Spencers Wood through to cup semi-final!
By Simon Vincent
Dramatic quarter-final ends with Spencers Wood progressing through to the semi-final in their first ever season.
Spencers Wood left it late to claim a superb victory in the quarter final away to Coley Park.
Spencers Wood were hit with no fewer than 7 injuries in the week building upto this game including top goalscorer Joe Johnson but the players that played were simply superb especially on a pitch that was not fit for mud wrestling let alone a football match.
Spencers Wood lined up with a traditional 4-4-2 to start the match but struggled in the midfield area where Coley began to dominate and all credit to them for trying to play a passing game on such a disgrace of a pitch. Even with this dominance Spencers Wood had plenty of chances and the Coley goalkeeper had to pull off 2 magnificent saves in the first half to deny George Gurr on 2 separate occasions.
It was however Coley took the lead from a moment of controversy when the referee gave a penalty when the Coley forward hit the deck with very little invitation (this is as polite as this match reporter could be). The penalty was subsequently dispatched past Dan Codling in the Spencers Wood goal. This was to be the difference between the teams at half time.
Half time brought a change in personnel and shape for Spencers Wood with centre back Scott McLean giving way to striker Bobby Lambdon and adopting a 3-4-3 formation. This formation meant that Coley were given alot more to think about in the second half and Spencers Wood were given the opportunity to equalise when they were awarded a penalty but despite Jordan Rowe stepping up confidently the goalkeeper made a good save however within moments of another change (skipper Leon Forrest coming off for Lee Kitching) Spencers Wood equalised with an opportunist goal from substitute Lee Kitching. Spencers Wood were now the dominate side and looking very confident. Unfortunately the winning goal did not come and the match went into extra time.
Due to the superior fitness in extra time there was only one team that was going to score again and take the win and the winning goal eventually came from a high ball into the Coley area from Bobby Lambdon where Andrew Johnstone-Archer headed past the keeper.
Although Coley fought back with a few chances towards the end of extra time including a very good chance and a top save from Dan Codling in the Spencers Wood it wasn't enough to stop the deserved winners. Spencers Wood now progress into the Sunday Junior Trophy semi-final at home to the winner of the all Milton Keynes quarter final (Milton Keynes City v NHBC) on Sunday 1st March at Ryeish Green.
An absolutely magnificent achievement for a team in their first season together who are also fighting to finish top of their league.
Goals: Lee Kitching, Andrew Johnstone-Archer
MOTM: Dan Codling