IT was a mad-cap day for the London Tigers who turned up to their League Cup tie only 45 minutes before kick-off after their coach got lost on the way to Woking.
But the hassle was worth it, when the Londoners stole a dramatic penalty shoot-out 9-8 to book their place in the second round.
The tense finale came after both sides had shared the spoils with a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes.
Fielding a depleted squad, the Tigers came from behind twice to take their opponents from Division D to spot kicks. Goals from Saud Umirni and Kieran Clarke pulled them through on a day when Marcin Ruisecki’s side were missing seven players due to injury and had a further number suspended.
“It was a very, very good cup game,” said Tigers boss, Ruisecki. “Although Woking were more organised than us, it was very equal.”
London Tigers now have a two-week pause before hosting Brentwood Town in the league at the end of the month.
“The break will be vital for us,” noted Ruisecki. “We need time for our injured players to recover. We’re aiming to take each game step by step.”
Hitchin Town grabbed themselves a place in the next round after a 4-1 win over Brightlingsea Regents.
The Hertfordshire team took the lead through Oskar Turkan, after a mix up between the Brightlingsea goalkeeper and defender.
They added to their advantage shortly after, with Cameron Edwards nodding home from a corner.
Not long after, Ricardo Barbosa grabbed Hitchin a third as he tucked the ball into the corner of the net.
Brightlingsea grabbed themselves a consolation goal, but the Town’s Da Silva grabbed a fourth goal near the end.
Hitchin were without a win before this game and had only scored one goal so far this season. Next week they face Bishop’s Stortford in the League, who are also without a win this season.
In an all-Division C clash, Luton Town defeated Kings Langley 2-1, as the Hatters progressed in the League Cup despite a nervy ending.
Ben Robinson opened the scoring in a dominant first half for Luton, finishing off a well-rehearsed set piece.
Another set play gave Bedfordshire outfit a 2-0 lead at half time, as J’ardell Sterling tucked away a set play straight off the training ground.
The second half action settled down, however a late goal from Kings Langley provided a nervy last ten minutes for Luton Town, who edged out the victory 2-1.
Luton Town manager Stuart Smith commented: “I’m pleased with the first half performance where we reached levels I expect from the team. However, the second half was below par as we didn’t keep ball enough as I expected.”
Staines Town won 3-1 against Hampton & Richmond Borough in a competitive match at the Wheatsheaf Lane Stadium, ensuring Staines’ winning start to the season.
Left winger, Hamzah Adnan scored an impressive brace in the opening 20 minutes giving Staines a 2-0 lead at the break.
After 70 minutes, Hampton pulled a goal back with Josh Gwam getting on the scoresheet.
However Staines put the game beyond doubt with substitute Telmo Lima scoring for The Swans with a composed finish.
After the game, Staines manager, Martyn Spong, said: “I think it was an effective performance but not a dazzling game. We had plenty of opportunities to increase our lead, but we didn’t take them. We won the game eventually so we’re very pleased.”
Elsewhere, Brentford dominated Whyteleafe to book their place in the next round. The Bees cruised past their Surrey-based opponents 5-0.
Charlton will be looking to forget their League Cup clash with Maidstone in a hurry after crashing to a 7-1 defeat.
Maidstone raced into a 3-0 first half lead with goals from James Quigley, Jack Revell and Charlie Deninger.
Maidstone didn’t feel like taking their foot of the gas there, as they made it 4-0 with a well-rounded corner routine which was finished off by Joe Skinner.
There was still time for Deninger to complete his hat-trick with a penalty midway through the second half, along with a well struck free-kick from 25 yards out just after.
Maidstone finished the demolition when super sub Mathew Weller scored an over-head kick from six yards out.
There was time for Charlton to get a consolation goal by Jarod Waldapeel.
Maidstone head coach Jim Bodle was encouraged by his team’s performance He said: “Nice to take this performance into a hard game against Bromley next week.”
Jay Hudson and Charlie Broad were on target as Burgess Hill won 2-0 against the Millwall Lions, with the Lions still looking for their first clean sheet this season.
Dorking Wanderer’s attack proved too much for Basingstoke Town as they were victorious in a 3-0 win.
The win for Dorking was their second 3-0 win in succession, they look to carry on their form against Dover athletic where only a single point separates them in the U’19 National Alliance league.
Dartford’s tactics paid off with a 4-0 win over Boreham Wood. There is nothing more satisfying for a manager than seeing your team respond to training ground tactics.
Three out of the four Dartford goals were won with a high press in the opponent’s area which drew admiration from manager Deren Ibrahim.
Dartford took the lead midway through the first half by Scott Higgins. They finished the game strong by second half goals from Jedd Smith, Joedon Gugas-Cowin and Chris Gottwalles.
Deren Ibrahim was delighted with how his team responded to training all week. He said: “Boreham Wood are a strong team year in, year out. We started the game well. We knew we could get at them man to man.”
Braintree Town were emphatically beaten 11-0 by Bromley Reds. Bromley bounced back from their defeat to Sutton United two weeks ago with a professional display against a Braintree side, who are yet to win a game in any competition this season.
The Reds looked up for it from the first whistle. Despite the match being played on a difficult pitch, the Division B team stroked the ball around well with some excellent wing play from Aaron Simeon and Rodney Adamon.
Spencer Cripps put in a fantastic individual display. Braintree couldn’t deal with his driving runs as he bagged a stunning four goals.
Bromley’s attacking play in the final third was electrifying as they continued to trouble the Braintree defence and create chances.
A brace from Aaron Simeon and goals from Kerry Ogbeifun and Aplha Bah stretched the scoreline even further.
Festos Kamara, Billhal Ibrahim and Lewis Miller all came off the bench to score, adding gloss to the result. It was Miller’s first goal for the team as he placed the ball into the corner from just inside the 18-yard box.
Division A side Ipswich Wanderers couldn’t continue their good start in the league with a 5-4 loss to Midlands outfit Boldmere St Michaels.
Division C strugglers Hitchin Town produced a cup upset thumping of Division A side Brightlingsea Regent 4-1. Currently at the foot of Division C, Hitchin will want to use this win as a confidence booster.
Division A leaders Maldon and Tiptree carried their impressive league form into the League Cup with a massive 10-2 win against division rivals Redbridge Youth.
The Jammers saw forward Kieran Stanley net four times and Callum Fitzer contribute a brace in the first round tie as they led 7-1 at half-time.
After the restart, first team coach Kirk Game used his options on the bench, making four substitutions as his side continued to dominate proceedings.
After a 19-0 rout of Braintree the previous Wednesday, Maldon and Tiptree boast 31 goals in all competitions, after just three games.
In what was a repeat of game week one, Concord Rangers once again defeated Barking, but went one better in the opening game of the cup, winning 5-0.
After a poor result last time out in the league, Concord Rangers used the cup to get back to winning ways. They defeated a Barking side who have yet to win this season and have already conceded 12 goals in their three games in all competitions, after winning the Division C title last year.
Farnbrough FC continue to struggle, losing 5-1 at Eastleigh Blues despite competing for large parts of the encounter.
A freakish Ethan Holland own goal in the first minute earned Eastleigh an early advantage in the all-Hampshire cup tie, giving Farnborough a difficult mountain to climb.
Heads didn’t drop for the away side and 25 minutes worth of fighting to get back into the game resulted in a Godrek Yamoah equaliser, a first goal of the season for the Farnborough striker.
Too many players committed forward for Farnborough left their defence exposed, leading to two goals from Eastleigh late in the half for 3-1.
The loss of key Farnborough defender David Ikete through injury led to a loss of shape, as well as momentum, leaving what was a very disorientated back line to concede two late goals.
Unbeaten in the league, Oxford United were served their first taste of defeat against an impressive Weston Super Mare side, who won by a solitary goal.
Basingstoke Town lost 3-0 at home to Dorking Wanderers for their third straight loss. And Chippenham Town also remain winless after a 2-1 defeat at Bognor Regis in this round of cup fixtures, Town remain winless this season.
Photo credit: @cat_daisy.