Pictures by Brian Dainty
Birmingham County Saturday Vase quarter-final: Rugby Borough v Smithswood Firs
For the Birmingham County Saturday Vase quarter-finals Borough travelled to play Smithswood Firs FC on neighbouring Hampton Sports Club’s ground.
Conditions were good, the weather fine, and expectations of some entertaining football were high.
Borough started well, forcing two early corners which the home team defended and cleared efficiently. Firs hit the woodwork with their first attempt on the Borough goal in the ninth minute; Dan Flack producing a good save.
A competitive first 20 minutes passed, both teams looking good and pushing forward, until Firs hit the woodwork again, this time a header from a corner. Rugby responded with Joe Henderson volleying captain Ryan Byrne’s corner wide. Smithswood took the lead in the 27th minute with a good finish from just inside the box. Just three minutes later the score was level after Jamie Paye calmly slotted home from a superb pass from Adam Shaw.
The second half started with Borough taking the lead in the first few minutes, from Chater flicking home Shaw’s cross after a great pass from Henderson, switching the play for 2-1.
Injured Luke Pritchard was replaced with Jack Blackham as Smithswood pushed for the equaliser, but left space for Borough to break, Paye getting the opportunity to go three up but shooting wide.
With ten minutes left Firs drew level 2-2 with a free-kick curled home from the edge of the box. The game went straight to penalties, with the home side eventually winning 8-7.
Borough Team: 1 D Flack, 2 J Taplin, 3 L Pritchard, 4 R Byrne, 5 J Henderson, 6 K Finney, 7 A Shaw, 8 R Conneely, 9 J Paye, 10 A Webb, 11 O Chater. 12 J Blackham, 14 L Corcoran, 15 A Fuller, 16 J Turton, 17 J Tank.
Man of the match: J Henderson.