Alcester Town survive late Jet Blades onslaught to reach Birmingham Vase quarter-finals

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FOOTBALL

Birmingham FA Saturday Vase, Third Round
Jet Blades 3
Alcester Town 4
Report by Craig Gibbons

TWO stunning Jamie Corrigan free-kicks helped Alcester Town secure a 4-3 victory over Jet Blades and book their place in the last eight of the Birmingham Vase.

The Romans drew first blood in the 29th minute when Corrigan struck the first of his two goals from the edge of the area, but Coventry Alliance outfit Blades hit back eight minutes into the second half through Daniel Harris.

Corrigan then scored a second free-kick just past the hour mark to put the visitors back in front.

Two goals in three minutes from Karl King and Wade Malley put the Romans seemingly out of sight, but strikes from Blades’s Jack Burchell and Tyson Knight set up a tense a finale.

However, the Romans held on to book their place in the quarter-finals.

Preparations for the county cup tie were far from ideal for Shaun Edwards’s Alcester, as four players arrived just ten minutes before kick-off due to the heavy local traffic.

Because of this disruption, the visitors struggled in the early stages, but once they settled they began to dominate the possession and chances.

And in the 29th minute they broke the deadlock.

Malley was clipped on the edge of the area and the ensuing free-kick from 20 yards out was beautifully curled into the top corner by Corrigan.

Very little action followed after the first goal of the afternoon, but the Romans did have the chance to double their lead four minutes before the break when Niall Gilbride played in Jake Brown, but he could only skew his effort off target.

Blades started the brighter of the two sides after the interval and it took them just eight minutes to get back on level terms.

Burchell broke free on the right-hand side and Harris turned in the low delivery from close range.

Six minutes later the woodwork came to Alcester’s rescue, as Connor Faulconbridge’s thunderous 25-yard effort cannoned off the underside of the bar before bouncing down on the wrong side of the line and away from danger.

Despite being on the back foot, Edwards’s side scored three goals in the space of nine minutes to race into a 4-1 lead.

The Romans made it 2-1 when Blades failed to clear Corrigan’s in-swinging corner and Malley had the simple task of stabbing home from point-blank range.

Six minutes later it was 3-1 when an unmarked King powered a home a header from another in-swinging corner.

And three minutes after that it was 4-1 when Corrigan’s sumptuous free-kick from the edge of the area flew into the top corner beyond a rooted Jordan Gilks.

The Blades would not go down without a fight, though, and they pulled a goal back with 15 minutes to go when some slack Alcester defending allowed Burchell to volley home from ten yards out.

Once again the woodwork would come to the rescue of the Romans five minutes later when Lewis Blair’s shot bounced back off the inside of the far post.

Blades continued to press and their persistence was rewarded with another goal in the first minute of second-half stoppage time when Ben Cole’s pin-point delivery was expertly headed into the far corner by Knight.

However, it was too little too late, as the Romans held on to reach the last eight of the Birmingham Vase.