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Penalty Heartbreak For Ashville

Ashville are out of the Edward Case Cup following a penalty shootout defeat against South Liverpool.

It was a game of few chances in Wallasey on Saturday afternoon as Ashville sought revenge against a South Liverpool side who knocked Villa out of the FA Vase back in December.

It was a hard fought encounter in the early stages with neither side really gaining control. South Liverpool had the first truly threatening chance of the game on 14 minutes. Ashville failed to clear a cross and the ball dropped to Oscar Billington who flashed a volley just wide of the Villa goal.

A heavy pitch started to get the better of both teams as chances were few and far between in an attritional first half. It would be these conditions that nearly saw Lewis Williams break the deadlock for the visitors. Connor Courtnell lost his footing and Williams was on hand to pinch the ball off the Ashville left back before cutting inside and pulling his shot millimetres wide of the post.

Ashville came out in the second half as by far the better side but were still lacking that killer final ball. Their second half dominance almost paid dividends with 20 minutes to go when substitute, Shaun Parrington, was played in over the top and despite his best efforts he couldn't quite stretch far enough to poke the ball home past an onrushing Fowell.

The chance gave Villa confidence however and the home side crafted another golden chance just three minutes later when Tom Davies found Charlie Bennett arriving late into the box. The central midfielder couldn't quite find the target though as his volley was pulled just wide.

Into the final ten minutes we went and almost immediately South Liverpool should of been ahead. Another golden opportunity for Oscar Billington as he ran onto a ball over the top and somehow poked it over when it was without doubt easier to score. It was a wake up call for a dominant Ashville side that South Liverpool are a team that can turn a game on its head in an instant.

With just under five minutes remaining Lewis Moynes found Tom Davies with a wonderful through ball that left his fellow winger one on one with Fowell. Unfortunately the angle became too tight for Davies and his shot was straight at the South Liverpool keeper.

Then, in the first minute of stoppage time, a collective gasp could be heard around Ray Parker Stadium as Ashville had surely won it. Lewis Moynes skinned his man on the wing before firing in a cross which found a wide open Peter Morgan who oh so narrowly headed over the bar. The Villa faithful saw their jumps for joy rapidly turn into collapses of agony, the away fans breathing a sigh of relief, unsure as to how they got away from the chance unscathed.

And that was all she wrote for regulation time. Penalties were to follow...

Ashville started off strongly, as they have all season long to this point in shootouts with Tom Hartley scoring. Dylan O'Brien then continued his excellent form of late by saving the first South Liverpool kick.

Peter Morgan was next up for Villa but the young winger saw his penalty saved by Fowell. South Liverpool scored to level the shootout before Ben Greenop stepped up and smashed Villa back into the lead with a decisive penalty straight down the middle.

The away side once again matched Villa and it was Connor Courtnell's turn to step up to the spot for Ashville. The left back blasted his effort over the bar, no doubt distracted by some unsportsmanlike shouting from the South Liverpool management team as he went to strike the ball.

Mvalo then scored to put the away side ahead. Ashville now needed to score and for South Liverpool to miss to send the shootout into sudden death. Shaun Parrington was the next to step up. It would ultimately be heartbreak for Ashville as Parrington's effort was saved by Fowell and Ashville crashed out of the Edward Case Cup at the quarter final stage.

Ashville now have only one more shot at silverware in the Macron Cup. They will be looking to bounce back in that tournament on Tuesday night when they travel to Stockport Georgians hoping to set up a quarter final tie away at Droylsden.

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