NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Spot-on Wisbech St Mary march into another First Division KO Cup showpiece
PUBLISHED: 16:43 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:52 11 April 2018
Wisbech St Mary came through a penalty shoot-out to reach a cup final for the second successive season.
Arran Duke’s side prevailed 3-2 from the spot against Braintree Town Reserves after their Tuesday semi-final showdown in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division KO Cup ended in a 1-1 deadlock.
Saints’ reward is a final date against title-chasers Whitton United later in the season. They will aim to go one better than last term when beaten by King’s Lynn Reserves in the showpiece.
Boss Duke said: “It’s a great feeling to reach the final again and also a big achievement after having such a tough season.
“We rode our luck at times against a strong Braintree side, but we kept going and got through on penalties.”
Dale Parnell put Saints ahead in a tie switched to the King’s Marsh Stadium - the 3G home to AFC Sudbury – but they were pegged back with 10 minutes to go.
Nick Davey, Jack Friend and Josh Burrows were all successful from the spot while Saints goalkeeper Adam Wright pulled off a vital save. Braintree also missed two of their penalties.
Saints tasted success at the same venue last Saturday when they bounced back to winning ways in the First Division following back-to-back defeats.
Duke’s men triumphed 2-1 at AFC Sudbury Reserves thanks to second-half goals from Davey and Friend.
The hosts were twice denied by the woodwork before Davey headed Saints ahead midway through the second half. Friend spectacularly doubled the lead with 10 minutes to go with a stunning strike from inside his own half.
Saints held on for victory despite seeing their advantage halved in the closing stages.
The games continued to come thick and fast as they entertain Little Oakley this Saturday before going to leaders Woodbridge on Tuesday.