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Valiant Royals in penalty drama

PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:03 05 July 2010

THIS eagerly awaited KO Cup tie on Wednesday between Kirkley and Pakefield and Leiston was a titanic battle that went right to the wire ending in a dramatic penalty shoot out.

THIS eagerly awaited KO Cup tie on Wednesday between Kirkley and Pakefield and Leiston was a titanic battle that went right to the wire ending in a dramatic penalty shoot out.

The north Suffolk derby went the visitors' way on penalties 4-3 with keeper Stannard the hero, saving two kicks from the thunderstruck home side, writes Stuart Baker.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between in the first 45 minutes apart from an Allicion Blake move, which set up Nathan Stone but the reliable Stannard snuffed out his shot with a well timed save.

For Leiston Button, on 34 minutes, missed the best chance of the half from six yards out, after a defensive slip. Leiston were restricted to long range shots towards Robert Woodcock's goal for large periods of a cat and mouse half.

At the restart a brilliant low save by Stannard set the tone after some Blake trickery that sent Stone into the danger area, but his shot was superbly smothered.

Former Kirkley striker Judd Chennery hooked over the bar as K&P came under pressure on the hour mark. K&P retaliated and Justin Fox wasted a chance. In the next move he hit a 35-yard screaming free kick that Stannard palmed away.

Towards the end of a pulsating second half Eagle clipped the top of the crossbar with a deep cross, taking the game into extra time.

Then came the goal of the season from the boot of Leiston's Boardley who unleashed a venomous drive that beat Woodcock all ends up from 25 yards out.

A valiant K&P never gave up and the dogmatic Ryan de Coteau scored a deserved equaliser 90 seconds from the end of the match.

In an all-out attack policy for the home side, he switched wings and hit a tremendous shot that took a wicked deflection passed Stannard.

A penalty shootout then took place in front of a 165 strong crowd who had stayed to the finish late at night and after Woodcock, Dawson and Fox had scored from the spot, Stannard, the man of the match, saved a couple of efforts from Highfield and Stone to send a jubilant Leiston into the quarter- finals.

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