By Jamie Arrowsmith 25/04 Updated: 25/04 11:53
LUTTERWORTH Athletic Reserves put their name on the Leicestershire Saturday Shield County Cup for the first time with a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory against Rothley Imperials.
A dramatic 90 minutes saw the teams finish level at 3-3 before 30 minutes of extra-time failed to separate them so penalties were required and Athletic held their nerve to triumph 5-4.
They initially went ahead after 25 minutes when Max Jones’ through ball found Barnes Gladman in the box, only to be brought down by the Rothley keeper.
The subsequent penalty was saved but Nathan Bedford showed good alertness to hook the ball back into the box for Gladman to thunder home a header.
Lutterworth looked comfortable for the remainder of the half with Harvey Morgan and Ben Hallam helping them go in 1-0 ahead.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first with Lutterworth on the attack but the second goal would not come and Rothley gradually started to find their feet.
Led by Steve Hart, Rothley started to look dangerous in the Lutterworth half and they equalised in the 55th minute when a misunderstanding in defence allowed Hart to level from a tight angle.
George Lee restored Lutterworth’s advantage five minutes later when calmly slotting past the keeper but back came Rothley again and Smith made it 2-2 in the 70th minute.
With players beginning to tire the game really opened up in the closing stages and Lutterworth went ahead again when Bedford forced the ball home with ten minutes left but it was not to be the winner as Rothley scored a last gasp injury time equaliser.
Extra-time failed to separate the sides so penalties were required and Mark Lill gave Lutterworth the initiative by saving Rothley’s first attempt before Sam Hallam, Charles Butler, Corey Murgatroyd, Bedford and Andy Morris all converted to seal the victory.
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