2023 FA Disability Cup: Scorpions, Everton and Brighton victorious on day one

Saturday 24 Jun 2023

The 2023 FA Disability Cup sees some of the best para footballers in the country compete in six finals across two days, with all the matches being shown live on BT Sport and streamed for free on YouTube (watch below).

Day one involved the Partially Sighted Cup Final, Amputee Cup Final and Blind Cup Final, with match reports for all three below.

Sunday then saw the Cerebral Palsy Cup Final, Powerchair Cup Final and Deaf Cup Final, with the match reports and live stream here.

You can watch all of the action from day one below.


Partially Sighted Cup Final

Merseyside Blind & V.I FC 1-2 Scorpions FC

It was Scorpions Futsal Club who lifted the first trophy of the FA Disability Cup weekend after an enthralling 2-1 win over Merseyside Blind & V.I FC.

Scorpions took the lead after five minutes when an impressive set-piece move and through ball from England international Adam Lione allowed Daniel Angus to score with an exquisite back-hell flick.

They then doubled their lead shortly before half-time when a mistake in defence allowed Scorpions’ exceptional captain Tom Lamb to dart in and poke home.

League champions Merseyside continued to look for a way back into the game but they were met by a man in fine form in the shape of the Scorpions goalkeeper.

With six minutes remaining, former Scorpions player Harry MacDonald set up a tense finish when he swivelled and found the bottom corner.

But Scorpions managed to hold on to lift their first trophy at the FA Disability Cup since 2019.

Lamb, who has been capped more than 40 times by England, said: “It is unbelievable. It is what you have worked for.

“Having opportunities like this as a disabled athlete, it is unbelievable. To get this opportunity on this stage, in front of the BT Sport cameras and all the other promotion that comes with it, it is unbelievable for our game and the other disability games.

“To come here and win, in front of the cameras, and show what partially sighted athletes can do – and I’m sure the other para teams will display what they can do today and tomorrow – is an immense opportunity.

“To come out and win it and be at the pinnacle of partially sighted football is fantastic. I’m immensely proud of the boys and we will celebrate tonight.”

Merseyside Blind & V.I FC starting line-up: 1 Rhys Crowther, 7 Harry MacDonald, 9 Rhys Holden, 11 Andy Lang ©, 15 Danny Gauden

Substitutes: 4 Alfie Colyer, 5 Neil Atkinson, 6 Wasim Alfridi, 8 Liam Spinks, 10 George Williams, 16 Bilal Akhtar

Scorpions FC starting line-up: 7 Myles Chadwick, 4 Bailey Pack, 5 Daniel Angus, 9 Tom Lamb ©, 15 Adam Lione

Substitutes: 18 Luke Quinn, 19 Chris Lester, 26 Alexander Ditchburn

EE Player of the Match: Tom Lamb


Amputee Cup Final (kick-off 12.10pm)

Everton v Portsmouth

Everton edged a thrilling Amputee Cup Final 4-2 at St. George’s Park’s 3G pitch after a frantic second half.

Everton took the lead on 23 minutes with a moment of magic, as Rhyce Ramsden flicked the ball over the defender’s head, Liam Burbridge back-heeled the ball back into his path and Ramsden applied the finish.

Ramdsen grabbed his second early in the second half with another good finish before a spell of real drama and goals. Portsmouth reduced the deficit moments later when TJ Yates scored following a smart turn but Everton went straight down the other end and made it 3-1 through Dave Tweed.

But Portsmouth did the same immediately, as captain Ray Westbrook curled in a free-kick from the halfway line to set up a tense finish.

Everton made sure of the win in injury-time though when Ramsden turned provider and released Jamie Oakey who converted well.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Tweed said: “It has been a big week, especially for the England Amputee lads who came back from the Nations League as champions. That winning mentality has come through in today’s performance.”

He continued: “We know Pompey and their quality. We came in really relaxed and we have been building towards a performance like this for 18 months now, it hasn’t been a turn-up and take each game as it comes – we deliberately have been playing to create an ethos and a style of play and it is really working.”

Everton starting line-up: 4 Steve Johnson, 6 Martin Heald, 7 Dave Tweed, 9 Liam Burbridge, 11 Rhyce Ramsden, 18 Jamie Oakey, 24 Phil Grace

Substitutes: 2 Sean Jackson, 5 Latif Ali, 66 Liam Brittles

Portsmouth starting line-up: 1 Thomas Atkinson, 5 Ray Westbrook, 6 Chris Waller, 7 Matt Dean, 8 Michael Masters, 11 Connor Cruise, 14 TJ Yates

Substitutes: 4 Kirk Hughes, 9 Che Grey

EE Player of the Match: Rhyce Ramsden

Blind Cup Final (kick-off 2.40pm)

Brighton & Hove Albion v The Royal National College for the Blind

Brighton & Hove Albion ensured there would be a new name on the trophy as they beat Royal National College for the Blind 1-0 at St. George’s Park.

It was a first half which was largely dominated by two players: Brighton’s Hamad Ebrahim and RNC’s Rainbow Mbunagi.

Ebrahim was a threat throughout the first half and scored the opening goal of the game when he dribbled from deep and fired in a powerful left-footed strike which left goalkeeper Katie Christopher with no chance.

RNC carried a threat though, with Mbunagi having several efforts in the opening period, but it was Robin Williams who went closest to scoring the game’s second goal, as the Brighton man rattled the post with another powerful shot.

Mbunagi looked set to equalise in the second period when he burst through on goal but was unable to connect with his shot when through one-on-one.

Blind footballing icon Darren Harris almost scored a trademark goal when he dribbled past several defenders and struck towards the bottom corner but Christopher made an excellent stop.

There was enough time for Mbunagi to have another impressive run and shot wide but in the end, Brighton held on to win the FA Disability Cup title for the first time, with Christopher making further saves to keep the score at 1-0 late on.

Ebrahim said: “I am happy with my goal. For the defence, it is difficult to secure a victory when you only have one goal, so I am really happy we won.

“This is the first time I have attended the FA Disability Cup and the opposition was difficult so it was tough to score.

“We come here firstly for our wellbeing and our health but after that, we wanted to win.”

Brighton & Hove Albion starting line-up: 1 Maciej Kason, 4 Liam Archer, 5 Robin Williams, 7 Hamad Ebrahim, 8 Darren Harris

Substitutes: 3 Cyril Thomas, 6 Saman Ojradast

RNC for the Blind: 1 Katie Christopher, 6 Joe Johnson, 7 Kieran Clarke, 8 Rainbow Mbunagi, 9 Shamreaz Hussain

Substitutes: 4 Jay Stallard, 5 Jack Offord, 10 Alice Hopkins

EE Player of the Match: Hamad Ebrahim

You can read match reports and watch the action from day two of the FA Disability Cup here.
By Frank Smith