FOOTBALL - Droitwich Spa 1-1 Pershore Town - Droitwich win 8-7 on penalties - The Droitwich Standard

FOOTBALL - Droitwich Spa 1-1 Pershore Town - Droitwich win 8-7 on penalties

Aaron Sutcliffe 31st Jan, 2023 Updated: 2nd Feb, 2023   0

DROITWICH Spa advanced to the semi-finals of the Worcestershire Senior Cup with a dramatic penalty shootout win against holders Pershore Town.

The Saltmen lost Cory Rudd to a red card on the stroke of half time and looked to have claimed an unlikely victory when Jack Brighton’s free kick was misjudged by Pershore goalkeeper Eddie Cox at the death.

However, Petar Tonchev equalised from the spot moments later, in a dramatic conclusion to regulation time, only for Andy Crowther’s side to triumph 8-7 on penalties at the King George Playing Fields in front of 463 spectators.

The game went ahead at the third attempt after the original match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and the rearranged fixture was frozen off.

Pershore had the game’s first chance when Tonchev latched onto a ball in behind the Spa defence only to be denied by Droitwich’s deputy goalkeeper Dom Rogerson.

The Saltmen created an almost identical opening at the other end as Connor Collins burst through and saw his shot saved by Town goalkeeper Cox.

Spa midfielder Jack Davies was next to try his luck when he blazed an effort over the crossbar before Josh Willis curled wide for Pershore.

And the home side felt they should have had a penalty when Perry Moss was quickest to reach a loose ball in the box before a Pershore defender only their appeals to be waved away by the referee.

The two teams continued to trade chances when Aidan Clark stabbed the ball straight at Rogerson from 15-yards out.

Pershore then spurned a good chance to take the lead when Sam Clark fired over from Tonchev’s cutback.

Tempers flared at various points of the half which killed the flow of the game with neither side able to build any momentum.

And tempers boiled over again at the end of the half following a strong challenge by Spa’s Cory Rudd who was shown a straight red card for his tackle on S Clark moments before the break.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Droitwich made a blistering start to the second half as Moss saw a shot blocked before Collins was superbly denied by Cox at the keeper’s near post.

The visitors struggled to break down a stubborn Spa defence as Rogerson claimed several crosses under little pressure.

And Rogerson then made a crucial save to keep out Willis’s shot after the midfielder jinked his way into the penalty area.

Pershore were unable to turn their possession into anything meaningful as Spa defended manfully with the game destined for penalties.

However, Brighton’s speculative free kick into the box was misjudged by Pershore goalkeeper Cox who could only palm the ball into the net to spark wild scenes of celebration on the touchline.

There was still time for more drama when the referee awarded Pershore a contentious penalty following a coming together in the box despite furious protests from Spa.

Tonchev converted the resulting spot kick into the bottom right corner as he sent Rogerson the wrong way to take the game to penalties.

The first eight penalties were all successfully converted before Haydn Morris skied over and Rogerson saved James Baldwin’s tame penalty to take the shootout to sudden death.

And after both teams scored their next three penalties, Matt Hunt netted for Droitwich and Jordan Adams blazed the decisive spot kick over the bar to send Spa into the last four.


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