Both Nottingham Forest and Notts County scraped through on penalties against non-league opposition to secure themselves round three slots in this seasons Nottinghamshire FA Senior County Cup.
On Tuesday night, a young Nottingham Forest Academy team travelled to Kimberley Miners Welfare and the Stag Ground, under the lights and with defences on top, neither goal could be breached in a combative encounter played in front of a whopping crowd of 742, so the match at ninety minutes went straight into penalties.
Kimberley missed their first spot kick with all scored after, so eventually Forest won 5-4 in the shootout but the hosts of the United Counties League Division One could proudly hold up their heads high, Kimberley doubling their previous record attendance at the Stag, which is proof how essentially beneficial the County Cup has become with the inclusion and return of our big pro clubs.
Likewise on Wednesday night, where Hucknall Town hosted a Notts County XI in front of 650 fans at Watnall Road and like the previous nights match between Kimberley and Forest, this game went to penalties but only after the match ended in a respectable 1-1 draw at full time for the Yellows, also of the United Counties Football League (step ten of the Football Pyramid).
Craig Westcarr, lining up against his old club, scored the opener to put Hucknall in the lead on 29 minutes after his low shot deflected past the goalkeeper, but County were level a minute before half time as the Magpies captain, Ashaiah Fearon nestled home the equaliser.
There were chances at both ends in the second half but the game couldn’t be decided so the match went to penalties, Notts scoring the opening spot kick before Hucknall missed theirs, four more were netted before Hucknall missed their fourth, with Notts finishing the job off with a go to spare, 4-2 on the shootout for the Magpies but the home team players taking praise against top full-time opposition for pushing them all the way.
With holders Basford United also through, that makes three of the eight quarter finalists in the hat for the next round with some tasty ties coming up over the next couple of weeks.
Next Tuesday (23rd November) Clipstone host Ollerton Town under the lights before the following night see’s Rainworth Miners Welfare take on Mansfield Town.
The week after (30th Nov) Carlton Town host Gedling Miners Welfare and AFC Mansfield welcome Newark FC, a day before Teversal travel to Selston to conclude the second round stages proceedings.
*Main image @Forza_Garibaldi a packed house at the Stag as Kimberley took Nottingham Forest to penalties.