Rutland Dead Rabbits are the PFA Minor Cup champions after an impressive 3-1 victory over PDFL Division Four rivals ICA Sports B in the final at Chestnut Avenue on Wednesday night.
Rutland DR had a dream start to the final, taking the lead in just the third minute. James Slack was unmarked at the back post and he headed home for 1-0.
Dead Rabbits were on top and Darren Short put a header just inches over the crossbar in the eighth minute.
The Rutland side defended stoutly and were dangerous on the break and from set pieces.
Peterborough keeper Billy Ponsford was called into action from one such break and he needed the assistance of defender Nino Nuzo to clear the danger. Just past the half hour mark Joe McDonald had a glorious chance to score from a corner. The ball fell at his feet but the attacker could only put the ball wide.
But Rabbits didn’t have to wait long for their third of the night. Man of the match Tane Scott was close to latching onto a poor back-pass moments before he netted the second goal of the match in the 35th minute, firing past the keeper at his far post.
Rutland stayed on the pitch at half-time and never let the intensity drop. It proved a wise call by the Rabbits management as just six minutes into the second half Scott was celebrating his second of the night and his side’s third. He finished from six yards after a great ball across the box from James Slack.
Rabbits were edging towards glory but in the 75th minute ICA won a penalty when a Rutland defender held back a Sports attacker. Substitute Billy Wright stepped up to take the spot kick and Rabbits’ keeper Daniel Foster stopped the initial effort which was straight at him but a thankful Wright buried the rebound to give his side a glimmer of hope. The Peterborough side pushed forward but Rabbits held on for the victory.
*The report of Rutland Dead Rabbits’ cup final victory incorrectly called goalkeepr Daniel Foster, Billy Foster. We apologise for the error.