Resilient Worcester City sealed a Senior Urn success via penalties after falling behind to Studley twice in a 2-2 stalemate on Thursday evening.
John Snape’s side flattered to deceive for swathes of the showdown at The Jubilee Stadium but a brace from returning Dave Reynolds rescued a draw for City to take the game to spot-kicks.
Studley, who ply their trade a tier below Worcester in Division 1 of the Total Motion Midland Football League, managed to unease the pre-game favourites with their highly-direct style in what was an evenly-contested, combative cup clash.
Danny Carter reacted first in the box to notch the opener for The Bees on 16 minutes, caressing the loose ball into the back of the net after a free-kick blasted against the bar.
However, City hit back just four minutes later. Picking up possession to the right of the centre circle, skillful skipper Liam Lockett managed to maze his way through the Studley midfield, subsequently striking a low, left-footed shot which was blocked on the periphery of the six-yard box. The ball rebounded into the path of the aforementioned Reynolds who swiftly pounced to poke home the leveler.
Snape’s outfit started to show signs of their superior quality before the break but it was Dale Edwards’ sensational strike just after the interval that left The Bees buzzing.
Capitalizing on a misplaced pass, unchallenged Edwards drove with the ball from just short of the half-way line and unleashed a 25-yard belter into the top right-hand corner to silence the City contingent moments after the re-start. Worcester huffed and puffed for the following 30 minutes but struggled to find their way through Studley’s rigid defensive structure.
It was only until the closing stages that City started to assert their dominance. With seven minutes left to play, Levi Andoh’s bundling run earned his side a dangerously-positioned set-piece 30 yards from goal.
Studley failed to clear their lines from Joe Bates’ deflected, in-swinging delivery and Reynolds once again showed the killer instinct to smash the ball home for his second of the game.
City had further opportunities to put the game to bed in normal time but Studley stood strong for the last five to take the Senior Urn final to a shoot-out.
Each of the sides’ five designated takers despatched their respective kicks from the spot, the highlight being Sean Brain’s cheeky 'panenka' penalty to open-up Studley’s account. City, however, prevailed 6-5 to secure the Senior Urn silverware.
We’d like to thank Worcester City and Studley for an excellent cup final and wish both clubs all the best for the rest of the season.