Baggies win competition for seventh time
JORDAN Francis netted a dramatic stoppage-time winner to claim the Birmingham Senior Challenge Cup for Albion.
Samir Nabi put the Baggies ahead on 58 before Kainye Woolery levelled the scores ten minutes from time.
David Oldfield named a young starting XI with midfielder Liam O'Neil the only man to have made a first-team appearance.
Kemar Roofe went close for the hosts early on but saw his header fly just over the bar from Wes Atkinson’s whipped cross.
It took a Jack Rose wonder save to deny Woolery moments later.
The young stopper dived to his right to palm away the Lambs striker’s fierce shot from point-blank range.
Rose was at it again on eight.
This time pulling off a spectacular one-handed block to claw away a Ben Richards-Everton header from Jack Evans’ corner.
The visitors must have begun wondering whether it was going to be their night when Rose came to Albion’s rescue again three minutes later.
Kevin Thornton cut in from the left and unleashed a powerful ten-yard effort which the 19-year-old keeper pushed wide in spectacular fashion.
Baggies chances were few and far between until Roofe pulled a 22nd-minute shot well wide of the left-hand post from just outside the area.
It was proving to be a good night for the goalkeepers.
And it was Tamworth stopper Cameron Belford’s turn to keep the score at 0-0 five minutes before the interval.
The Lambs’ No.1 had to be at his best to keep out a low O’Neil header from Joe Ward’s lofted cross.
Bradley Garmston was next on the list of players to have been frustrated by excellent goalkeeping.
The young full-back broke forward in first-half stoppage time but his 20-yard drive was tipped round the left upright by Belford.
Tamworth carved out the first chance of the second half when Lloyd Kerry headed marginally wide from Thornton’s ball over the top.
Alex Jones squandered a similar opportunity on 53 as he nodded wide from Joe Ward’s measured cross.
Samir Nabi gave Albion the lead on 58.
The attacking midfielder ran onto Roofe’s throughball and remained cool to slide the ball past Belford from 12 yards.
Nabi nearly doubled the Baggies’ advantage five minutes later but his right-foot curler flashed inches wide of the post.
Tamworth were level with ten minutes of normal time remaining.
Woolery blasted past Rose from Evan’s low left-wing cross to send the boisterous away fans into raptures.
Veteran striker Darren Byfield nearly won it for the Lambs 60 seconds later but Rose was more than up to the challenge and dived to his right to parry.
And boy did Albion leave it late to win what was a pulsating cup final.
Substitute Jordan Francis slotted the ball past the excellent Belford and into the bottom-right-hand-corner from Birch’s throughball with only seconds of the fives minutes added time remaining.
ALBION: Rose; Atkinson, Garmston (Gayle 67), O’Neil, D Daniels, Howkins, Roofe, Birch, A Jones, S Nabi, Ward (Francis 73). Subs not used: Palmer (gk); C Jones, Pace.
TAMWORTH: Belford; Caprice, Keane, Richards-Everton, Evans; Batis-Cande (Baker HT), Thornton, Kerry, Peniket; Woolery, Reindorf (Byfield 71). Subs not used: Townsend, Richards, Wren.
GOALS: ALBION - S Nabi (58), Francis (90+4). TAMWORTH – Woolery (80)
REFEREE: G Taylor
ALBION STARMAN: Jack Rose