A little pre-match research showed that, of the two sides, it was Knowle who had the greater pedigree in the competition, although it had been a while since they manged to take the trophy home. In the 1996-97 season they had won the cup 5-4 on penalties after drawing 3-3 with Kings Heath. Borough, although not yet victors, had made the final just two season's previously, going down 2-1 to Paget Rangers.
Progress in this season's competition (thanks to the very informative match-day programme for making this research very easy) looked like this:
Knowle - FC Shush (h) 3-3 (5-4 pens), GNP SPorts (a) 3-3 (P), Birmingham Tigers (h) 3-0, Enville Athletic (a) 1-0
Borough - Feckenham (h) 5-1, Bolmere Sports & Social (h) 1-0, Continental Star (a) 1-0, Inkberrow (h) 4-0
League-wise neither side has set the world alight this season. Knowle finished in 8th spot with 42 points. Borough four places and ten points lower. The two league meetings had both ended in home wins, Redditch winning 2-1 and Knowle 3-0, giving no real indication of the possible outcome on a neutral ground. Interestingly, both sides had played Coventry Alvis in their final league outings and both had lost. Knowle went down 2-1 whilst Borough had been beaten 6-1 on their own patch.
It was Redditch, playing in their change kit of all blue, who made the better start of the two sides with Jak Albutt immediately making a real nuisance of himself with his bustling, battling style. However, they failed to make the most of their good start, allowing Knowle to gradually work their way back into the game.
The boot was now firmly back on the other foot with Redditch winning the ball back almost immediately from the restart, raiding down their left flank. The cross was delivered over to the back post and was then hooked back into the mix where Khurum Iqbal was on hand to steer the ball low past Johnson's despairing dive to make it 1-2. A great turnaround from the Robins.
HT Knowle 1 Redditch Borough 2. Redditch deserve their lead and have been the better side despite conceding the first goal.
FT Knowle 1 Redditch Borough 2. Great spirit from Redditch to fight back from a goal down but Knowle showed equal spirit in their second half performance. It was hard to separate them sides overall and a shame that there had to be a loser.
Knowle (from): Bridges, Cullen, Davis, Else, Ingram, Payne, Powell, Ruck, Seeley, Weeks, Johnson. Subs: Ajayi, Brooks, Healey, Fox, Oakley
Redditch Borough: Gandy, Turner, Bruce, Iqbal, Hatfield (c), Denham, Westwood, Hall, Albutt, Garvey, Wilkinson. Subs: Bennett, Birch, Sargent, Davies, Ruppenthal, Smith
Ground Number: 199