Dudley Town 2-3 (AET) Stone Old Alleynians
The Old Boys bounced back from their disappointing weekend defeat, to secure their spot in the next round of the League Cup, twice coming from behind before Ben Lewis’s extra-time winner.
With a result and a performance that pleased Manager Matt Smith: “It was a good win for us as we wanted to bounce back from Saturday. It’s good to be in the next round and keeps our interest in the cups.”
“We were the better side, and although we made it hard for ourselves we got there in the end. We changed the shape halfway through the second half which worked really well and saw us through.” He added.
A cagey first half was edged by the visitors, who came closest to opening the scoring when Ben Lewis surged through the Dudley defence but was only able to fire his shot wide of the far post. Whilst Matt Burslem had an easy save to make from Alex Perry as the hosts also struggled to create chances.
But it was the home side that went ahead early in the first half when Christian Ekwemalor broke free of the Stone defence and drilled the ball powerfully past Burslem.
Alleynians levelled almost immediately when Danny Heard headed home from two yards after Paul Griffiths got to the byline and stood a cross up to the far post.
Dudley then regained their lead, as the visitors lost possession up-field, and Alex Perry raced clear before rolling the ball under Burslem.
Again the Old Boys responded, this time through an unlikely source, as Grant Bigham fresh from his first goal in seven years, popped up on the edge of the box and drilled home a left-foot strike low into the bottom corner for his second goal in three games.
And the visitors could have nicked it late on, but Lewis was denied by the on-rushing keeper after he again went clear of the defence.
Lewis did make up for this miss early on in the extra period however, as Luke Askey rose highest to meet a Griffiths corner, and Lewis swept home the knock down.
Dudley’s best chance of an equaliser came in the dying seconds of extra-time when a long throw caused confusion before Burslem eventually pounced on the loose ball.
Burslem, Bigham, Heath, Whalley, Davies, Griffiths (c) (Hewitt), Sinclair, Askey, Lewis, Heard, Kay (Dibden)