FOOTBALL - Robins secure Les James Challenge Cup trophy - The Solihull Observer

FOOTBALL - Robins secure Les James Challenge Cup trophy

KNOWLE FC lifted the Les James Challenge Cup trophy following an impressive 3-1 victory against divisional and local rivals Hampton.

The Robins took the lead through Jack Mullen’s first-half goal before Nathan Corry restored Knowle’s advantage before the break after Hampton had equalised.

However, Charlie Morris sealed the win for Knowle in injury time as the Solihull club lifted the trophy in front of their supporters at Walsall’s Bescot Stadium.

The victory marked Knowle’s first piece of silverware since they won the Presidents Cup in 2014 as the Robins ended their nine-year wait for a trophy.

Knowle took the lead on 32 minutes when Lewis Rainey jinked his way down the right before delivering a cross which was cleared to Mullen who fired an emphatic finish past the Hampton goalkeeper.

Hampton went close soon after when Knowle failed to properly clear their lines at a set-piece and a game of pinball broke out in the box before the ball eventually went behind for a corner.

And Hampton came within inches of scoring an equaliser when Cameron Seivwright fired a low effort narrowly wide of the left-hand post from distance.

Hampton eventually equalised on 37 minutes when Seivwright’s square ball was turned home by Matthew Garbett at the back post from close range.

Knowle thought they had reclaimed the lead shortly after when Rainey’s cross from the right was headed in by George Seeley only for the referee to blow his whistle for a push on a Hampton defender.

And the Robins eventually did retake the lead on 42 minutes as Corry latched onto a ball over the top and kept his composure to pick out the bottom right corner.

Knowle almost extended their lead early in the second half when Mullen’s effort from 20-yards out drifted narrowly wide of the post before Seeley saw his tame effort saved.

Hampton pushed for an equaliser as Garbett and substitute Alex Considine shot wide of either post when well-placed.

However, Knowle clinched the trophy in injury time when Mullen pounced on a loose pass and played in Morris who produced a clinical finish into the bottom left corner to spark wild scenes of celebration.

Knowle play in the Saturday Vase final against Sutton United on Saturday, May 20 with kick-off at 2pm at Ray Hall Lane.


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