by Peter Scherer (Images by Steve Ingers)
An injury time equaliser from Barwell, following two earlier goals by Stuart Beavon, led to a dramatic penalty shoot out and 4-2 win!
Starting line-up: 1 Jim Pollard 2 Jake Bennett 3 Rhys Dolan 4 Will Atkinson 5 Fin Delap 6 Ethan Mann 7 Callum Chettle 8 Joe Bateman 9 Andre Wright 10 Stuart Beavon 11 Oliver Greaves. Subs: Dan Bradley, Oliver Bosworth, Ben Sault, Fin Ryder, Zac Sandhu, Ryan Wilson.
Barwell were first on the attack when Flanagan fired over the bar after picking up a second minute corner, before Hill shot wide seven minutes later.
But only 15 minutes in Ward put his own keeper Griffiths under pressure, with a short back pass. Beavon managed to intercept and slotted the ball past the advancing keeper, 1-0.
Both sides had a fairly even amount of possession, but as the half hour mark approached Hill put a low cross for the hosts and Hickey fired home the equaliser, 1-1.
Barwell kept pushing in their quest to go in at half time with a lead, but 37 minutes in and Enoru beat the defence, but his cross found Hickey whose effort was blocked on the line.
Pollard saved another Hickey effort after 40 minutes, before Edwards found Holman whose shot was just over the bar, so it remained 1-1 as the half time whistle went.
Barwell made a pacy start to the second half, but Holman’s long range attempt after 47 minutes was well off target. Having withstood the initial barrage Mickleover began to hold firm and after Hickey went close for our hosts after 69 minutes, Beavon made it 2-1 a couple of minutes later.
With Mickleover continuing to defend well, the game was five minutes into injury time when Holman was in space and fired into the roof of the net to make it 2-2, so time ran out and it was down penalties.
Memories of Stowmarket last year must have come flooding back, but as Hickey stepped up for the first penalty, his shot missed the target.
Wright put Mickleover’s in before Brown-Hill scored for Barwell. Greaves then hit the back of the net before Pollard managed to save Holman’s effort.
Atkinson made it 3-2 for Mickleover before Master scored for Barwell. So it came down to Bradley’s kick to deserve the tie, which he duly put away 4-2, with Mickleover safely into the next round draw.