Longlevens suffered an extra time defeat at the hands of Hellenic League Division Two East side Langley in the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup, losing 5-4 having been 2-0 up after 35 minutes.
Levens went into the game having lost top scorer James Campbell to local rivals Brimscombe & Thrupp, as well as defender Mason Lewis to Lydney Town. That added to a number of players missing, it meant the hosts were down to almost the bare bones.
With that in mind they started very brightly, Forest Green loanee Jay Malshanskyj won the ball on the edge of the Langley box before firing his effort at the keeper on 2 minutes.
Malshanskyj didn’t have to wait too long for his first Levens goal though, as his daisy cutter of an effort ended up in the bottom corner. Langley keeper Oneal Garnes seemed to just expect it to go wide, but was left with egg on his face as it flew into the net. The hosts lead with only 5 minutes on the clock.
The youngster nearly doubled his lead three minutes later as he was found by Welch on the left side of the box, but he could only fire over.
As Langley gained a foothold in the game, the match became very even and Longlevens knocked the ball around at will. Sam Hendy saw a lot of the ball and was pulling out a variety of passes to impress the Levens faithful.
Malshanskyj should have doubled his side’s lead as he headed straight at Garnes after some great work by Shaun O’Connor on the left side of the box.
The forward then fluffed a one on one as Longlevens looked to get the crucial second goal. With ten minutes before the break they got it, Malshanskyj turned provider for O’Connor and the experienced forward calmly slotted the ball into the corner.
As former Gloucester City Youth Development manager Ken Blackburn constantly says on social media, 2-0 is the most dangerous scoreline and Longlevens found out the hard way as they were to go in at the break level.
Firstly, Jerrell Gumbs cut in from the left before crossing for forward Dean Papali to head the ball home. Right on half time Gumbs cut from left to right before thundering an unstoppable effort into the top corner. A special goal to bring the visitors level.
The second half started the same as the first, with Longlevens in the ascendancy. Malshanskyj had another one on one saved by Garnes. Garnes then pulled out a wonderful save to palm over a Dave Rich volley.
Langley went down the other end and took the lead. A ball in from the left was met by a Papali diving header and it left Wintle no chance.
Another save from Garnes kept out another Dave Rich effort, but then Hendy’s clipped ball over the top ended up in the back of the net as Malshanskyj levelled for the hosts.
As both sides looked for a winner, Longlevens subs Harry Emmett and James Barnett combined but the latter couldn’t convert from inside the six yard box. Both sides huffed and puffed but extra time was upon us.
Within two minutes of the start of extra time, Langley regained the lead. As the ball pinballed around the Longlevens penalty area it was fired into the back of the net, with Papali leading the celebrations.
Langley were flying and nearly wrapped it up, but Ben White’s header was somehow clawed out by Wintle.
The 100 minute mark came as Shaun O’Connor was tripped over about 25 yards out. Up stepped Jonty Welch to curl in a spectacular free kick into the top corner. Seriously, it was a stunning effort to make it 4-4.
Welch had another free kick two minutes later that was well over, before James Barnett crossed for Malshanskyj who could only fire over from about 10 yards.
In the end it wouldn’t be enough for Longlevens as that man Dean Papali latched onto a cross spilled by Wintle to send his side into the next round.
Langley will travel to Ascot United in the next round of the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup after their win.
Longlevens: Wintle, Smyllie, Sausman (Barnett 82′), Peck, Roach, Welch, Hendy, Rich, Martin (Emmett 67′), O’Connor, Malshanskyj
Subs Not Used: None
Langley: Garnes, Okwu, Johnson, Browne, Paris, Kelly-Lewis, Omar Riaz, Mills, Papali, White, Gumbs (Jarra 82′)
Subs Not Used: None
Severn Sport Man Of The Match – Shaun O’Connor (Longlevens)
Check out the full list of results in and around the county right here.