1st Team - Report
'Church suffer massive cup blow - bowing out at first hurdle
Alvechurch failed to keep the initiative after Saturday's remarkable second half turnaround, and Norton held on to advance to a Preliminary Round tie at Cradley Town.
Alvechurch made one change to their Saturday starting XI, with injured Andy Nicol being replaced by Saturday’s hero Michael Woolman. Norton fielded two changes themselves – Beaumont, Brotherton and Rutter starting instead of Fogg, McDonald and Brown.
ALVECHURCH: Taylor, Humphries (Smith.L 80), Cameron, Morris, Smith.S, McGrath , Dugmore, Curry (Glaze 80), Wright, Woolman, Nash (Poulson 84)
Unused subs: Janes, Judd, Nicol
NORTON UNITED: Parry, Bradbury, Winkle, Beaumont, Brotherton, Beeston, Gartside (Talbot 87), Morton (White 64), Machin, Rutter, Smith
Unused subs: Brown, Dawson, Dundas
Cradley had beaten Shifnal 3-0 in their Extra Preliminary Round tie, and so the next round opponents were known – possibly an easier tie than this one for both of these protagonists.
But ‘Church failed to carry the momentum of the second half of the first game into this replay, and were suckered by Norton’s direct style of play, despite, in the second half in particular, playing the better football.
First chance to the some side on 5 minutes when a quickly taken throw released Woolman behind the back four, and he was able to fire of a good shot that forced Parry into am early save.
But overall, Norton enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, and, just as in the first game, took the lead after 11 minutes. A long throw skimmed off a head in the ‘Church box, and fell kindly for Jimmy Gartside, unmarked at the far post, and he rifled the ball into the far corner of Taylor’s goal from 15 yards.
The long throw was proving to be a dangerous addition to Norton’s direct style of play, and on 19 minutes a resulting glancing header was on target but gathered by Taylor.
As the game entered a scrappy phase Dugmore and Cameron for ‘Church, and Winkle for Norton were cautioned. A rare chance for ‘Church followed on 33 when the ball was well held up by Joe Wright on the edge of the box, and setting up Elliot Nash for a shot on goal, the ‘Church wide man curled his shot high and wide of Parry’s goal.
Could have been 2-0 again on 38 when Michael Machin was put through, and he was able to steer the ball past Taylor towards an open goal, but the ‘Church defence recoved just enough to clear the ball off the line and avoid a damaging second.
John Beaumont, like his teammate Winkle, was cautioned just before the break for kicking the ball away – an action he would later regret as he saw red after receiving a second yellow.
Alvechurch 0 Norton United 1
Just like the first game, ‘Church began the second period in the ascendancy, but not quite with the explosive effect of Saturday’s game. A 50th minute George Curry shot was well over, before Machin again threatened on the break, chipping wide one on one with Taylor.
Woolman and Norton’s Brotherton quickly followed into the book making six on the night whereas there had been no cautions three days earlier.
The deserved breakthrough came on 58 courtesy of a great delivery from Woolman. Released on the left, Woolman beat the full back for pace before delivering a brilliant cross to the heart of the box. Joe Wright’s first headed effort was blocked by Parry, but the loose ball was stabbed into the open goal for the equaliser.
The parity only lasted four minutes through as ‘Church for once failed to deal with Norton’s directness. A corner was swung in under the ‘Church bar, and although the first attempt was well blocked by Taylor, Beaumont pounced to sweep the ball in from point blank range to re-establish the lead.
A good chance followed for Woolman after good interplay with Curry on the edge of the Norton box before, on 79 minutes, a second yellow card for Luke Dugmore put ‘Church very much on the back foot.
‘Church made a double substitution in an attempt to take the game to Norton and rescue an equaliser, and substitute Lewis Smith had a sight of goal on 84, but he screwed a difficult chance over the Norton bar.
A second yellow card for Beaumont on 85 minutes, and from the resulting free kick a Michael McGrath free kick cannoned off the foot of the post, but the loose ball could not be converted.
But still the chances came. On 89, a David Glaze ball into the box was met by Daley Cameron at the far post, but his headed effort was off target. And then deep in stoppage time a curling corner was met by Michale Woolman with a free header six yards out, but he could not direct the ball on target and the last golden opportunity to take the game into extra time went.