I came up to visit my parents and my Dad and I and a friend, came to the Trico Stadium to watch a Worcestershire Cup Quarter Final tie between Redditch United and Alvechurch FC. Both sides play in the Southern League, Premier Division, with Redditch United sitting currently in eighth and Alvechurch FC being placed eighteenth.
Redditch United had made the game free to all attending, which along with the holiday season and the local rivalry of the two sides, drew a huge crowd of 1663 on a cold Thursday evening.
The Trico is an interesting and well resourced non-league ground, with covered standing behind the goal and alongside the pitch on one side, as well as a huge grandstand, incorporating a bar and clubhouse. There were three refreshment stands available which provided speedy sustenance, even with the large crowd.
The first half saw both sides battling, with no luck, trying to score the opening goal. There was plenty of decent approach play but neither side was able to find the crucial final pass. The half time break came with the scores still locked at 0-0, while the crowd hoped for something more positive from the second half.
The second half brought much more excitement. Both teams seemed to play with more urgency and confidence. In the 57th minute, Alvechurch FC went ahead, 0-1, when Jamie Spiers finished confidently, after some good build up play.
For a while it looked as if Redditch United were going to struggle, with Alvechurch creating chances to further extend their lead. However, as the game progressed, Redditch came more and more into the game. with King, Gregson and Mensah all posing challenges for the away defence.
In the 87th minute, when all hope seemed to be evaporating, Redditch United’s Danny King slid in at the back post to side foot volley the ball home, tying the game at 1-1.
The final whistle blew, after a tense period of added time, which saw chance after chance created for Redditch United, all to no avail. The tie then went automatically to penalties, with no extra time period. The clips below show how the shootout went:
So at the final whistle, it was Redditch United who progressed into the next round, sending the noisy crowd wild. This contest had been slow to start, but the second half and the penalty shoot out, more than made up for that.