AFC Wulfrunians 1-1 Droitwich Spa (Wulfs win 4-2 on penalties)
By Ben Lloyd
Battling Spa equalize late but defeated on penalties
Droitwich Spa visited AFC Wulfrunians on Tuesday evening (a side 2 divisions above them in the Football Pyramid) as they made a debut in the Polymac Packaging League Cup.
The first half was almost a non-event as a well organised Spa defended resolutely, comfortably snuffing out any threats from the hosts.
Droitwich could even have gone in front as Morris and Lemon came close in the first period.
Wulfrunians came out for the second half a rejuvenated side and were causing a lot more problems for the Saltmen's back-line; Owen Eggington and Rees Wedderburn causing the largest threats, and matt oliver was forced into making a couple of decent saves from Parker and Webb, whilst another Wedderburn effort went wide of the post.
Wulfs deservedly broke the deadlock on 65 minutes - some superb play from Jake Webb down the right hand side taking on 3 Spa players before finding Mitchell McDonald who fired in low past Oliver from 10 yards out.
The goal seemed to wake Droitwich up - they forced several corners and Burgess, Crisp, Morris, Lemon as well as substitute Macauley Finch all had chances in the closing stages.
An equalizer finally came (for the 3rd game in a row) deep in to stoppage time.
A pin-point ball from Brad Burgess into the path of James Lemon, whose impressive control and turn of pace took him past defender Tom Ray and a clinical finish from the edge of the box beating John Bateman in the Wulfs' goal to send the away contingent into delirium.
The Saltmen then faced their second penalty shoot-out in as many games!
Max Crisp and Curtis Townley converted their penalties well but both James Lemon and Joe Mayo-Braiden's efforts were well saved by Bateman, while Wulfs converted all four of their spot kicks to send them through to the 2nd round.
A performance and result after 90 minutes that the Saltmen can feel rightly proud of as they matched their higher ranked opponents for large parts of this game, and may even feel slightly aggrieved to not have come away with a win.