Stratford-upon-Avon College vs Sandwell College
Stratford wins 3-2 on penalties
Stratford-upon-Avon College added silverware to the trophies having produced a performance of determination, grit and steel, overcoming a very strong Sandwell College team to win on penalties in the College Cup.
From the opening seconds of the match, it was clear Sandwell possessed skill, pace and strength in abundance and Stratford were overwhelmed for the first 20 minutes.
Stratford began to grow into the game nearing the end of the first half, with the centre midfield of Joel and James getting their foot on the ball, and the front two of Josh and Tom putting on the pressure and creating a couple of half chances.
However, just as Stratford were beginning to get in the game, Sandwell sent a precise through ball neatly into the bottom corner, taking them 1-0 up.
Stratford were not finished for the first half though and, right on 45 minutes, Tom won the ball on the left hand side of the box and clipped a delightful ball, allowing Josh to produce a great header that nestled into the bottom corner.
The second half started in a similar fashion and Sandwell took a 2-1 lead after some fantastic footwork in the box.
Once again Stratford grew back into the game though, and after some half chances, Tom slotted home the equaliser to make it 2-2. Sandwell refused to let it remain unanswered, and ventured up the pitch on 85 minutes to score once again.
Stratford did not roll over and never gave up; in the last 5 minutes they hit the woodwork twice but their efforts were finally rewarded as, after a clear shove, Rhys stepped up and dispatched a penalty to take the game into extra time.
A goalless extra time, however, saw the game proceed to penalties.
Stratford got off to the worst possible start – their first two penalties were saved while Sandwell’s were scored. But, once again, the never-say-die attitude kicked in, and Stratford scored their next 3 penalties. Stratford goalie Johnnie produced a stunning one handed save and, with Sandwell blazing their two other penalties, Stratford soared through to the next round of the cup to scenes of jubilation!
Bring on the next round!