After making my way to the Hucknall Rolls Royce sports complex, I got out of the car and almost got straight back in again. It was so cold that the thought of standing pitch-side on grass wasn't exactly appealing!
Pleased I stayed though - both these teams have several players well known to "ontheroad" and although this games wasn't a classic by any stretch of the imagination, it was a decent 120 minutes of cup football. 120 minutes! Yep - the last thing needed was extra-time, but Lance Walker's cracking save on 90 ensured the game didn't finish on 90.
SPS Training had Steve "Giz" Brett, Ben Middleton, Lance Walker and Ross Lawrence in their starting eleven, as well as Ashley Whitt on the bench, so it looked a tough challenge for the home team.
The teams were well matched throughout the first half, and it was a mistake in the 40th minute that lead to the opening goal. Whitt lost the ball in midfield, and when the ball was played to JOE ASHURST, the striker found himself one on one with Walker but managed to stay calm and lifted the ball over the keeper. H-T 1-0
BEN MIDDLETON hammered home from 15 yards on 65, after the home defence failed to successfully clear their lines. Scores level, but 25 to play - surely the game couldn't end all square? It did, thanks to Walker, and although by this time I was totally frozen, I decided to see it out to the end. F-T 1-1
Extra time - SIMON MARTIN put Barflies back in front on 99, firing home after he was left unmarked at the far post. HT ET 2-1
Simon Marlow was tripped in the box by "Giz" on 115, and ASHURST was made to wait two minutes before he could take the spot kick - but when the Referee finally allowed the penalty to be taken, he gave Walker no chance.
Two SPS players were sent off by Referee Roger Porter in the extra-time period - I suspect both for dissent or foul language. This was a fairly clean game, and although there were a few meaty challenges, for one team to end up with 9 players was a nonsense. FT ET 3-1