FECKENHAM will be hoping for better in Saturday’s Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup tie at home to Fairfield Villa having seen their Presidents Cup hopes ended in dramatic fashion last time out.
Midland League Division Two high-flyers Feckenham were edged out 4-3 on penalties in Saturday’s Presidents Cup encounter at Redditch Borough after a 2-2 draw.
Danny Murphy’s 25-yard effort on the half hour gave the visitors the lead before second half goals from Ash Pardoe and George Skelton put Borough 2-1 up, only for Jake Donnelly to level matters on 89 minutes.
Millers assistant manager Ryan Young felt there were both positives and negatives to take from the game against a Borough side without a point after five Division Two fixtures.
“In recent weeks we’ve missed too many good chances during spells of prolonged pressure,” said Young.
“Saturday was no different. In the first half we had opportunities to put the game to bed which on this occasion we’ve ended up ruing later on in the game.
“I have to give credit to Redditch Borough. They were well organised, energetic and, despite big spells of being under pressure, have always kept themselves in the game.
“For me the second half from front to back didn’t match the levels we’ve set ourselves and Redditch have taken advantage.
“We’ve uncharacteristically conceded two sloppy goals defensively by not dealing with balls into the box properly and as a result ended up deservedly falling behind.
“Our reaction was very good but too late within the game, although I felt Jake Donnelly’s equaliser at the death was deserved.
“Penalties is a lottery at any level of football but, fair play to Redditch Borough, they held their nerve and good luck to them in the next round.”
Looking ahead, Young added: “The gaffer (Aaron Blackwood) made our objectives clear at the start of the season and those are unchanged despite a little blip.
“Any cup runs we have will be an added bonus for us. We have started the season really well and have only lost one game in normal time since the start of pre-season so we should still remain very upbeat.
“We’re in cup action again this weekend in the Smedley Crooke Cup and the boys have been told the squad will be rotated. It’s against Fairfield and against my former manager at Studley and a good friend Keith Draper, who has totally revitalised Fairfield since coming in. It will be another very tough game.”