Holders Beeston still in the mix for cup glory

Beeston goalkeeper Simon Hujwan takes the congratulations after his penalty heroics

The Men’s Cup took another step on the Road to Lee Valley this weekend and with a quarter final berth up for grabs there was plenty to write home about over some enthralling ties.

Holders Beeston squeaked past Premier Division rivals Holcombe in a thriller. In a see-saw battle Holcombe led through James day’s penalty corner, only for the Bees to hit back through Mark Gleghorne and a rare Ollie Willars strike. Barry Middleton levelled it up and then Day gave Holcs the lead only for Elliot Hibell to square it again ten minutes from time. The game went to penalties and Beeston keeper Simon Hujwan was the hero of the hour as his saves handed Beeston a 4-3 win and a place in the next round.

Canterbury, buoyed by their first league win of the season on the Saturday put Isca to the sword with a 7-2 win, Kyle Cramer helping himself to a brace alongside five other scorers. The other Premier Division side, Brooklands MU were in ruthless form with a 3-1 away win over University of Nottingham ensuring them safe passage to the quarter finals. Brooklands, finalists in 2014 took the lead via a Matthew Symonds penalty corner and the ever-dangerous Richard Slater notched a second five minutes later. Although the Students pulled one back, Stefan Ray-Hills made the game safe with a third for BMU in the 55th minute.

Bowdon avoided the upset of perennial giant killers Banbury as Ben White and David Egerton’s doubles as well as a goal from rising star Liam Kennerley fired them to a 5-2 win. Bromley and Beckenham made the long trip to Alderley Edge and came away 4-2 winners thanks in part to Peter Dobson’s brace.

There was still room for a couple of upsets. The south coast derby between Chichester and Havant finished all square but it was South Premier side Havant who prevailed 4-3 on penalties. Oxford Hawks, also a South Premier side sprung a surprise ousting Conference west outfit Fareham, 5-3. There is one tie still to play as Reading take on Guernsey at Sonning Lane on 4 December.

With all bar one of the ties done and dusted the quarter final draw was done this morning. Holders Beeston will take on either Premier Division rivals Reading or Men’s Trophy holders Guernsey. Bowdon make the long journey to Kent to meet Canterbury whilst Oxford Hawks’ reward for their giant killing is a home tie with Brooklands MU. The final tie is an all South League affair as Bromley and Beckenham are at home to Havant.

Ties will take place on Sunday 5 February 2017 with Lee Valley and finals weekend now getting tantalisingly close.

All the results and fixtures for each round of the cup can be found here.

Photo is of Beeston goalkeeper Simon Hujwan and is courtesy of Phil Kielthy.