SSML Challenge Cup, first round: Totternhoe 2 New Bradwell 2 (Totternhoe win 4-3 on penalties)
Totternhoe continued their incredible start to life under new boss Chris Robson by progressing through to the second round of the South Midlands League Challenge Cup beating New Bradwell St Peter on penalties at the weekend.
Although it is now nine wins from the opening 10 games, Totternhoe could feel a bit fortunate to progress after their poorest performance of the season so far.
The visitors were looking for revenge after Totternhoe came away with a 4-3 victory in the league just two weeks ago and started the match on the front foot.
Both sides had chances in the first period, but the opening goal didn’t arrive until on the stroke of half time when Billy Lobjoit picked up the ball on the left hand side before cutting in and curling an effort from 25 yards into the top corner giving Daniel Sanders no chance in the Totternhoe goal.
Totternhoe were much improved in the second half and worked their way back into the game, the equaliser coming on 69 minutes when good work from Sam Folland saw him win the ball in midfield before passing inside to Dan Lambeth.
Lambeth drove at the Peters defence before unleashing a powerful strike from 25 yards which flew into the far bottom corner for his 10th goal so far this season.
The goal gave the hosts a boost as they went on to control the game, appearing to have won it with five minutes to go when a good cross from substitute Rob Kurzawa was met by Scott Murchie who finished well under pressure.
However, the visitors forced a penalty shoot out by equalising with the last kick of the game, when a long throw into the box by Tyrone Taylor was met by the unmarked Steve Flux who couldn’t miss from miss from two yards out.
In the shoot out, Murchie, Callum Horgan, Wayne O’Connor and Lambeth were all successful, while Sanders was a hero in the Totternhoe goal to see his side through to face Division One team Winslow United in the second round.
Boss Robson said: “I felt we were very poor with our quality on the ball being very sloppy in possession.
“Also the first half our work rate was non-existent giving a very good side like New Bradwell the freedom of the park, which for me is unacceptable. “If it wasn’t for man of the match Danny Sanders in goal the game could have been over by half time.
“After some strong words at the break, the second half was a lot better although still far from perfect.
“Having said that in cup competition the only thing that matters is that you’re in the hat for the next round, which we are.
“We have had a great start to the season and the lads have been brilliant for me.
“We need to keep this run going but at the same time keep our feet on the ground and not get carried away.”
Totternhoe host Pitstone & Ivinghoe this weekend.
Totternhoe: Sanders, Rimmer, Horgan, Weymouth, O’Conner, Murchie (C), Folland, Murray, Dogget, Lambeth, Lander.