THEY needed extra-time and penalties, but AFC Aldermaston are through to the semi-finals of the Berks and Bucks Intermediate Cup thanks to a win over Highmoor Ibis on Saturday.
Despite going behind, Aldermaston fought back to draw the game 1-1, and with no further scoring in an extra 30 minute period, the visitors set up a trip to Chalfont Wasps in the semi-finals with a 4-2 win on penalties.
Aldermaston started brightly and went close after just 10 minutes, Camel Tonna seeing his header from Michael Porter’s cross saved by the home goalkeeper.
Porter then went close himself, breaking down the left and drawing the goalkeeper but sliding his shot just wide of the post.
Highmoor Ibis took the lead just before the break, their striker taking advantage of some sloppy defending to fire home from six yards.
Aldermaston took the game to their hosts early in the second half, with the Highmoor goalkeeper making a string of good saves.
They got the equaliser 20 minutes from time as substitute Kai Parton-Edey took the ball around the goalkeeper before finding the back of the net via the inside of the post.
Aldermaston had chances to win the game in normal time, with both Parton-Edey and Porter forcing outstanding stops out of the Highmoor ’keeper.
The worst of the weather came in extra-time, with a very strong wind making things very difficult. However, Aldermaston almost won the game before it went to penalties, Parton-Edey crashing a shot against the crossbar.
Highmoor Ibis missed their first two spot-kicks, the second being saved by Kevin Butcher, and with Parton-Edey, Alex Sylvester, Barry Smith and Porter all scoring, Aldermaston won the shoot-out 4-2 with a kick to spare.
Manager Terry Rooney said: “I was quite pleased with a number of things. We managed to win despite having five first-team players unavailable and some terrible conditions.”
The only negative was a knee injury suffered by key player Dan Alliston, who could be out for a while.
Aldermaston have a busy period coming up, with four home games in the Hampshire Premier League over the next couple of weeks, starting with a visit from Colden Common on Wednesday night.
“We have a number of home games coming up and I am thinking positively,” Rooney added. “I would really like to get at least nine points out of 12 and there is no reason why we cannot do that.
“We need to start putting league points on the board. We are doing well in the cups but we need to pick up a bit in the league.”