By John Evans
St Cuthbert’s Society F’s lost 5-3 on penalties against Van Mildert As in an exciting game in the 3rd round of the Knockout Cup.
The Division 4 minnows had held the Premiership team to a 1-1 draw after ninety minutes, but missed their second penalty in the resulting shootout, which allowed Mildert to progress to the next round.
A balanced first half saw Cuth’s F match Mildert in terms of physicality, although struggling to deal with the superior quality on the ball of the team four divisions above them.
Mildert took the lead early on in the second half with a penalty, but Cuth’s equalised on 88 minutes through a spectacular 35-yard free-kick from Jonny Binding, to bring the tie to a penalty shootout.
Van Mildert A had previously beaten Cuth’s A in the Floodlit Cup last month, so F team captain Ed Marsh called the match, which was played under the floodlights of Maiden Castle, a “dream fixture.”
And Cuth’s F gave Mildert A several scares – Matt Holmes hit the bar twice and Alastair Basham won several good headers. But after taking the lead and threatening from set-pieces Mildert A looked likely to see out the victory and proceed comfortably in the competition.
But when Jonny Binding stepped up and slammed home a brilliant free-kick late on to send the amassed Cuth’s support into jubilant celebrations, the fairy-tale victory looked possible. But it wasn’t to be as Mildert clinically made sure of their victory in the tense shootout with some excellent penalty taking.
Cuth’s F will surely be proud of their performance in a game they looked certain to lose by a distance, and will look to continue their cup form into the remainder of the league season.