Hednesford Town progressed to the third round of the Birmingham Senior Cup at the expense of Romulus FC, winning a penalty shootout 4-3 after a spirited performance from the visitors.
The Pitmen made a strong start forcing a series of corners during the opening exchanges, Carter Lycett put in a defence opening cross from the left that went close to being tapped-in at the far post. Perhaps an early goal for the Pitmen would have made for a much different game as Romulus’ belief and invention increased the longer their goal remained intact. Ben Bailey headed wide from a corner, before Andre Brown forced a good save from Josh Benton. A superb ball out of defence from Kyle Rowley to Ryan Pryce saw the latter play a one-two before going down under a challenge in the box, the referee opted to decline the Pitmen’s claim for a penalty. Riley O’Sullivan replaced the concussed Andre Brown on 43 minutes, before Andre Landell hit the post in stoppage time.
George Cater made a welcome return from injury in the 56th minute replacing Pryce. For a few seconds it looked like the Pitmen had finally broken through the robust Romulus back line, when O’Sullivan finished from close range, however the assistant linesman flagged for offside. O’Sullivan threaded a dangerous ball forward, the impressive Benton read the situation well, getting to the ball fractionally ahead of Cater. A late challenge on Cater in the Romulus area failed to produce a spot kick, four minutes of added time came and went before the game went straight to a penalty shootout.
Courtney Richards, Lewis Ison, George Cater and Andre Landell scored their penalties, as Hednesford man of the match Bradley Clarkson superbly saved Romulus’ second penalty before watching the final one blaze over the crossbar to give the Pitmen a 4-3 win.
Hednesford Town; Clarkson, Pryce (Cater 56), Lycett, Bailey, Atkinson, Rowley (Ison 84), Parker, Richards, Brown (O’Sullivan 43), Landell, Soleman (Master 63) Sub not used J Brown
Romulus FC; Benton, John, Harrison, Kyle Burke (Whelan 78), Rudd, Lee, Zia, Ticha (Carty 64), Kory Burke (Thomas 90), Bertie, Watkins (Edwards 71). Sub not used; Fellows