Bedfordshire Senior Challenge Cup, quarter-final: Dunstable Town 1 Crawley Green 1 (Dunstable win 4-2 on penalties)
Crawley Green put in an almighty performance as they came close to a shock win at Southern League opponents Dunstable Town in the Beds Senior Cup on Tuesday night.
The visitors, who ply their trade in the SSML Premier Division came within a whisker of victory, going close in stoppage time, before the Blues eventually went through on spot-kicks.
Dunstable were, injuries permitting, virtually at full strength, with new signing Max Risby on the bench, while Crawley had a number of former Town player, including Rob Newman, Ashton Grant and JJ Billy.
The opening moments saw chances at both ends, with Vences Bola speeding forward and his effort was well saved by Dean Bull.
Crawley’s Henry Mungwira set off on a fine run as his shot won a corner, while Shane Bush’s attempt was easy for Bull.
The visitors then went ahead on 13 minutes when Sam Halfpenny hammered home, but Dunstable were level just 10 minutes later when Bola’s shot was parried by Bull for Bush to tuck away the rebound.
Alex Cathline then went off with a hamstring injury, Kelvin Bossman taking his place, as the hosts found their opponents hard to break down.
Bush had to go off at the break, replaced by Jetmir Esso, while in the second period, Danny Talbot was denied by Bull, with Halfpenny firing over the bar.
Bola saw one effort blocked and another saved, while Crawley created some late opportunities, Arron Browne putting a free kick wide, with Dean Dummett flashing an effort across goal.
That meant penalties were now needed, with Jack Hutchinson seeing his effort saved by Bull, as Browne and Zack Reynolds both converted.
Keeper Bull stepped up to score his effort, as did Bossman, before Mungwira blasted over, Daniel Green netted and Newman missed to make it advantage Dunstable.
They made no mistake too as Talbot converted to ensure a 4-2 win on spot-kicks, with Town next entertaining Frome Town this weekend, with Crawley at home to Broxbourne Borough.
Dunstable: Jamie Head, Zack Reynolds, Jack Green, Daniel Talbot, David Longe-King, Adam Pepera (C), Vences Bola (Adam Moussi), Daniel Green, Alex Cathline (Kelvin Bossman), Shane Bush (Jetmir Esso), Jack Hutchinson.
Sub not used: Max Risby.
Crawley Green: Dean Bull, Rob Newman, Ed Skinner, Dean Dummett, Sam Pemberton (C), Joe Bradbury, Sam Halfpenny, Ashton Grant, Charlie Clayton (Terry Billy), Henry Mungwira, Arron Browne.
Subs not used: Reece Green, Liam McGovern, Luke Fonesca, Kevin McManus.