CAPTAIN Jake Donnelly struck a late winner to seal a 3-2 victory for Feckenham on their long-awaited return to action at Moors Academy on Saturday.
The Millers were met by a young and talented home side but the visitors had just enough to win in their first match since before Christmas and move up to fourth in Midland League Division Two – eight points behind second-placed Hampton with three games in hand.
Haden Smith made his first competitive start for Feckenham since making the switch from Northfield Town, whilst forward George Tolley returned for his first competitive game since August following his operation on a broken metatarsal.
Feckenham took a first-half lead when Donnelly burst into the box and was felled, allowing Umit Eminoglu to convert the resultant spot-kick.
However, Moors hit back in impressive fashion and deservedly led 2-1 thanks to two goals from Tyrell Hamilton in the opening stages of the second-half, albeit aided by some slack Feckenham defending.
Feckenham were not done though and, with Eminoglu and Tolley a real threat, they levelled in the 84th minute when an Eminoglu corner pinballed in the box before the ball fell to Tolley who flicked it home.
With time running out, Ben Welsh received the ball and drove at the heart of the Moors defence before picking out Donnelly who dispatched a low drive past the keeper when one-on-one to spark scenes of jubilation among his team-mates.
The Millers now face a Worcestershire Junior Cup semi-final at the Entaco against league rivals Droitwich on Saturday (2pm) and joint assistant manager Tom Davies is keen for the side to maintain their momentum.
“It’s been eight weeks since our last competitive fixture, so it was pleasing to finally get a game on,” said Davies.
“We weren’t at our best by any stretch of the imagination and those weeks of tough training sessions coupled with that genuine desire and togetherness meant we were able to steal a result.
“It was pleasing to give Haden (Smith) his debut and another plus was George Tolley’s re-introduction. Both played well when coming off the bench and contributed to our change in fortune later in the game.
“We’re confident Jack Brimmell will be available this weekend, with Danny Murphy still on his way back from injury, which we still expect to be a couple of weeks away.
“We’ve got three semi-finals (Presidents Cup and Evesham Hospital Junior Cup to follow) on the bounce, firstly against Droitwich which, given previous fixtures against each other, looks to be an entertaining local derby with a final as an additional prize.”