Les James Challenge Cup
Brocton 3 Coventry Copsewood 3 (AET) Brocton won 5-4 on penalties
IN blustery conditions, Brocton edged through a Les James Challenge Cup thriller against Coventry Copsewood on Saturday.
The Badgers had several early shots on target which gave them confidence going forward.
However, a mix up in the Badgers defence could have given Copsewood a goal start, but the ball was moved up quickly to Jethro Jarrett and he ran at the Copsewood defence and fired a shot from 30 yards which flew into the top of the Copsewood net on 11 minutes.
Copsewood started to apply their own pressure on Brocton and their front runners Danny Fraser and Michael Bawden featured in several of their attacks supported by the experienced Petajon Gordon who was always shielding the ball well for others to feed onto.
Jamie Evans and Dan Lomas combined well on the left for Brocton and Evans took the ball cross field and was fouled on the edge of the penalty area, which enabled Dave Berks the opportunity to fire in a low free kick with the slightest of touches off Paul McMahon to give Brocton a two goal lead on 30 minutes.
This lead lasted for the remainder of the first half with Copsewood having attempts in and around the Brocton penalty area which came to nothing.
The second period started as the first and Brocton looked to gain control, and several opportunities resulted in frustration for the Brocton forwards.
This included a one-on-one between McMahon and keeper Steve Furlong but the striker waited too long for support to arrive and shot directly at the keeper's legs.
As the wind started to gather pace so did the efforts from Copsewood including several long throws which unsettled the Brocton defence.
Following a free kick on the edge of Brocton's area Tom Murphy pick up the rebounding ball and fired past Whitehouse to peg the Badgers back to 2-1 on 80 minutes.
The wind was getting stronger, but so were Copsewood and they followed up with a second goal two minutes later through Mark Gormely. The game was end to end cup football with Gordon going close for the Coventry side and Bell just skimming the post on ninety minutes.
Extra time was played in a similar pattern to the previous 90 minutes with the teams taking advantage when they had the wind at their backs and following Brocton pressure Sam Beech scored his first senior goal from five yards to put Brocton in front again.
The second period of extra time saw Berks and Jarrett with good opportunities to kill off the game in Brocton's favour but it was not to be as Copsewood gained confidence themselves.
They forced the equaliser which eventually came from a long throw again into the Brocton area for Gordon to head past Whitehouse, so sending the tie to a penalty shoot-out.
After both keepers had made saves, the shoot out went to sudden death and it was Brocton who emerged 5-4 winners.
Spot on for holders Brocton were from Berks, Whitehouse, Levi Bailey, Jarrett and Bell and so they continue their defence of the trophy they won at Walsall's Banks's Stadium last May.