A LATE second half strike from Paul Bonar ensured Barnt Green Spartak booked their place in the next round of the Presidents Cup at the expense of a spirited Bloxwich Town.
On what was a very wet and cold day in the Black Country, neither side could get a stranglehold of the game and it looked as though it was heading towards extra time, however, Bonar had other ideas as he calmly slotted home from inside the area in the 78th minute to secure a 1-0 victory for GJ Singh’s men.
However, the result could have gone a different way if Dean Williams had made the most of his one-on-one situation after 65 minutes which saw Spartak keeper Raghban Ali rush off his line to save well to keep his side level.
Victory for Spartak sets up a tie at Droitwich Spa after they defeated Feckenham 1-0 today (Saturday) but Singh will be frustrated in the manner in which his side claimed their fourth consecutive win in all competitions since their harrowing FA Vase exit to Cadbury Athletic in early September.
Both sides started slowly on a difficult surface but it was Spartak who got the first shot on goal in the fifth minute but Marcus Malcolm could only drill wide from Darren Green’s corner.
Spartak were lucky to not go 1-0 down nine minutes later as Arron Handley capitalised on a poor pass by Ryan Frogatt in his own area but the Bloxwich forward could only fire over with the goal at his mercy before Malcolm again smashed wide up the other end.
Jacob Snape also saw an effort drift wide in the 20th minute before Handley’s free-kick which was glanced on by Williams drifted agonisingly wide of the far post five minutes later.
Ryan Wood looked very lively down the left for Bloxwich with his nimble feet and pace and he will feel aggrieved his deliciously whipped in cross from the left in the 29th minute was not given the awaiting finishing touch by a team-mate.
That was good as the half got for both sides as a slippery pitch did not allow much football to be played as the score remained 0-0 going into the half-time break.
Following the interval, Williams had a great chance to put the home side ahead three minutes into the second half but could only fire his effort into the near side-netting following a solo run through the heart of Spartak’s defence.
Williams was again involved five minutes later as Ashley Southall set the striker free and after cutting inside from the right, he arrowed a shot just past the far post with Ali scrambling across his goal line.
However, Williams’ best chance of the game in the 65th minute when he found himself clean through after a long ball from the back but Ali was quick to react to the situation and narrow the angle to save well to keep Singh’s side in the game.
This seemed to spur Spartak into action as Bonar lashed over the bar from 18 yards out after 71 minutes before smashing into row Z in similar fashion five minutes later.
But it was a case of third time lucky for Bonar with 12 minutes remaining when he calmly slotted home from Green’s cut-back who did well to work the space down the right to force his way into the penalty area.
Incredibly, Bloxwich could have equalised immediately from the restart as George Crowe’s ambitious effort from the halfway line shaved the top of the crossbar after he spotted Ali off his line.
Benet Parchment, Frogatt and Green missed opportunities to double Spartak’s advantage in the final ten minutes before Wood’s shot across goal from the far left in injury time for the hosts ended a scrappy match in terrible conditions.