Church Book Another Semi Spot
By Alan Deakin
Alvechurch brushed aside MFL strugglers Brocton to reach the last four of the JW Hunt Cup .
Church are hoping to go one better than last year as they once again book an appearance in the JW Hunt Cup semi finals. Last time round, the Lye Meadow side lost out to eventual winners Sporting Khalsa, and this side may provide the opposition once again if they overcome Lichfield City in their Quarter Final tie.
Should have been 1-0 to Church on 9 minutes when Josh March was pole-axed as he was attempting to let a pass into the area run across him. March stepped up to take the spot kick, but hitting the ball hard down the middle saw it defected wide by the keeper’s legs.
Keeper Lunn killed another chance on 23 when he got an arm onto a smart attacking move involving Wardle and Halpin, with Shilvock getting onto the cross ball to stab a shot goalward.
Church were playing some delightful football, but there was frustratingly no end decisive end-product.
Further chances followed for Halpin and Edwards, but the Brocton defence held firm.
Early signs of Church dominance had been stifled, but there was a breakthrough on 43 minutes. Wardle crosses, and as the ball is half cleared to Shilvock fully 30 yards out, the Church midfielder arrows a shot in just under the bar with keeper Lunn flailing.
Half Time: Alvechurch 1 Brocton 0
2-0, and breathing space in the tie after 48 minutes. A delicious cross from Halpin into the heart of the Brocton box, and Edwards is on hand to drill the ball in through the keepers’ legs from 10 yards.
A great save from Lunn on 58 to deny March as he curled a shot on target on the run from just inside the box.
A brief flurry from the visitors saw Gwilliams forced to parry a close range shot, and Smith to clear off the line, but it was game over on 65, if it had not already been so. Great interplay between Cresswell and Halpin down the right hand side of the Brocton box, and as the ball is only half intercepted and cleared, Josh March pounces to lash it into the net from 12 yards, giving the unsighted Lunn no chance.
Edwards should have added to his tally on 78 after a pin-point cross from Edmunds found the Church front man in the clear a few yards out, but a soft connection allowed Lunn the chance to smother the shot.
Icing on the cake on 85 when Edwards and Cresswell again move the ball smartly across the face of the Brocton box, and as it is eventually worked out to the far side, Rumsey finds himself in acres of space to bring the ball under control before rifling a shot across Lunn and into the far corner.
Lunn saved further demise on 90 when he produced another smart save to tip a Shilvock shot over with a full stretch save.