Whilst England’s heroes in Russia bask in the winning of penalty shoot outs and banishing hoodoos from the past four Birmingham teams turned out for the County FA Cup competition at Bedworth United in blistering heat as x2 over 50’s teams and x2 60’s teams played a total of 16 games conceding only two goals between them.
Birmingham’s own Achilles heel came back to haunt them as they lost the finals in both age groups on penalties.
In the over 50’s injury and unavailability due to holidays and work had left both the Blues and Whites short of key men that meant two virtually untried teams lined up in the respective groups.
Blues completed three comfortable victories 1-0 2-0 and 3-0 Ian Ward going nap hand and a single goal from Mick Richards. The whites had mixed fortunes with a 1-0 win and a 1-0 loss, but still progressed to the semi final stage, their goal coming from Mark Gibbons, Mike Taylor Lane in goal pulling off some fine saves as they beat Wyndley.
The two teams then met in the semi final, a tight game ensued and only Ian Ward’s penalty putting the Blues through.
The final was always going to be tight, both Hartshill and the Blues hit a post before, the Blues eventually were beaten 3-2 on penalties.
Ward was top scorer on the day with his return of 6 (4 better than any other player.)
Steve White’s sixties managed a passage through to the semi final with a win and two draws and John Limbourne’s team were unfortunate as 3 0-0 draws meant an early exit.
A semi final against league winners Coleshill was won on penalties following the group campaign with 3 tight games with a 1-0 win v Shard End and two x 0-0 draws, Roy Williams striking a great shot past the keeper for the winner
The final against Hartshill was again very tight the seemingly inevitable 0-0 draw was again followed by penalties and once again we were more Henderson than Trippier so another 3-2 defeat followed.
Manager David Castle commented, “It seems unbelievable that both the 50’s and 60’s can go through a tournament and not let in a goal but finish runners up. There were so many people who made their debuts for the club today and they have all done us proud. Perhaps I need to speak to Paul about having a separate session for practicing penalties!"