FECKENHAM produced a valiant display against high-flying Fairfield Villa but emerged empty-handed as the visitors secured a 1-0 victory in Midland League Division Two on Saturday.
Aaron Blackwood’s side were without captain Danny Williams, Umit Eminoglu, Corey Lloyd, Jack Brimmell, Andy Liddle and new signing Declan Print – a 19-year-old versatile product of Birmingham City’s academy – but were able to welcome back the experienced Robbie Ager.
Fairfield started the stronger of the two sides as they tried to play neat football on a heavy pitch but the Millers grew into the game and created four very good goalscoring opportunities.
George Tolley came close to breaking the deadlock twice whilst fellow forward Adam Garmson and midfielder Danny Murphy both saw efforts well saved.
The Feckenham rearguard was again impressive as keeper Josh Goddard, vice-captain Jordan Adams and Ryan Edwards all shone, but they could do nothing about the winning strike from Lewis Smith who skipper past two challenges before unleashing a thunderous long range effort into the back of the home net.
The second half was much of the same in an end-to-end fixture as Villa’s forward had two glorious chances to increase their advantage but were denied, firstly by a brilliant block from Edwards and then by a superb save from Goddard.
As the half wore on Feckenham did have a number of chances as Ben Cox and Ager both flashed efforts just wide before Adams’ towering header was inches too high.
The Millers will look to bounce back when they host local rivals Redditch Borough in a Les James Challenge Cup quarter-final at Studley Sports & Social Club on Saturday (1.30pm).
Feckenham assistant manager Tom Davies said: “At the end of the game I was bitterly disappointed to walk away with nothing as every single one of the lads put in 100 per cent and came off the pitch with nothing left to give.
“We worked hard all game and a fair result would have been a point, but it wasn’t our day and well done to Fairfield on the three points.
“We now look forward to a huge one as we welcome Redditch Borough for a quarter-final and a local derby on top of that.
“The lads are buzzing for it and I’m expecting a game played at full throttle for the 90 minutes.”