STRATFORD College footballers reached the next round of the College Cup thanks to a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Sandwell College.
Stratford won 3-2 on spot kicks after three times battling back from a goal down to draw 3-3 in normal time.
From the opening seconds of the match, it was clear Sandwell possessed skill, pace and strength in abundance and Stratford were overwhelmed for the first 20 minutes.
Stratford began to grow into the game nearing the end of the first half, with the centre midfield of Joel and James getting their foot on the ball and the front two of Josh and Tom putting on the pressure and creating a couple of half chances.
However, it was Sandwell who took the lead before Stratford levelled on the stroke of half time when Tom won the ball on the left-hand side of the box and clipped a delightful ball over to Josh who headed into the bottom corner.
The second half started in a similar fashion and Sandwell took a 2-1 lead after some fantastic footwork in the box.
Once again Stratford grew back into the game though and, after some half chances, Tom slotted home the equaliser to make it 2-2 only for Sandwell to venture up the pitch on 85 minutes to score once again.
Stratford did not give up and twice hit the woodwork before their efforts were rewarded when, after a clear shove, Rhys stepped up and dispatched a penalty to take the game into extra time.
There were no goals in the extra period so the match went to penalties, which could not have begun worse for Stratford who missed their first two whilst Sandwell netted twice.
However, a remarkable turnaround ensued as Stratford scored their next three penalties whilst Stratford keeper Johnnie produced a stunning one-handed save and, with Sandwell blazing over their two other penalties, it was Stratford who soared through to the next round amid scenes of jubilation.