Jack Ballinger’s sensational long range strike halfway through the second half propelled Town Youth into the quarter finals of the MFYL League Cup at the Victoria Ground on Thursday evening.
From all of 35 yards out he spotted the Bromsgrove keeper had wandered off his line and his precision lob floated over the stranded keeper and then dipped to bounce up against the underside of the bar.
Realising the danger a defender tried frantically to get back and hook the ball clear but the assistant referee was right up with play and immediately signalled that it had crossed the line.
As on Monday at Rugby it was a less than full strength Town line-up with five from the Under 16’s side included, but they got off to a dream start by taking the lead straight from the kick off when the ball was laid back to Harry Miles who clipped it forward to Rob Singer and his low shot from 18 yards out squirmed past the keeper into the net.
Bromsgrove looked for an instant response but they couldn’t find a way through the resolute Town back four of Jack Beer, Jake Williams, skipper Jack Vickers and Dan Chaundy while behind them keeper Callum Monaghan dealt confidently with nything that came his way.
And having survived that spell of Bromsgrove pressure Town began to get a grip in midfield where Ballinger, Miles and Asad Sseemwogerere were having more and more of the meaningful possession while Mike Boyd and Rob Sone were putting in some threatening runs down the flanks.
Singer’s trademark pace and persistence was also causing the Bromsgrove defence plenty of problems, and only two smart saves by the keeper from well struck Singer efforts prevented Town from extending their lead before half time.
Town continued to battle on determinedly to keep their lead intact after the restart with everyone putting in a real shift until Ballinger produced his moment of magic to put Town two up.
Bromsgrove were shellshocked but didn’t give up and got a goal back with ten minutes to go after a scramble in the six yard box to set up a nervy finish.
Adam Pomeroy was inches away from adding a third for Town on the counter attack and then right at the end Monaghan pulled off a vital close range save to send Town through to the next pound.
It had been a terrific team performance and particular mention should go to the Under 16 contingent who impressed everyone with their determination and workrate.
Finally Town Youth’s best wishes go to Jamie Spiers who has secured a place in the Shrewsbury Town Academy.