Holders Hednesford Town continued their romance with the Birmingham Senior Cup as Neil Harvey scored an extra time winner to beat Birmingham City in an enthralling contest, and The Pitmen now face Tamworth in the semi finals.
The Blues started no less than five players who had made appearances in the Championship this season but Hednesford chased, harried and fought valiantly for 120 minutes.
Scottish international Andrew Shinnie started the goal glut on 12 minutes as he turned in midfield and hit an unstoppable shot beyond Dan Crane but, with Jamey Osborne in particular showing once again why he is tipped to be playing at a higher level, The Pitmen were the better side.
One run summed up Osborne’s performance as he rounded four men in midfield and slotted a perfectly judged pass to Paul Sullivan who shot at the goalkeeper. However, the ex-Chasetown striker finally opened his Hednesford account on 24 minutes, sweeping in a loose ball from a free kick.
Francino Francis headed against the crossbar three minutes later but Birmingham, dangerous on the counter, saw Koby Arthur’s shot saved bravely by Crane.
Blues finished a breathless first half the stronger but it was Hednesford who took the lead just after the break as Sullivan ran onto a poorly defended long ball and outrageously dummied Callum Preston, leaving the keeper flat on his back, to tap into an empty net.
Osborne won and then scored a free kick from 25 yards out to further underline his credentials but Blues struck back twice in the last 16 minutes through Peter Lovenkrands and, with the last action of the 90 minutes, Liam Truslove who looped his header over Crane.
As the match entered extra time the pace understandably dropped but, returning from a lengthy injury lay off, Harvey showed what The Pitmen fans have been missing as he headed in the winner from a Darren Campion corner in the 116th minute to end a thoroughly entertaining game of football.
Crane, Disney, Campion (capt), Bailey, Francis, McCone, Osborne (69) (Thompson-Brown 86), Melbourne, Blissett (Harvey 53 (106)), Sullivan (24, 49) (Anagho-Ntamark 72), Thorley
Subs Not Used
Preston, Dacres-Cogley, Bell, Truslove (90), Webb, Kelly, Sutherland (McFarlane 86), Howard (Cooper 102), Shinnie (12) (McGee 96), Lovenkrands (capt) (74) Arthur
Subs Not Used
Bookings – Thorley ; Dacres-Cogley, Webb
Entertainment Rating – 5 Stars
Star Man – Jamey Osborne
Attendance – 377