Rushall boss happy to celebrate with fun in the sun

Rushall Olympic boss Liam McDonald is glad to have something to celebrate ahead of taking his players on an end-of-season trip to Portugal.

Liam McDonald
Liam McDonald

The Pics beat Sporting Khalsa 2-0 to win the Walsall Senior Cup at Bescot on Thursday night.

It saw McDonald's men finish the campaign on a high note after the disappointment of falling short in the Southern Central Premier play-offs.

Champagne was sprayed as they lifted the trophy, and they now plan on enjoying a fair few more drinks in the sunshine.

"We've worked hard, and in the Senior Cup, we've played some good teams. This is a reward before we jet off to Portugal next week," said McDonald.

"It's a reward for the hard work they've put in. It's been a long season. Losing in the play-offs affects everybody mentally, but the lads have gone out and done the football club proud again.

"We get a trophy to finish off a record-breaking season for us.

"We're going away to Portugal now, which will be fantastic. We love going away together and haven't done it for a few years because of Covid.

"We can really go and let our hair down, really enjoy four days in the sun.

"There'll be lots of alcohol, I'm sure. We'll have such a good time and then come back and look at where we are going into next season."

Rushall had threatened to achieve promotion from step three of non-league for the first time in their history, having finished fourth, but were beaten 3-0 by Coalville Town in the play-off semi-finals.

The Senior Cup final, however, saw them have a bit of luck on their side.

Khalsa had keeper Sam Arnold sent off after six minutes and with no back-up in the squad, striker Josh McKenzie had to play the rest of the game in goal.

Tom Thorley and Kristian Green got the goals the Pics needed to clinch the crown.

"Sometimes people think it's just easy against 10 men, but it doesn't always work like that," said McDonald.

"I always felt we'd score goals. To be fair, Khalsa did really well and worked really hard.

"But we've got some good players and are in the league above. We're a good team, and it was important we stayed focused.

"We knew if we could make it 2-0, we'd win the game.

"Going forward, we had that quality in a game that didn't have loads of it.

"It's been a tough couple of months for us, but we've won and had a bit of luck as well. So, we can take that into pre-season and next season."

Khalsa chief Ian Rowe, meanwhile, was proud of his charges in the circumstances.

"I knew it was always going to be a tall, tall order after the red card, with having no keeper on the bench," added Rowe.

"Putting a centre forward in goal, it killed us, but I'm so proud of the lads.

"They dug in and kept going, and we could have nicked a couple of goals.

"I hate losing any game, but the way the lads applied themselves, they were a credit to the club and themselves."

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