Premier scalp for 'Church

Thursday 25 October 2012 Updated: 31/10 12:35

Alvechurch 3 Leamington 1

BUBBLING ‘Church dumped Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division high-flyers Leamington out of the Birmingham Senior Cup at Lye Meadow on Tuesday night.

It was a notable scalp for ‘Church who fully deserved their success which was due to an accomplished all-round performance.

Omari Sterling-James gave early notice of his danger with a couple of runs that had the Leamington defence back pedalling.

He fired across the face of the goal in the 11th minute with Jazz Luckie inches away from connecting at the far post.

Just before the half hour mark Sterling-James ghosted past two challenges before delivering another dangerous cross which Luckie could only divert wide of the far post.

The more experienced visitors enjoyed plenty of possession and they should have taken the lead after 31 minutes when Alex Taylor was tripped in the area but Liam Maher dived to his left to keep out Tom Berwick’s penalty.

Having matched Leamington in the first half, ‘Church took control after the break.

Sterling-James ended a 57th minute run with a well struck shot which was saved by Aaron Gayle but two minutes later Luckie latched onto a through ball and rounded the visiting keeper before slotting into an empty net.

The lead was doubled two minutes later when Sterling-James collected the ball 30 yards out and unleashed an unstoppable looping drive over Gayle into the top corner of the net.

‘Church continued to create chances with Ryan Edmunds heading inches wide Tristan Dunkley’s cross, while Sterling-James was only just off target with an acrobatic overhead effort.

Leamington got back in contention after 80 minutes when Joe Magunda escaped his marker to head home a corner from close range.

But ‘Church responded straight from the restart and booked their place into round two when Luckie was on hand to turn in a drilled cross from Edmunds.

‘Church had previously been held to a 0-0 Baker Joiner Midland Alliance draw by Heather St John’s at Lye Meadow on Saturday.

The visitors had just the better of a low-key opening 45 minutes with Lewis and Tynon both squandering good chances.

‘Church went close in the 38th minute when Sterling-James burst clear but impressive keeper Peter Maguire was swiftly off his line to save bravely at the youngsters feet.

‘Church totally dominated the second half but failed to find a way past the inspired Maguire who produced a string of smart saves to deny Dunkley, Luckie and Allen.

Dunkley ended a marvellous run with a powerful cross-shot which did beat Maguire but clipped the top of the bar.

At the other end Maher produced a splendid save to deny Nash but ‘Church almost snatched vcitory in the closing stages when a good move carved out an opening for Luckie whose 20-yard strike was superbly pushed around the post by Maguire at full stretch.

Alvechurch visit fourth placed Loughborough University tomorrow (Saturday).

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