AS had been anticipated, Ossett Common proved to be a very difficult team to beat on home soil.
The Ossett pitch, in addition to having an up-and-down slope, is notoriously bumpy and undulating and on the numerous encounters here between the two teams over the years, they have always been closely contested affairs.
The Old Boys, missing several players on holiday, were very slow off the mark, allowing Ossett to gain too much easy possession and when winning the ball back then losing it too easily in mid-field.
However, the back four of Joe Nelson, Andy Hall, who had travelled up from Birmingham on the day to help cover the player shortages, Lee Williams and Luke Johnson, were all showing outstanding form, preventing the home side from creating any real chances.
Gradually the Old Boys got into their stride and their twin strike-force of Mike Pearson and Rob Kenny started to pose a real threat to the Ossett defence. Kenny in particular hit a good volley just over the bar and was just off target with a header.
However, half time arrived scoreless.
The second half was a real stalemate, with the Old Boys centre midfield pairing of James Fletcher and Jimmy Cummigs now in control, but the Ossett defence working well to stifle their opponents attacks and the 90 minutes ended without a score.
With Kenny suffering from a hamstring pull, Old Boys manager Phil Garbe was forced to introduce sub Pete Kuleczco for the 30 minutes of extra time. Kuleczco had himself suffered a strained quad muscle during the warm-up and with Fletcher also reporting a groin strain, the Old Boys took to the field with nine fit men and two walking wounded.
However, they dominated the extra time, with Kuleczco putting them ahead after a great move allowed him to beat his marker and slot the ball in from a tight angle.
With just two minutes remaining in the match, he was on hand again to lay on the perfect pass for Fletcher to tap in and seal the tie.