Lichfield City have been knocked out of the JW Hunt semi-final on penalties 4-2 after the game finished 0-0 in normal time. A tough night for Lichfield who feel they had the better chances on the night but it’s Lye who have advanced to the final.
Dan Lomas and Max Dixon missed their penalties and Lye were impeccable from the spot scoring all four of their penalties.
Lye Town had the better of the first half, a 20-yard strike from Ben Billingham sent a warning to Lichfield when his shot went just over the bar with a collective groan from the crowd at the neutral ground, at AFC Wulfrunians.
Alex Cameron had the first big chance when a long searching ball found the number 9, Cameron let it bounce and tried to dink it over the onrushing James Beeson, but the goalkeeper got a vital touch on the ball. The Lye faithful were appealing for a foul but it wasn’t forthcoming from the referee.
Lichfield had their first half-chance when captain Kyle Patterson spun the defender in the penalty box, the experienced midfielder fired it across to top goalscorer Jack Edwards, his right-footed effort was blocked well by the Lye defence.
The chances were few and far between for both sides, a Joe Haines effort from 35 yards out went straight down the throat of Neway much to his relief.
The second half sprung into life when a Luke Childs curled effort went just over the bar for Lichfield before an Alex Cameron volley in the penalty area went wide of Beeson’s goal.
Lewi Burnside at right-back whipped in a dangerous cross, the wind took hold of the ball and it dropped just under the bar and Neway had to be aware and tip it over the bar.
A fierce strike from Sam Fitzgerald was the pick of the chances in the early stages of the second half, a 30-yard wonder strike had Neway scrambling across his goal. The strike hit the post then bounced off Neway and away, a fantastic effort from Fitzgerald. Neway looked like he didn’t know much about the effort, but it sparked the game into life.
A late effort from Jason Chilton right near the goal was blocked brilliantly by Scott Goodby much to the travelling fans’ relief in an intense semi-final.
But it is Lye Town who will go to the final after the penalty shootout and will face either Bewdley Town or Boldmere St Michaels.