Shifnal 3 Gornal Athletic 4 (AET, FT score 3-3)
Full back Pete Wood was the hero amongst heroes as he donned the goalkeeper’s jersey, saved a penalty and helped 10-man Gornal into the next round of the FA Cup in a classic Extra Preliminary Round replay.
Wood went between the sticks on 76 minutes when James Pemberton
was perhaps harshly dismissed following a collision with Shifnal forward Chris Henry with the score 2-1 to the visitors.
Wood’s first action was to acrobatically save Stuart Corn’s penalty and deny the home side an equaliser.
It was Gornal who had struck first on 11 minutes when Lee Wherton
lifted the ball over his marker’s head 25 yards out, set himself up and spectacularly volleyed past keeper Dominic Smith from the edge of the area.
Gornal dominated the first half and Calum Martin was unfortunate on
two occasions on 19 and 34 minutes and Dave Meese stung the keeper’s
hands with a freekick just before half-time.
The second half saw the visitors continue where they left off with a
Richard Young shot on 52 minutes parried by Smith just two minutes
before Matt Martin’s free kick whistled just wide.
A rare opening for Shifnal saw Ashley Burd rampage down the right-hand
side and put a shot just wide of the post.
Gornal doubled their lead on the hour when a free kick by Young was
cleverly curled around the Shifnal wall and into the bottom right hand
corner of the net.
Substitute Gareth Horler pulled one back on 63 minutes with an excellent
looping header over Pemberton to make it 2-1.
But nothing could prepare for what was to follow.
First, Pemberton was dismissed, setting up Wood’s heroic save on 72
Then a sustained spell of pressure from Shifnal in a bid to capitalise on
their numerical advantage saw efforts by Adamczyk and Ryan go close.
Eventually the bombardment paid off when, on 87 minutes, Patrick Ellis
snatched an equaliser.
But, on 89 minutes, a handball in the Shifnal area was penalised and Dave
Meese stepped up to thump home to give Gornal a 3-2 lead.
Deep into injury time, a Lee Wherton foul led to a THIRD penalty of
the game and this time Stuart Corns took over penalty taking duties to
squeeze home, despite stand-in custodian Wood bravely getting a hand to
Extra time saw Gornal make a mockery of the man disadvantage and
continue to take the game to Shifnal.
On 100 minutes a cross by Young was cleared to the edge of the area
where it met the right foot of Meese who drilled the ball through a
crowded penalty area to give Gornal the lead yet again.
From there on in, it was all hands to deck, as Shifnal sought to find their
way back into the tie.
But despite their best efforts, the organised ranks of the 10-men visitors, marshaled by the stand-in keeper, stood resolute and clung on to give Gornal safe passage to a Preliminary Round tie at Southern League Division One Central side Rugby Town a week on
Shifnal: Dominic Smith; Adam Smith (Andy Thompson, 73); Ashley Burd;
Mike Sheriden (Mark Adamkzyk, 104); Patrick Ellis; George Williams
(Captain); Rhys Adams (Gareth Horler, 45); Stuart Corns; Chris Henry;
Craig Ryan; Tom Griffin.
Gornal: James Pemberton; Richard Young; Pete Wood; John Hill; Chris
Waterhouse; Lee Wherton; Dave Meese; Matt Martin (Kristian Green, 82);
Cameron Morgan (Jake Morgan, 74); Calum Martin; Marvin Nisbett (Robin