Panthers recovered from very disappointing home defeat to Lichfield City Spires two weeks ago with arguably the performance of the season against Burntwood Dragons Green in the Cup on Sunday, running out eventual 1-3 winners.

The game was hard fought in some very testing conditions against a physical team who are two Divisions higher than Panthers! Regardless of a number of things going against Panthers, it was Panthers who broke the deadlock after ten minutes when following a battling run by Ben Malpass the ball bounced free to Man of the match Kaine Garratt who lobbed the keeper from the edge of the box (0-1).

Panthers suffered a massive setback just five minutes later when Captain Harry Richards was carried off with an ankle injury which has since been revealed to be a break.

As if Panthers could not have much more go against them, the referee who awarded a penalty following an excellent tackle by Jack Miller-Flynn. Fortunately for Panthers George Bailey was back between the sticks and dived smartly to his right to save the penalty!

Panthers opened up a two goal lead just six minutes later following some neat passing between Thomas Williamson and Lewis Page which resulted in a low cross which fell to Sam Steptoe to smash into the roof of the net (0-2). Panthers could have gone into a three goal lead when Elliot Kelsey released Thomas Williamson down the right who struck as sweet shot which unfortunately came back off the post to the feet of Tommy Bannister, who just could not quite react quickly enough to turn the ball goal wards. (HT 0-2)

The second half started much the same with Panthers doing all the pressing. Defensively Panthers have not looked this strong all season, much down to an ever improving display from both Sam Hadwen and Jamie Wilson.

Just eight minutes of the second half had passed when Sam Steptoe returned the favour and crossed for Lewis Page to smash the ball home. (0-3). Panthers were now comfortable and they continued to be disciplined.

With five minutes to go Dragons pulled a goal back but had too much to do to get back.
Well done boys on reaching the last 16 and a speedy recovery for ‘H’.

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