A NINE-GOAL thriller led to Earlswood Town progressing at the expense of Barnt Green Spartak in the Presidents Cup, although the Earls were unable to earn a first league victory after going down 2-1 to FC Stratford.
Bank Holiday Monday’s defeat means Tom Reynolds’ side remain without a win in Midland Football League Division Two after two games played, despite taking the lead through Andy Matthews at the Arden Garages Stadium.
Matthews ripped a shot into the back of the net following an even start to proceedings, a goal that was enough to keep the visitors in front at the break.
The hosts were inspired after the half-time team talk, and, after beginning to press their advantage, levelled through Tom Daccus mid-way through the half.
He latched onto a through ball before slotting the ball home, giving the hosts the incentive to go and snatch all three points late on through Ashley Wilkes‘ close-range finish.
In Saturday’s cup tie, Earlswood raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Matthews and Jon Hamer – with the latter clipping the ball in via the post to double the lead.
Spartak halved the deficit following an Earls own goal, moments before player-manager Reynolds thumped home a header to restore the two-goal advantage .
The hosts looked set to take their cushioned lead into half time, but Reuel Prescod and Nasser Eidan had other ideas, drawing Barnt Green level before the break.
Town resumed their lead for a second time after the interval when Reynolds again piled home a header from Gary Walker’s delivery, while Matthews also notched a brace when curling a left-footed finish beyond the visiting keeper.
Reynolds topped off his day, and sealed Earls’ progression to the quarter-final, when completing his hat-trick of headers from another Walker corner.
Earlswood now hope to earn a first league win of the season when hosting Coventry Alvis on Saturday (3pm).