Stotfold succeed in cup spot kicks shoot-out

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A depleted Stotfold side eventually made it through in the Hinchingbrooke Cup after a penalty shoot-out against Eynesbury Rovers.

A late own goal saw the clash at Roker Park last Thursday at 2-2 after normal time but Stotfold succeeded in spot kicks to set up a tie at Peterborough Northern Star.

It took only six minutes for Eynesbury to open the scoring as a whipped ball across the face of the goal set up an easy tap in.

Despite some good work from Ben L’Honore to put himself in a clear goalscoring position, he then pulled his shot wide with an open goal begging. But apart from that the first 30 minutes was one way traffic with Eynesbury going close on numerous occasions.

Then with just a couple of minutes left of the half L’Honore ran on to a dropping ball and headed the ball into his own path, only to be blindsided with a clash of heads that had Ben going down like a knocked-out boxer - and not for the first time this season either.

Into the second half and after what was a dire first half performance from Stotfold it could only get better. On 65 minutes a through ball from Drew Cardines ran into the path of the pacey veteran Mark Ellis to race clear and and he drove home the equaliser into the bottom left hand corner from 20 yards out.

With 11 minutes left the impressive Ellis wriggled his way into the box and was taken down for a stonewall penalty. He then stepped up and smashed the spot kick high into the top corner for 2-1 and Stotfold looked to be cruising to a win,

Eyensbury had other ideas and for the last few minutes threw the kitchen sink at the Stotfold defence. They got a bit of good fortune as a cross was diverted into the net off helpless Stotfold skipper Michael Payne for an own goal with just 20 seconds of normal time left on the clock.

It was straight to the lottery of penalties.

Adam Harpur in the Stotfold goal got the home side off to a great start with a good save. Drew Cardines, Mark Ellis, and Michael Simpson then converted their spot kicks for Stotfold and was enough to see them home 3-2 on penalties.

Although they rode their luck in the first half, the much improved second half performance proved them worthy winners.