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Dudley Sports 1 AFC Wulfrunians 3
10:43pm Tuesday 17th April 2012 in Football
DUDLEY Sports fell to to a first leg defeat in their West Midlands League Cup semi-final.
David Asbury headed the visitors in front midway through the first half before Josh Taylor was denied by Wulfs keeper Daniel Tipton.
Jake Sedgemore doubled the lead from the penalty spot after Richard Anslow was bundled over by Adam Fincher.
Anslow then appeared to put the tie to bed with the third before Matt Preston’s stoppage time free-kick gave Sports some hope.
That goal means Sports just have a hill, rather than a mountain to climb when these sides in seven days time at Castlecroft, in what hopefully be a much better game all round.
This was a match of few chances and little to get the pulse racing on a chilly and blustery night.
Sports will be disappointed with their performance, which faded badly after an encouraging start.
Wulfrunians weren’t exactly on top form either and were pretty much gifted the second and third goals. Fincher’s push on Anslow which resulted in the penalty was totally needless, while the third goal six minutes later owed much to defensive calamity.
It was a shame, as both sides started the game brightly. Craig Tibbetts almost put Sports into an early lead when he got a touch on Taylor’s cross but Tipton was alert to push the effort behind.
Matt Hearsey was also looking lively and had Wulfs defender Mark Tipton scrambling to put a loose ball behind.
Wulfrunians spent the first 20 minutes playing some attractive stuff outside the Sports box without ever really threatening the goal and in the end took the lead with their first attempt on target.
Sedgemore’s whipped in free-kick was met by the unmarked Asbury who had no trouble guiding his header past Sam Pearson in the Sports goal.
The strike sparked a period of pressure from the visitors and they came close to doubling the lead when Dan Crudgington’s shot was pushed onto the post by Pearson.
But that was pretty much it from the visitors in terms of serious attempts on goal until the break. Instead it was Sports who came close to equalising, Tipton tipping over Josh Taylor’s near post header from an Andrew Blakeley corner.
Wulfrunians took the initiative at the start of the second period, with Robin Sheffield and Crudgington both sending shots over Pearson’s crossbar. The latter also sent in a dangerous looking cross which the home keeper did well to punch away.
Sports were struggling to make an impact and it wasn’t until the hour mark they threatened again, with Tibbetts’ acrobatic attempt at the far post clearing the bar by the distance.
A better chance came the way of Mark Bache but unmarked in the box, he could only direct his header from a Preston free-kick wide of the post.
That miss proved crucial as soon Wulfrunians were two up. Anslow seemed to have beaten Fincher as he advanced into the box before being pushed down by the Sports defender. Sedgemore stepped up to coolly send Pearson the wrong way from the spot.
Six minutes later disaster struck for Sports as the visitors were gifted a third. An underhit pass allowed Anslow to win a 50-50 challenge with Preston, before he repeated the trick with Pearson and was left with the simple task of hitting the ball into an empty net from 20 yards out.
Preston did well to block after a powerful run from substitute Adeola Bandele, while Anslow missed the chance to make Sports misery worse when he fired over from the edge of the box.
Who knows whether those misses will be costly? Three minutes into stoppage time Sports were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal and Preston stepped up to send a curling effort past Tipton and ensure the tie isn’t quite dead yet.
SPORTS: Pearson, Fincher, Holloway, Preston, Bache, Gore, Stevens, Blakeley (c), Hearsey, Tibbetts, Taylor subs not used: Armstrong, Astley, Crane.
Goal: Preston 90.
WULFS: Tipton D, Evans, Burd (Bandele 73), Tipton M, Bloom, Asbury, Crudgington, Sedgemore (c), Anslow, Rose-Liaing (Robertson 78), Sheffied, Subs not used: Ray, Collins, Rabone.
Goals: Asbury 21, Sedgemore pen 69, Anslow 75.