A late two-goal show from Aston Villa dumped the Pitmen out of the Birmingham Senior Cup, despite a spirited performance in wintry conditions at Keys Park …
The opening exchanges saw the visitors enjoy the greater share of possession, although it was the Pitmen who carved out the first few half-chances. Lupano and Abadaki combined well on the left to create an opportunity for Ellis who forced a block save from Viljamo Sinisalo in the Villa goal. Moments later the keeper was called into action again, preventing the Pitmen taking an early lead through Wells’ snap shot from the right of the penalty area.
Danny Lupano denied the visitors a goal when he got in the way of a goal bound header from Doyle-Hayes. A good spell followed from the Pitmen with Osebi Abadaki asking questions of the Villa defence on the left and Jud Ellis sending a shot just over the crossbar. Villa had the ball in the net first through Mooney; however, the referee had seen a handball in the build-up play and following some confusion amongst both sets of players, disallowed the goal.
In the 43rd minute Villa delivered a quick free kick to Taylor on the right whose cross was fired past Mate Deczki by Kelsey Mooney to give the visitors a 1-0 half time lead.
Villa began the second half in the ascendancy, attacking the Pitmen goal with an increased sense of purpose and pace. In the 53rd minute, Corey Taylor unleashed a shot from the right, which Deczki parried into the path of Jordan Cox who doubled the visitors’ lead with a neat finish.
Lewis Archer, a half time replacement for Harvey, having already threatened the Villa defence with his pace, found himself through on goal only to be brought down by Sinisalo. The frontman dusted himself off to dispatch the resulting penalty in the 64th minute to give the Pitmen a lifeline.
With the game opening up Villa were denied a shout for a penalty, while the Pitmen hit the crossbar from a free kick before Josh Craddock came close to finding the equaliser shooting just wide after a bursting run into the area. Another run from Lewis Archer ended when he unleashed a superb low shot from 20 yards beating Sinisalo to even the score in the 80th minute.
A goalmouth scramble saw both Reece King and Kieran Wells go close to netting a winner for the Pitmen. But in the 87th minute, with a penalty shoot-out looming, Ben Guy broke through the home defence, beating Deczki to regain the lead for the visitors. As Hednesford committed men forward in search of an equaliser, Villa were able to break through Taylor whose shot took a wicked deflection into the Hednesford in the 92nd minute to confirm Villa’s victory with a flattering 4-2 score line.
Hednesford Town: Deczki, Vidal (Hallahan 5), Lupano, Harvey (Archer 46), Moran, Bailey ©, Craddock, King, Adabaki (Pryce 68), Wells, Ellis.
Subs not used: Dodd, Veiga
Aston Villa: Sinisalo, Walker, McConnachie, Bazeley-Graham, Patterson, Prosser, Taylor, Doyle-Hayes ©, Mooney, Clarke (Guy 76), Cox (Pressley 88).
Subs: Knibbs, Ige, Guy