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Whitchurch come through cup shoot out drama
Whitchurch United 2 Fleet Town 2 aet Whitchurch won 4-3 on penalties Whitchurch United confounded the odds and reached the North Hants Senior Cup Final in dramatic fashion last night when beating Southern League Fleet Town on penalties.
It was gone 10.30pm when Pa Touray won a mental battle with Fleet keeper Ryan Pryce before hammering home the winning spot-kick to spark joyous scenes at Longmeadow.
Boss Jim Macey was naturally delighted and praised Touray: “Pa was excellent tonight and it looks like he has found his fitness again.”
But it was far from a one man show as Whitchurch’s squad was down to 12 men with a whole raft of injuries, illness and cup tied players which meant that he was forced to field a make shift back four including a rare appearance by full back Nick Chandler who had a supereb match.
‘Church took the lead inside five minutes with arguably the goal of the season as Tom Hindmarsh’s quick throw found Isaac Sedu in space and he and Touray dissected the Town defence for Luke Walker to beat Pryce from 20 yards Fleet player-manager Craig Davis, the former Andover midfielder, levelled from the spot after Sedu had brought down James Field which changed the game as Macey switched Sedu with Paul Coventry and gave the defence a more solid look.
Dean Higgins and Danilo Cadete missed good chances for Fleet but on the half hour Touray drilled in an unstoppable shot from 25 yards as the visiting defence backed off to retake the lead.
Ashley Childs limped off to be replaced by Louis Macey and moments later Fleet were level again when Cadete scrambled home a loose ball.
Alex Pickering shot over from a good position and Walker volleyed over from distance but extra-time was inevitable.
Sedu and Ben White squandered chances at either end and Davis could have won it but was wide with another effort but penalties arrived and Tom Hindmarsh saved twice leaving Touray to give his side a place in the final against all conquering Alresford Town, on April 3 at New Street FC.
Macey’s side have to get past Hampshire 2004 League Broughton in the Andover League Open Cup semi-final, possibly next Wednesday, to make it a double and with a more than realistic chance of a top two finish all of a sudden it is becoming a campaign to remember at Longmeadow.
“I am more than happy with that” added Macey “We had a scratch side out tonight but we should have led at half-time as Ashley Childs was causing them no end of problems. Hopefully we will have a full squad back on Saturday.”
‘Church are home again when they entertain bottom club Hythe and Dibden.