ASSISTANT manager Ryan Young hailed Feckenham’s Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup penalty shoot-out victory over Highgate United as a “great night” for the club.
The Millers won 4-2 on spot-kicks after a 1-1 draw at Tythe Barn Lane to maintain their fine form and Young was delighted.
The hosts took a 32nd-minute lead from a penalty after George Lutwyche was penalised but parity was restored seven minutes later when Umit Eminoglu netted with a fine long-range free kick.
Eminoglu, Ben Cox, Dan Williams and Connor Perry-Holmes were all successful from the penalty spot, whilst Young saved two Highgate penalties.
“When the draw was made we were under no illusions how difficult the tie would be. Highgate are two leagues above us and are always a strong and competitive outfit – they even had ex-Villa man Lee Hendrie to bring off the bench,” said Young.
“We had a game plan and every player who featured for us a gave a really good account of themselves, worked tirelessly and didn’t look out of place against higher opposition.
“It’s the type of hardworking team performance which Feckenham have become known for down the years.”
Highgate showed lots of quality and were always dangerous, especially in the first half, and defensively Feckenham had to weather a few storms which was particularly pleasing given they were missing key men Jamie Hatfield and Ben Welsh.
Feckenham had the clearer chances in the second half and looked the side most likely to win in normal time.
Young added: “To match a side from the Premier Division of this league is brilliant and it’s a result which reinforces the levels we believe we can hit when everything falls into place.”
The promotion-chasing Millers return to Midland League Division Two action for the first time in more than a month when they host Lane Head on Saturday.
Feckenham beat their opponents 6-3 on the opening day of the season and boss Aaron Blackwood has stressed to the group that complacency must not creep in.