Westfield’s footballers twice came back from the brink to win an amazing cup quarter-final after a penalty shoot-out.
The Westies scored late equalisers in normal and extra-time to draw 5-5 away to Alfold before coming from behind to triumph 4-3 on spot-kicks.
Alfold sharp-shooter Daniel Hallett netted all five of his team’s goals and Callum Smith scored a hat-trick for Westfield, although both missed in the shoot-out.
The dramatic victory put Westfield through to a Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division Two Challenge Cup semi-final against Lancing United or Cowfold.
Westfield drew first blood in a match played amid constant snowfall when Asher Grindle’s cross from the left was volleyed into the bottom corner by their man of the match Sam Ellis.
The visitors then missed a glorious chance to double their lead. Ellis was fouled in the box, but Aaron Cochrane’s penalty was tipped onto the post by Alfold’s impressive goalkeeper high to his right.
Alfold equalised after Westfield gave the ball away in midfield, but Westfield went back in front. Jake Adams won a header and after the goalkeeper pushed the ball into the air, Smith tapped in.
The hosts levelled for a second time barely a minute later. After Harry Stapley’s initial save, Ian May miskicked and Hallett tapped in to make it 2-2 at half time.
Westfield went 3-2 up within a minute of the restart, Ellis crossing to the far post for Smith to head home.
Once again, though, Alfold were soon level. Westfield goalkeeper Stapley and defender Lewis McGuigan collided in the run-up to the goal, and both had to go off injured. Adams took over the gloves.
Alfold went ahead for the first time inside the last 10 minutes. Adams saved the first effort, but Martyn Durrant’s attempted clearance hit Hallett and rebounded in.
Back came Westfield, though, and Grindle’s low cross was tucked away by Smith to complete his fifth treble of the season to make it 4-4. Westfield then a goal disallowed for offside in the last minute of normal time.
There were no goals in extra-time until the 116th minute when Alfold went 5-4 up. Hallett outpaced the Westfield defence and curled a nice finish beyond Adams.
But Westfield levelled right at the death. A long ball forward was flicked on by Grindle and Josh Barrett rounded two players before pulling it back for Tom Frazer-Bates to smash through a mass of bodies within seconds of coming on for his debut.
Both teams scored their first two penalties, Cochrane and Jack Stapley netting for Westfield. Alfold also converted their third kick and Smith’s effort was then saved.
Alfold blazed their fourth kick over the top and Durrant netted to make it 3-3. Adams then pulled off a fantastic save from Hallett before Ellis kept his nerve to score the winning penalty.
Westfield: H. Stapley (Ugbene); May, J. Stapley, McGuigan (Barrett), Durrant; Ward (Frazer-Bates), Adams, Cochrane; Grindle, Smith, Ellis.
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