CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE KNOCKOUT CUP: Penalty joy for cup holders Bug & Spider (From Wiltshire Times)
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CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE KNOCKOUT CUP: Penalty joy for cup holders Bug & Spider
12:30pm Monday 11th March 2013 in Sport
DEFENDING Eric Hughes Memorial Knockout Cup holders Bug & Spider booked their place in this season’s final of the presstoprint-sponsored competition after they saw off a determined challenge from first division Bradford Renegades.
But Marcus Lovsey’s side needed a dramatic 3-1 penalty shoot out win to keep their dreams of retaining the trophy they won last April after the beat FC Jager 2-1 alive.
A 0-0 score line may suggest that the game was a bore to watch, but that assumption would be way off the mark as both teams gave their all in a full-blooded contest that was played in a hard but fair and sporting manner throughout which was a credit to those involved and well refereed by Neil Fautley and his assistants, Luke Rudman and Adam Pothecary.
The game flowed from end to end as both keepers Jamie Bartlett for Bug & Spider and Darren Phoenix for Renegades excelled as they produced a number of fine stops to keep their respective side in the game.
Bug & Spider had the best chance in the first half to break the deadlock but Mark Smith put his penalty over the bar.
Renegades were twice denied an opener by the woodwork, Ashley Styles headed against the bar and Sam Jordan hit the post.
With chances coming and going at both ends it was little surprise that the game went to extra time and with the first period just a couple on minutes in Bug & Spider missed two glorious opportunities to break the stalemate.
Firstly, Neurin Jones fired a shot from six yard across the keeper only to hit the post, the rebound fell to Liam Brown who should have planted the ball home but placed it straight back into the grateful arms of keeper Phoenix.
With three minutes left of added time only a well time sliding on Sam Jordan from Marcus Lovesey denied the prolific striker and opening goal.
Bug & Spider stepped up to take the first of the penalties and Mark Smith made amends for his first half miss by putting his team in front.
Lee Ridout fired his spot kick against the bar, and when Bug’s Marcus Lovesey struck the post with his teams second, Renegades had the chance to level but Ashley Styles also found the woodwork with his attempt.
Mark Dolman kept his calm to add a second for Bug & Spider, and his successful effort was followed by Sam Jordan whose cheeky dink kept his side in the tie.
Alex T. Lewis kept the advantage with the Bug which meant that Jordan Pinder had to find the net with the next effort for Renegades to keep the game alive but his strike only found the grateful arms of keeper Bartlett to hand the Bug & Spider their place in April’s cup final.
Both teams had played their part in a thrilling contest which would have made for a great final but, Renegades can take heart from their performance and with a WG Parr Trophy final on the horizon a similar performance against FC Colerne on April 7 could give them their first ever piece of silverware.
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