Albion lose to Mickleover on Penalties
After drawing 3-3, Mickleover beat The Albion in a penalty shoot-out 4-3
In a game that presented not many opportunities in the first half, the second certainly proved value for money as Pablo Mills' late header brought the game straight to a penalty shoot-out with the score finishing 3-3 after 90 minutes
The first chance of the game fell to Mickleover's Andy Dales who's lobbed effort on goal dropped down onto the post and nearly catching Ryan Neild out. Mickleover failed to continue any momentum though as The Albion took the initiative to the hosts, creating plenty of chances in the first half.
The first coming from Will Jones, who got onto a Anthony Gardner cross and Jones' header arched over the Sports' crossbar. Shortly following that, Albion won a free kick between 35-40 yards out. Owen Dale took the free kick and what was a dangerous cross somehow zipped it's way through Mickleover's backline untouched.
Witton were playing their usual high-pressing game with Jones plus the attacking midfield trio of Dale, Foley and Evans all boxing in the Sports players on the ball. This paid dividends as on the 34th minute, James Foley poked the ball home at the far post after some great link-up play between Owen Dale and Will Jones.
Witton searched for a second straight from the restart and on the 37th minute, a hard-hit shot from Owen Dale threatened to double Albion's lead as he cut in onto his favoured right foot and tried to find the inside of the near post.
More chances fell Witton's way before half-time and James Foley setting Owen Dale free was one of those but Mickleover's stopper, Lewis King made himself big as Dale approached the Sports' box.
The last chance of the first half fell to Paul Williams on the edge of the box who's left-footed volley went just wide of keepers' left-hand post. The half-time whistle was blown and Witton failed to score a second goal without doubling their lead.
Mickleover started the second half in the right way as Ryan Neild was called into action to make some great saves including some last ditch goalkeeping/defending from Neild and Danny McKenna on the hour mark.
Shortly after, Pablo Mills scored a header at the near post to deservedly bring the hosts level as Mickleover's pressure started to make count. Witton started from the kick-off in the right manner as they started to create chances straight away, Steve Tames was brought on in place of Micah Evans.
Carl Macauley bringing on Steve Tames completely changed the pattern of play as Will Jones had some to lay the ball of to as on the 71st minute, Tames switched the ball onto his left foot and perfectly stroked the ball home from just outside the box.
Mickleover again soon took charge of the game with Witton sitting back and hitting the Sports on the counter with many passes being fed in behind for Owen Dale to chase. In the 81st minute, Louis Briscoe equalised for the hosts to bring the score to 2-2 and leaving both sides with the initiative to attack in the remaining 9 minutes.
Steve Tames tried to make sure that Witton would escape a penalty shoot-out when he tapped in a shot from Will Jones that was parried out.
Once again from kick-off, Mickleover forced Witton to sit back to defend the one goal advantage with some real backs-to-the-wall defending.
The pressure got to The Albion again as Pablo Mills scored his second of the game in the 89th minute. A penalty shoot-out loomed but there was a moment of hope when a Will Jones header hit the underside of the crossbar only to be cleared away, leaving Jones with his hands on his head of what could had been.
The final-whistle was blown and a penalty shoot-out would decide who progressed into the Integro Doodson's League Cup Quarter Final. The penalty takers and whether they scored or missed look like so.
Sadly we don't progress any further in the competition but we thank Mickleover for their great hospitality and we wish them luck for the remainder of the competition. Next up we are back in league action at home to Whitby Town. #UTA