Stone Old Alleynians p0-0 St Martins (Stone win 5-3 on penalties)

Stone Old Alleynians avenged their two league defeats at the hands of St Martins this season, with a shoot-out victory to take them into the next round of the League Cup.

A result that left manager Matt Smith eyeing up some silverware in his first season in charge of the Stone side.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve progressed, we’ve done well in the cups this year and this is another chance for us to win some silverware, which is what every player wants.” said Smith.

“I thought we had done enough to win the game outright, we hit the woodwork twice, and had a shot cleared off the line, so you always worry that you will rue missing those chances when it goes to penalties, but the lads have stepped up and taken some really good penalties to see us through.”

“We’ve had a couple of negative results in the past few weeks, from some tough games, so its nice to head into the semi-final (JW Hunt Cup) with some positivity.” added Smith.

Sam Wilson calmly scores the winning penalty
Sam Wilson calmly scores the winning penalty

Ahead of their JW Hunt semi-final in midweek, the Old Boys will have wanted to avoid the added exertions of extra-time, but were unable to find the breakthrough in ninety minutes.

The first half started slowly, Lewis Paglia got down quickly to deal with a low cross, but that was all that troubled either keeper in the opening forty-five minutes.

Ben Lewis came closest to breaking the deadlock in the second half, when his left-foot curling effort beat the keeper only to come back off the crossbar.

Lewis then reset his sights a little lower when he pounced on a loose ball in the box, but this time he was denied by the St Martins left back who cleared his shot off the line.

Ben Lewis shot is cleared off the line
Ben Lewis (number 9) shot is cleared off the line

The visitors then should have taken the lead, a break from left-winger Shawn Melusi saw the St Martins wide man jink his way into the box and round Paglia, but the recovering Billy Thorley was there to clear his effort off the line.

Danny Heard had a glorious chance to put the Old Boys in front, but his header flew agonisingly over and sent the tie into extra-time.

Danny H heads over 2
Danny Heard (number 10) agonises after his header goes over

Substitute Carl Dibden was played through after a clever pass from Heard split the defence, but his shot went narrowly wide of the far post.

And then winger Adam Tomkinson saw his thirty-yard free kick strike the post with the St Martins keeper stranded.

With legs tiring, the game became stretched but neither side were able to capitalise, meaning that penalties were required to separate the sides.

The opening St Martins penalty was blasted over the bar after Cameron Sinclair had scored the first Old Boys spot-kick, before Chris Heard, Dibden and Tomkinson all converted successfully, leaving Sam Wilson to calmly send the keeper the wrong way, and send the hosts through.

Attendance: 38

Next Match: v Trysull (N) 25/3/15

Stone OA: Pagila, B Thorley, Wilson, Whalley, Taylor, Thomas (Dibden), Griffiths (c) (Hodgkinson), C Heard, Tomkinson, Lewis (Sinclair), D Heard