Currie and Fearon lead Ambers fightback
The Ambers overturned a 3-1 deficit to beat Nostell 4-3 in the League Cup ....
With just eleven fully fit players available on the night, The Ambers were truly down to the bare bones as they faced Division One promotion contenders Nostell MW in the Third Round of the League Cup, and the hosts must surely have been viewing the contest as a potential giant killing opportunity.
Thanks to some sloppy play by the visitors, these dreams were almost a reality as Nostell raced into a 3-1 lead, but a strong finish by The Ambers turned the tie around and a trip to Albion Sports now awaits Handsworth in Round Four.
In a bright opening period, both sides appeared well up for it with defences being stretched at both ends, but it was the home side who took the lead after 15 minutes when a misunderstanding in the Ambers box led to Wood having the easiest of tasks to slot the ball into an unguarded net.
Handsworth hit back immediately, Jed Phillips finding Danny Deakin in space on the left, and Deakin’s cross picking out Alex Rippon on the back post who knocked the ball back in for Ollie Fearon to net from close range.
Nostell then came firing back and re-gained the lead five minutes later, ex Amber Danny Critchlow converting a penalty after an incident at the back post had caught the attention of Mr Bennett, with some debate over whether the offence was a push or a handball.
The remainder of the half passed quickly with both teams continuing to push forward and create opportunities, James Leverton tipping over well from a rasping long range strike and former Amber Gary Stevens saving a good effort from Fearon.
The second half started with Critchlow and Fearon both having sighters at goal before Nostell had the chance to kill the game off after Phillips’ challenge on Wood was deemed illegal by the referee. This time however, Leverton flung himself to his right to keep out Critchlow’s spot kick, but the hero unfortunately got caught out six minutes later when a cross/shot from Owen beat him at his near post and Nostell were within touching distance of the next Round.
From what seemed like an impossible position, The Ambers started to rally and when Stevens mis-judged an Ollie Yates cross to his back post, the influential Jake Currie was on hand to blast the loose ball home. The Ambers, now with some belief, started to push Nostell deeper, and as the game moved into the final fifteen minutes, Fearon was felled in the box and for the third time, the man in black pointed to the spot. Currie absolutely smashed the spot kick high into the net, and despite the odd breakaway from the pacy Nostell youngsters, there only looked like being one winner from that point on.
The winning goal arrived on 79 minutes when Phillips’ great ball down the left channel found Fearon who beat the offside trap before running on to slip the ball past Stevens. The Ambers then stood firm for the remainder of the game, restricting the home side to very few half chances, and the prospects of a cup upset were vanquished.