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25th Jun, 2022

FOOTBALL - Droitwich Spa 3-3 Bromyard Town (Bromyard win 9-8 on penalties)

Aaron Sutcliffe 21st May, 2022 Updated: 25th May, 2022

DROITWICH Spa were denied a league and cup double after the Saltmen were beaten in a dramatic penalty shootout by Bromyard Town in the League Cup final after a six-goal thriller in normal time.

Spa trailed courtesy of a quickfire double at the end of the first half before the introduction of Connor Baker turned the game in the Saltmen’s favour.

Baker set up Connor Collins and Haydn Morris either side of drawing Spa level only for a late Bromyard goal to take the game to penalties.

And a remarkable shootout ensued before Bromyard goalkeeper Alex Rhodes eventually won the tie to deny Andy Crowther’s side a double at Billbrook Juniors ground in Wolverhampton.

However, the Saltmen were at least able to get their hands on some silverware as the club were presented with the West Midlands Regional League Division One shield at the end of the game having been confirmed as league champions earlier in the week.

Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes after Bromyard’s kit arrived late with both teams initially set to wear green.

And Droitwich created the first meaningful chance of the game when James Lemon’s shot from close range was superbly blocked by Bromyard defender Josh Baker.

Both teams struggled for fluidity in the opening quarter before Luke Molloy let fly with a speculative half volley from distance that went well over the crossbar.

Bromyard matched Spa for much of the first half and created a half chance when Jason Wellings broke free down the left only for his cross to come to nothing.

The Saltmen responded with a chance of their own when Perry Moss was played in behind the Bromyard defence only for his square pass to be intercepted and cleared to safety.

Spa goalkeeper Ryan Williams was then called into action at the other end as he made an important save to keep out Ollie Thompson’s shot when one-on-one.

However, Bromyard took the lead when Ben Cowlishaw finished well from Thompson’s perfectly weighted through ball.

And Spa’s task was made even more difficult when Bromyard doubled their lead in the space of two minutes through Andy Hudson’s piledriver into the top left corner from the right hand side of the penalty area.

Droitwich searched for a reply before the half was out when Molloy curled a free-kick over the bar.

And Moss then had a shot deflected behind before a header looped onto the top of the crossbar from the resulting corner.

The second half started in a similar vein to the first until Collins finished into the bottom right corner from substitute Connor Baker’s pass to halve the deficit.

Spa stepped up the tempo following the goal and had a chance to draw level when Collins fired a bouncing ball over from 15-yards out.

And Droitwich thought they should have had a penalty soon after when Baker competed for a loose ball with Bromyard keeper Rhodes only for the referee to wave away their appeals.

However, the Saltmen did not have to wait long to find their equaliser when Baker found the bottom right corner from Collins’ pass to bring Droitwich onto level terms.

And Spa completed a stunning comeback when Morris coolly finished past Rhodes from the right-hand side of the penalty area from Baker’s threaded pass.

However, Bromyard refused to be beaten and scored a late equaliser through Dan Cottrill at the back post after a free-kick from distance was floated into the box.

Spa spurned a glorious chance to win the game in injury time when Lemon shot over when one-on-one after superb work from Collins with the game to be decided via a penalty shootout.

Droitwich scored the first penalty through Collins before Williams made a stunning save to keep out Cottrill’s penalty.

However, after Molloy saw his effort saved, Williams made another save to deny Hudson before Morris extended Spa’s lead.

Thompson found the corner to get Bromyard off the mark before Jack Davies confidentally scored for Droitwich.

Cowlishaw’s penalty kept Bromyard in the shootout before Lemon scuffed his attempt which allowed Callum Goddard to draw the teams level.

Spa’s Alex Dugmore drilled his effort home before Bromyard drew level as Baker’s scuffed effort found the net and Nath Myers levelled again for Bromyard.

Substitute Charlie Tilley once again handed Spa the initiative only for Bromyard to level again.

Cal Green coolly slotted his penalty before Williams got a hand to Wellings’ penalty but was unable to keep it out.

Scott Braiden-Smith emphatically found the net as Dan McArdle drew Bromyard level.

It was left to the two keepers to settle the shootout as Williams was denied by Rhodes before the Bromyard keeper fired an effort past the former to seal the trophy for Bromyard.

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