Sharrow United returned to action after a lengthy lay-off with a thrilling 5-2 triumph over Chesterfield side Brampton Rovers to reach the semi-finals of the Taylor&Emmet Sunday Senior Challenge Cup.
Despite having the better chances in a keenly-contested first half, Sharrow fell a goal behind after a speculative shot by the Brampton number 9 looped into the net off the angle of post and crossbar.
Ten minutes into the second half manager Vill Powell made the first of three inspired substitutions with the introduction of Sharrow veteran Tariq Akhtar, who made an immediate impact. His foray into the penalty area eventually broke to midfielder REDHEAD, who slotted the equaliser home from close range.
However Sharrow were stunned within minutes of drawing level when the referee awarded a penalty to the visitors following a handball by Azim Shazad, which was duly converted.
Manager Powell responded by introducing striker Deeroy Williams and the Wizard of Baghdad, Oday Ibrahim. The latter almost scored with his first touch, being thwarted by a fine save by the Brampton goalie. Despite relentless pressure it was beginning to look like it wasn't Sharrow's day, with their Derbyshire opponents twice going close on the break as the home side pressed for the elusive breakthrough.
Finally, with ten minutes remaining, WILLIAMS stabbed home a loose ball, and then followed this up with a stunning strike into the roof of the net. In the final minute of normal time Brampton almost forced extra time with a back post header, but then were hit by two injury-time strikes from Sharrow, with the hard-working AFZAL deservedly firing home before WILLIAMS completed his hat-trick from close range, with the brave Brampton team literally out on their feet after their efforts.