In the Smiths League Senior Cup semi-final tie it took holders Nomads 117 minutes before they finally prized open a solid Wilderpark back-line.
A cross from the left was headed away by the outstanding Neil Cutts but only to an unmarked midfielder who promptly struck the ball beyond the helpless Christian Esposito.
The influential midfielder Mark Taylor was unable to make the kick off and James Hagon deputised. Hagon has the ability to win the midfield aerial balls without the link-up skills of Taylor. Also, strikerAndrew Streeter was unavailable for this crucial tie.
Despite pressing forward in numbers and forcing a corner in the process the Park had left it too late to force a penalty shoot out this after dominating the second half.
Nomads bossed the opening 30 minutes but without causing Esposito too many concerns. The Park were slow to get into their stride after a three week break but came to life in the last quarter with the fast running Alex David prominent down the right. The visitor’s striker Smith was a handful for the Park defence with good skill on the ball.
The second half was virtually controlled by the Park with Nomads threatening in spasms. Joe McLoughlin had three excellent shots from midfield, one which struck the far upright. David continued to work hard switching wings and linking well with Cutts, Leon Lloyd and Danny Brazenell.
Brazenell almost scored the all important deciding goal in the last minute of normal time but slightly unbalanced on the far post saw the ball just miss the target.
The extra time period was fairly even with both teams forcing corners but few scoring chances. Then with a penalty shoot out looming Nomads struck with the all important deciding goal.
An excellent tie with the Park and their more senior players competing well against younger opponents. The losers are to be congratulated on their superior fitness and teamwork.
There was more disappointment as the Park Reserves lost their Smiths League Junior Cup semi-final tie 5-4 against hosts AW London. Leading 4-3 with minutes left of an exciting encounter the Park conceded two late goals to take their exit from the Competition.
Goals by Jason Lee (2), Jason Rowe and young Tom Lusher had put the Park in sight of an unexpected but welcome final tie until the host’s late flurry of goals.