REDDITCH United suffered penalty shootout heartbreak as the Reds were beaten on spot kicks by a young West Bromwich Albion side in the quarter-finals of the Birmingham Senior Cup.
Matt Clarke’s side equalised just past the hour mark in regulation time as Reece Flanagan’s rebound from a penalty cancelled out Harry Whitwell’s opener for Albion to send the game to a shootout.
However, Brad Foster was the hero for West Brom as he saved consecutive penalties from Ryan Wollacott and Harry Reilly to secure a 7-6 win at the Reds expense at the Trico Stadium.
West Brom made a bright start as Rico Richards saw a goalbound effort blocked by Lewis Hudson before the same player raced through only to be denied by Reds goalkeeper Adam Harrison.
And Redditch then twice cleared the ball off the line from a corner as Wollacott put his body in the way to keep the scores level.
At the other end, Redditch began to find their rhythm as Foster made saves from Danny King and Max Sheaf to send the teams into the break scoreless.
However, Albion took the lead on 50 minutes when Whitwell slid the ball home from the edge of the penalty area after good work from Akeel Higgins down the left.
The Reds thought they had equalised moments later only for the assistant’s flag to rule out Jack Byrne’s header for offside.
And just past the hour mark, Redditch were awarded a penalty when Bernard Mensah went down under a challenge in the box as Flanagan saw his penalty saved by Foster only for the midfielder to score the rebound.
The home side almost booked their place in the last four in injury time when Albion cleared Mensah’s cutback into the path of Harvey Gregson who sent a half volley straight at Foster as the game went straight to penalties.
Remarkably, both teams scored their first six penalties as King, Flanagan, Sheaf, Mensah, Gregson and Hudson all found the net for Redditch.
And Redditch had a chance to win the game when Harrison made the first save of the shootout only for Foster to deny Wollacott and Richards to score West Brom’s next penalty.
However, Reilly saw his penalty saved by Foster which brought an end to the Reds cup run at the quarter-final stage.
Redditch are next in action at home to Hitchin Town on Saturday, April 1 with kick-off at 3pm at the Trico Stadium.