Brown brace books Bees' place in semis

By Liam Moakes 01/03 Updated: 05/03 15:48

STUDLEY ensured there will be a new name on the Midland Alliance's Polymac Services League Cup this season as they sunk holders Stratford Town 2-1 in Tuesday's quarter-final at the Beehive.

In a thrilling finale to the match two goals in the final six minutes from Lei Brown dumped Warwickshire rivals Town out of the competition and booked the Bees' place in a two-legged semi-final against Tipton Town.

The excellent result came on the back of Saturday's encouraging 2-2 draw at high-flying Causeway United which earned Lee Adams' side a vital point in their battle to avoid relegation.

The fourth from bottom Bees now face a crucial week in their fight for survival as they host title-chasing Gresley tomorrow before visiting Heath Hayes on Tuesday.

They will go into tomorrow's contest in great spirits after a fully deserved cup win against much-fancied opposition.

The hosts signalled their intent as early as the second minute when Jamie Bailey had a well struck shot saved by Stratford keeper Richard Morris.

Bailey went even closer midway through the first half by powerfully heading a corner against the bar with Morris well beaten.

Town were struggling to get a foothold in the tie and they survived a scare ten minutes before the break when Bailey created a clearcut opening for Joe Adams, only for the midfielder to fail to hit the target when well placed.

Bailey, who was a constant threat, wasted an opportunity on the stroke of half time when he shot wide following an error from Morris.

Town emerged from the interval in determined mood and Liam Reynolds and James Travis both went close before they broke the deadlock after 58 minutes.

Mark Faulds delivered a corner to the far post where Stuart Herlihy climbed well to powerfully head home.

Shortly afterwards Stratford wasted a glorious chance when Mykel Beckley burst clear but shot straight at relieved Studley keeper Perry Cox.

The miss proved costly as Studley staged a dramatic finale with a cross-cum-shot from Jordan Jones landing on top of the bar before the hosts equalised in the 84th minute when Brown latched on to a through ball and clinically beat the advancing Morris.

Two minutes later Adams was upended in the box by Faulds and Brown confidently converted the resulting penalty to clinch a fine win and a last four tie with Tipton.

The first leg will be played at the Beehive on Tuesday, March 13, whilst the second leg will take place in the Black Country on Wednesday, April 4.

The other semi-final will see Loughborough University take on Boldmere St Michaels.

On Saturday the Bees had threatened to become only the second side to win in the league at Causeway this season when second half goals from Scott Turner and Bailey gave them a 2-1 lead having fallen behind to Scott Stevenson's strike on the stroke of half time.

However, David Plinston's 81st minute effort ensured the spoils were shared.

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