County win in closely drawn out cup tie
By Richard Lloyd
Road to Madejski Stadium Shortens
County fought out a close battle with long time “bogey team” Maidenhead Magpies this weekend, eventually overcoming the opposition on penalties following the game being tied 6-6 after extra time.
The Swords started extremely positively, racing into a 4-0 lead after just twenty minutes, only to let Maidenhead back into the game and eventually into the lead at 5-4. County showed immense character and grit to battle back to 5-5 to take the game to ET.
Taking an early lead, Ross Miller heading in from a Jonny Gosnell free kick after just 5 minutes, the game was dominated by County, playing fast flowing football which eventually led to the second goal 10 minutes in, Jonny Gosnell breaking free and giving himself some space with a great piece of skill before finding the far corner of the net with an accurate finish.
Jonny Gosnell was again involved for the third goal, breaking down the left hand side before being brought down, giving club captain Sam Dennison the opportunity to strike from the resulting free kick. Curling the ball into the top right corner, he did just that! Jonny Gosnell then flicked home a cross from centre half Steve Brock after 18 minutes to complete the emphatic start, putting County 4-0 in the lead.
Unfortunately Maidenhead showed they were not giving up on the game by pulling a goal back within minutes of County’s fourth, and then scoring again on 40 minutes to make the score 4-2 heading into the break.
The second half started poorly for County as the Magpies hit three goals to take the lead 5-4, and almost take control of the game. A late substitution proved vital for the Swords when Richard Brock replaced skipper Sam with just 5 minutes to go, and promptly firing in a long range strike to level the score with two minutes of the game remaining, to take the tie to extra time.
Once again Maidenhead pulled back into the lead in the first half of extra time, but the County lads showed they were never going to give up on the game and showed true character when some great football lead to another assist from Steve Brock, sending the ball into the box late on which Sean Graham flicked into the net, having held off the challenge of two Maidenhead defenders. The game would go to penalties!
Berks County scored their first three penalties with ease, Richard Brock, Sean Graham and Ross Miller smashing home with confidence, then Lewis Grant proved he still had a say in the tie by producing a fantastic save to deny the third Magpies penalty. Top scorer Josh Dillon then scored his kick, then Maidenhead scored their fourth to make the score 4-3 on penalties. Jonny Gosnell then fired his kick over the bar to add some pressure for County, but Lewis Grant stepped up once more to deny Maidenhead and put us into the next round.