Home Sports 44 Penalties: How English Side Old Wulfrunians Won With Record

44 Penalties: How English Side Old Wulfrunians Won With Record

by OtownGist

Two lower-level Midlands football teams set a new English shootout record of 44 spot-kicks – and all in a longer time than it takes to drive to the local chip shop and back.

The previous record was 34, jointly held by Chelsea Under-23s and Oxford United in the EFL Trophy, and Taunton Town v Truro City in the Southern League Challenge Cup.

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But Old Wulfrunians, from Wolverhampton, and Bloxwich-based Lane Head, shattered that mark.

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After their JW Hunt Cup first-round tie had finished 3-3, thanks to a late equaliser for the hosts from Leo Gill, Old Wulfs won a near half-hour long shootout 19-18.

‘I went to get the chips’

Jack Marsh, the home side’s left-back and son of Old Wulfs chairman-secretary Simon Marsh, hit the winning penalty.

But proud dad Simon nearly missed it as, midway through the tense finale, he had to drive half a mile down the road to the local chip shop to pick up the players’ post-match takeaway order.

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“It was amazing,” he said. “It started at about 9.35pm and it was well after 10pm when it finished.

“After the 22nd penalty I went to get the team’s fish and chips. But, when I got back, the shootout was still going. I was back in time to see the penultimate one saved and then I saw Jack score his.

“It was 4-4 after the first five penalties. Then, when it went to sudden death, we had two chances to win it but missed them.

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“After 11 pens each it was 8-8 and both sides then scored their next 10. But they missed the 43rd.”

Old Wulfs' 19-18 penalty shootout win earned them a second-round JW Hunt Cup meeting with Shifnal.
Old Wulfs’ 19-18 penalty shootout win earned them a second-round JW Hunt Cup meeting with Shifnal.

The JW Hunt Cup has been running since 1926. It donates all proceeds to the Sedgley-based Beacon Centre for the blind and partially-sighted and the final is usually played at nearby Molineux, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

There was a Wolves connection to this game too as it was played at Castlecroft, now the CKW Stadium and home of Old Wulfs’ neighbours AFC Wulfrunians. It used to be Wolves’ training ground.

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It is the first season the JW Hunt Cup has joined other cup competitions in scrapping extra time to go straight to penalties – which led to a busy night for the two goalkeepers, Danny Tipton of Old Wulfs and Lane Head’s Tom Kirkpatrick.

“They were the real heroes,” said Simon Marsh.

The outcome fell only four penalties short of the world record of 48, when KK Palace beat Civic 17-16 in the Namibian Cup.

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But it earned West Midlands League Division One side Old Wulfs a second-round tie against Midland League Premier Division side Shifnal Town.

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