Stotfold beat Potton United 5-4 on penalties to progress in the North Beds Charity Cup on Tuesday night.
For this tie both sides were below full strength but put on an entertaining game of football. Stotfold were beaten finalists last season and were looking to extend their recent four game unbeaten run.
Potton dominated the first half and had some clear cut chances with the hosts turning the tables in the second period, having some efforts stopped on the line.
United started brightly and a good pass from Joe Aris saw keeper Adam Harper save at the feet of Mark Ansell-Carter. Alex Taylor had a shot that went wide before Louis Taylor fired over for Stotfold. George Kiely was put through but was taken out by Harper who was shown a yellow card.
Calum Forster and Jack Chandler both had attempts blocked. From a free kick Luke Harradine headed back across goal for Kiely to shoot wide, and both James Lamty and Taylor both shot wide. A good passing movement ended with Kiely playing Mark Ansell-Carter in and his shot went over the bar with only the keeper to beat.
A good run by Stotfold’s Ben L’Honore ended with him shooting wide before an effort by Chandler was blocked and from the rebound Kiely shot over.
The closest effort of the half came just before the break when L’Honore mad a good run down the right and was unlucky to see his effort hit the post.
Stotfold came out more determined in the second half and Charlie Joy forced Craig Lewis to make a good save before next shooting over. Chandler had an effort that was easily saved. A good move by Potton ended with Aris shooting wide and from a Calum Forster free kick Chandler shot over the bar.
On the hour the first Stotfold change saw Drew Cardines replace Jaiden Irish and a change of formation to a more familiar 4-4-2 bore immediate results as Charlie Joy’s corner saw big centre half Michael Payne stoop low and head hard into the net for 1-0.
Theo Swain shot over the bar among several attempts by Stotfold before Lewis saved on the line from Swain. A poor cross field pass by Arisa allowed L’Honore to play Joy in but his shot was saved. L’Honore then missed an easy chance before a 25 yard effort from Aris was saved under the bar by Harper.
However in the 84th minute Aris played a through ball to Kenny Smith who chipped it over the keeper into the net for Potton’s equaliser.
And so to penalties and with both sides missing one spot kick each out of the first five it went to sudden death. The next two were missed before Potton missed the seventh attempt and Charlie Joy scored to put Stotfold through 5-4 on penalties.
For Potton it was a chance to rest some of the players carrying knocks and also involve players who have been on the fringe of the side. On Saturday it is back to league action when Thrapston Town visit The Hutchinson Hollow, and then on Tuesday Potton visit Olney Town in the league.
Meanwhile Stotfold have back to back home games in the SSML Premier - welcoming Colney Heath on Saturday before Leverstock Green are the visitors on Tuesday.
Potton United: Craig Lewis, Calum Forster, Ashley Yeomans, Shaun Faulkner, Luke Harradine, Steve Gillies, Mark Ansell-Carter, Joe Aris, Alex Taylor (Kenny Swain), George Kiely (Gary Ansell-Carter), Jack Chandler (John Bailey).