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Sutton Coldfield Town 5 Stourbridge 4 AET
11:53pm Tuesday 19th March 2013 in Football
SUTTON Coldfield Town dumped Stourbridge out of the Birmingham Senior Cup in a nine goal semi-final thriller.
Kristian Ramsey-Dickson fired the Northern League Division One South hosts into an early two goal lead and Luke Edwards restored the advantage after Sean Geddes had pulled one back from the penalty spot.
Southern League Stour kept battling and a second from Geddes, coupled with a delightful Luke Benbow goal forced extra-time.
But goals from Luke Chapman and Jimmy Quigin saw the hosts through despite a late Jamie Oliver strike setting up a grandstand finish.
Home keeper Lee Evans had saved brilliantly from Benbow and Ben Billingham to prevent Stour snatching victory at the end of normal time.
That made the visitors’ subsequent no-show in the first extra period all the more infuriating, as Sutton were allowed to go two goals clear for the third time in the game by lax defending which blighted Stour throughout.
But take nothing away from Sutton, who harried and caused problems for their higher league guests all night in what was a barnstorming game with numerous talking points.
Stour had begun strongly, with Ben Mackey testing Evans early with a shot from a tight angle while Geddes drilled narrowly over and Paul McCone came closest of all when he nodded a corner against the post.
But Sutton also looked lively going forward. A pinpoint Oliver Bashford cross caused no end of problems for the Stour backline and was nearly forced home by Ramsey-Dickson, while Jamie Sheldon had a shot deflected wide.
The visitors looked decidedly shaky at the back and a continued inability to clear their lines cost them the opening goal when Chapman’s blocked free-kick eventually fell at the feet of Ramsey-Dickson, who fired home from close range.
His second three minutes later featured an assist from the Coles Lane 3G pitch, as a long punt upfield which looked certain to run through to Stour keeper Lewis Solly held up on the bounce, allowing Ramsey-Dickson to pounce and embarrass the stranded stopper.
Stung by the quickfire double, the Glassboys quickly responded and got back in the game when Phil Male pulled down Benbow in the box and Geddes made no mistake from the spot.
Stour now looked in command and Benbow shot straight at Evans while Osborne curled and effort just wide as the visitors went in search of an equaliser.
But they still looked shaky in defence and alarm bells were sent ringing again just before the break, when McCone’s poor clearance presented Ramsey-Dickson with a chance ten yards out, which the centre-back did well to block.
Two minutes after the restart he was not so lucky. Chapman escaped on the left and though he was brought down by McCone, the ball ran to Edwards who finished past Solly via the near post.
Back at square one, the Glassboys huffed and puffed as they looked to narrow the deficit, though a poor punch from Solly almost presented Sheldon with a chance for a fourth Sutton goal.
In the end it took two pieces of skill from Geddes to open up the home defence. First his inch perfect pass set Billingham away down the right and he was then ready to take the return pass on the edge of the box, sending a delightful curling effort past Evans.
Stour began to dominate and Evans was forced to push away a Benbow volley while Billingham drilled a free-kick against the post, before the visitors drew level thanks to another fine goal.
Benbow was sent free by a flick from substitute Chris Knight and he cut in from the right, leaving left-back Louie Keenan trailing in his wake, before sending a cool finish past Evans.
Eight minutes remained at that stage and Stour would certainly have sealed the win were it not for the brilliance of the home keeper, who pushed away a Benbow drive before producing an even better save to deny BIllingham.
But the momentum was still with Stour and that made their extra-time collapse all the more shocking.
Just 40 seconds had passed when Chapman was left unmarked in the box to fire past Solly and restore the home advantage.
Stour’s keeper then saved from Quigin at point blank range after Ramsey-Dickson had escaped. With Sutton rampant, Quigin nearly forced home from close range before finally getting his name on the scoresheet in the final minute of the first period to put his side two up again.
Oliver drilled home from just outside the box five minutes into the second half but this time the Glassboys could not find redemption from their earlier mistakes.
SUTTON: Evans, Bashford, Keenan, Parsons (c), Booth, Male, Leek (Edwards 66), Sheldon, Ramsey-Dickson (McNaught 84), Edwards (Quigin 78), Chapman Subs not used: Ling, Bedford.
Goals: Ramsey-Dickson 24 27, Edwards 47, Chapman 91, Quigin 105.
GLASSBOYS: Solly, Canavan (Turton 88), Oliver, McCone, Geddes, Osborne (Knight 78), Lloyd, Broadhurst, Benbow, Billingham, Mackey Subs not used: Dyson, Bennett, Coleman.
Goals: Geddes pen 30 68, Benbow 82, Oliver 110.