A battling performance secured Chaddesley Ravens a County Cup triumph at The Victoria Ground on Sunday evening.
The village club defeated Hawthorns on penalties after a compelling 90 minutes ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
Despite a whopping 16 goals being scored in their previous two meetings, the Bromsgrove League rivals contested a typically tight and combative cup final.
Following a highly competitive opening half-an-hour, Hawthorns’ Ben Markall managed to peel off from his marker and was played in-behind the Chaddesley back-line for the first clear-cut chance of the contest.
Markall’s sweet strike from the edge of the box managed to find its' way into the bottom right-hand corner and, although The Ravens produced a rallying response, his goal proved to be the difference going into the interval.
With Hawthorns happy hit on the counter, Chaddesley enjoyed plenty of possession throughout the opening 45 minutes and this pattern of play ensued into the early exchanges of the second period.
Soon after the break, a scramble in the area fell to Jake Smith who smashed the ball home to bring The Ravens level.
Chaddesley’s joy was short-lived, though. On the hour mark, Jamie Paradise received his marching orders for a second bookable offence, leaving his side a man down with 30 minutes still left to play.
However, to their credit, the 10-men managed to restrict Hawthorns to limited attempts on goal thereafter, taking the game to penalties to swing the balance of play back to a 50/50 contest.
The resilient Ravens managed to keep their cool from the spot and prevailed 4-3 to earn the first piece of WFA silverware of the season.
This was an exceptionally close contest between two well-matched teams, who we’d like to wish all the best for the remainder of the season.