Match Reports

Spirited Albion beaten by Rovers on penalties

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A 2-2 draw is followed by a 5-3 defeat on penalties.

By Charlie Hanson • 12 October 2021

By Shane Healey
Lorent Tolaj found the bottom right corner from Todd Miller's cross.

A penalty shootout defeat to Forest Green Rovers means Albion will need victory in their final game at Northampton Town, and rely on other results to go their way, if they're to advance in the Papa John's Trophy.

Coach Andrew Crofts will take a lot of positives from the evening as Antef Tsoungui’s harsh red card two minutes into the second half put Albion under real pressure.

But they showed their mettle when, after conceding a second goal shortly after the sending off, Lorent Tolaj’s low strike ensured Albion would take at least a point from the affair.

After some half chances for the hosts, Rob Edwards’ team had the opportunity to take the lead from the penalty spot after Sam Packham tripped Josh March just inside the box.

By Shane Healey
Todd Miller's goal was Albion's first in this season's competition.

Matt Stevens confidently dispatched into the bottom right corner from 12 yards, but their lead lasted just seven minutes, as Todd Miller fired in Albion’s first goal of this season’s competition in the 34th minute.

Packham’s corner was met by Tolaj who nodded down and Miller was able to poke home from six yards.

Tolaj should have been on the scoresheet himself when he went through on goal. He tried to get the ball onto his left foot which allowed the Forest Green defence to get back and the Swiss striker slipped when taking his shot, sending it wide.

Albion’s evening quickly became an uphill battle two minutes into the second half as Tsoungui was shown a straight red card for a foul as the last defender.

The centre-back wasn’t best pleased with the decision and you could argue he had a point, as Stevens threw himself to the ground dramatically as the two chased the ball down.

By Shane Healey
Antef Tsoungui was shown a straight red card two minutes into the second half.

It looked as if it might prove to be the undoing of Albion as Stevens stabbed in from close range in the 56th minute, but Crofts’ team showed their resolve with a quick response.

Miller won a 50-50 with Marcel McIntosh on the edge of the Rovers box leaving the hosts completely exposed at the back. Miller picked out Tolaj who was in support and the striker slotted into the bottom right corner from eight yards.

Opi Edwards may well have been counting his lucky stars as his lunge on Marc Leonard only resulted in a yellow card, before Young cracked an effort against the post.

A penalty shootout was needed to separate the sides, with Marc Leonard’s miss proving decisive as Rovers scored all five.

Albion: McGill, Packham, Offiah, Tsoungui, Turns, Furlong, Leonard, Spong, Peupion, Miller, Tolaj.

On the bench: Talley, Ella, Jackson, Ifill, Hinshelwood.

Attendance: 604