to down Shrewsbury foe Haughmond.

But the Midland Junior Premier League table-toppers, who were unbeaten in two years under Jones prior to the pandemic, held their nerve at the death in front of a crowd of 500-plus.

The young Bucks play their final league match of the season against the Carl Baker Academy today. They lead the way from AFC Rushden & Diamonds, who cannot fulfil their games in hand, so a play-off title decider is set to be confirmed for next weekend.

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