Barwell came through a tricky tie against local rivals Oadby Town who have strengthened with the inclusion of a number of quality players including Matt Moore and Jermaine Gordon, formerly of Coalville Town and Matt Piper who learnt his trade at Leicester City.
A much changed Barwell line-up made hard work of the tie after going behind to a Jermaine Gordon opener in the first half. A goal from Luke Barlone
and a penalty from Jamie Towers were enough to seal the match.
There were glimpses of the undoubted quality of the Canaries but these moments were sparse.
started with a number of new faces, Danny Scheppel
in midfield and Matt West
up front with Tyron Amory
in the unfamiliar role of left back.
Barwell started the stronger with early pressure up front from Matt West
and Luke Barlone
. Jamie Towers was making a number of his trademark runs threatening the Oadby defence although in the first few exchanges, keeper Elliot Shilliam was able to gather easily.
After 10 minutes, Oadby made their first venture forward as Matt Piper tried to find Matt Moore on the edge of the box but a timely interception from captain Liam Daly
quelled the danger.
Five minutes later a free kick from Jai Stanley
gave Towers a chance to cross. He found Daly whose header went past the post.
With 17 minutes played, the Poachers did manage to put the ball into the net as Piper fed Jon Stevenson but an offside flag denied the home side.
Two minutes later, a long ball into the box from the half way line tested Shilliam who dropped the ball. The Barwell forwards pounced en masse but some desperate defending saw the ball away.
With 21 minutes played, a free kick to the home side taken by Stevenson gave Callum Ross a chance to shoot which he did, across Liam Castle
but his aim took the ball away for the goal kick.
Soon after, a promising move from Nigel Julien gave Matt West
a chance to shoot but he seemed he lost his footing and could not get the shot away.
On the half hour, a combination between Piper and Moore allowed the promising Steve Fenton to shoot but his effort sailed over the bar, not troubling Liam Castle
Oadby took the lead after 33 minutes as a positive run down the inside left channel from Matt Moore gave him the chance to cross low for Jermaine Gordon who sidefooted home from six yards giving Castle no chance.
After 35 minutes a threatening run down the right from Towers allowed a cross from Luke Barlone
and Nigel Julien to run onto. The referee blew for offside which angered Julien. He reacted to the decision and was shown a yellow card.
Four minutes later a ball speared into the Barwell box drew a clearance from Guy Sanders
. He miskicked resulting in the ball shooting straight up in the air and fortunately for the visitors straight into the welcoming gloves of Liam Castle
A half time change by Jimmy Ginnelly
gave Tyron Amory
a role up front replacing Matt West
with Pete Saunders
introduced to run the left flank.
After 51 minutes a run by Matt Moore who got the better of Liam Daly
was well intercepted by the covering tackle of Scott Lower
denying a certain shooting chance.
It was noticeable as the game approached the hour mark that Barwell were enjoying better possession and the play was concentrated more in the Oadby half.
However after 61 minutes a breakaway from Gordon and a subsequent shot drew a good diving save from Liam Castle
Two minutes later, Barwell were unlucky not to equalise as a ball from Jamie Towers found Tyron Amory
who shot, hitting the post and the ball travelled across the goalline and into the grateful hands of Elliot Shilliam.
Barwell eventually equalised on 67 minutes as their pressure finally paid off. An excellent ball from Pete Saunders
found Towers who ran at the Oadby defence and drilled a ball into the box which found Luke Barlone
who poked the ball home from close range.
Oadby responded on 71 minutes as Matt Piper developed a move down the left hand side eventually shooting across the goal. His aim let him down and the ball went out for a throw.
The Canaries were awarded a penalty in the 77th minute as a ball delivered to Towers saw his legs taken from under him by Joe Latham. Towers himself took the kick and sent Shilliam the wrong way to give Barwell the lead.
After 81 minutes a dangerous run into the box from Matt Moore saw an well timed diving tackle from Guy Sanders
to dispel the danger.
With five minutes left to play, Stevenson played a free kick against the Barwell wall but it ran kindly for the home side and allowed a shot from 30 yards from Fenton. This was well saved on his line by Castle.
With a minute left of normal time, Oadby were awarded a free kick just outside the Barwell box but the visitors closed ranks and defended well.
As the game went into stoppage time, Oadby pushed forward to try and force extra time but Moore and Gordon were unable to get shots away and Barwell held on to qualify for the semi final of the Westerby Cup.
Although at times the performance was a little below par, Barwell did enough to hold on to the victory and the second half performance was much improved on the first.
With an assist and a penalty under his belt, Jamie Towers was awarded the Man of the Match.
Team: Liam Castle
, Scott Lower
, Tyron Amory
, Guy Sanders
, Liam Daly
, Jai Stanley
62), Jamie Towers, Danny Scheppel
, Luke Barlone
, Matt West
45), Nigel Julien.
Subs not used: Mason Rowley
, Rikki Bains
, Nick Green
Goals: Barlone 67(assist Towers), Towers (pen) 77.
Yellow Card: Julien 35.
Man of the Match: Jamie Towers.