Copsewood squeeze through to the final of the Birmingham Midweek Floodlight Cup despite an almost miraculous comeback from the visitors in a five goal thriller at The Pavilion.
After a tense opening 15 minutes with neither side being able to create anything meaningful, it was Copsewood who got the breakthrough. Shortly after Griff ‘keeper George Woodward had already clawed a header off the line, another ball came in, this time it was Dave Akinuli on the end of it to tap home and give the hosts the lead.
Five minutes later, the game looked to only be heading one way, as Copsewood got their second in spectacular fashion. The ball fell to Craig Civzelis, 40 yards out, and he looped the ball over a hapless Woodward and into the net for 2-0. It only took a further six minutes for the hosts to add a third, as eventual Man of the Match Lawrence Rawlings did well to get into a good position on the right, then squared it to Liam Davies who had an easy finish from close range.
It seemed as though Copsewood were cruising through to the final until Griff were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area with five minutes of the first half to play. Up stepped Tom Bates to curl a beautiful free kick into the top left hand corner of the goal and give the visitors a glimmer of hope going into the break.
Half time: Coventry Copsewood 3-1 Nuneaton Griff
The second half started in the same vein as the first, with both sides getting into decent attacking positions, but neither being able to capitalise on them. Then, on the hour mark, a long free kick from Copsewood spelled trouble for the visitors. It was floated into the area, Woodward tried to claim it but spilled the ball and eventually, to the relief of the young goalkeeper, it bobbled inches wide of the goal.
Both sides again created a couple of half chances as the game looked to be petering out a little but with 20 minutes left, Griff got the goal which made things very interesting, as Jack Colley received the ball inside the area and calmly placed it into the corner, despite the ‘keeper’s best efforts in getting hands to it.
Nuneaton kept piling on the pressure in the latter stages of the game and tensions on the field began to rise. A bad challenge and a scuffle on the far touchline resulted in both teams being reduced to 10 men, including marching orders for Copsewood’s Tom Dyke with three minutes of normal time to play. Nuneaton continued to pile on the pressure to try and get a last gasp equaliser and send the tie to extra time, but Copsewood remained firm and held on, their three first half goals enough to see them through to the final.
Full time: Coventry Copsewood 3-2 Nuneaton Griff
Details of the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup final TBA