ALFIE Bloomer’s penalty saved Fairfield Villa in Wednesday night’s friendly at Willenhall Town.
The 1-1 draw against the West Midlands (Regional) League Division One outfit was a useful exercise for Fairfield boss Keith Draper, who ran the rule over a mixture of players from the first and reserve teams, in addition to a number of trialists.
After falling behind early in the second half at a foggy Cottage Ground, a foul on Rob Barnett inside the penalty area allowed Bloomer to sweep home the equaliser.
While Fairfield were unable to find a winner, they at least provided a response to last weekend’s 2-0 reverse away to Boldmere Sports and Social Falcons in Midland League Division Two.
Goals from Matthew O’Beirne and 16-year-old substitute Alfie Barron edged a closely-fought encounter between the two sides.
After being dealt their eighth defeat of the campaign, Villa attempt to pick themselves up and improve on their current standing of 12th with a visit to second-bottom Bolehall Swifts on Saturday (2pm).
Fairfield were 5-2 winners in their last meeting in January 2019, thanks to strikes from Ellis Blakemore, Connor Collins (2), Shae McNally and Bloomer.
BARNT Green Spartak exited the Birmingham Saturday Vase at the quarter-final stage after suffering penalty heartbreak against holders Tipton Town.
The 4-3 shootout defeat at the Tipton Sports Academy came after a 0-0 draw in 90 minutes, with Spartak left to rue their missed chances in a tie that they dominated.
A 38th-minute penalty from Reuel Prescod was kept out by Tipton keeper Ben Holden, who palmed the ball away low to his left – and that was the closest Barnt Green came to breaking the deadlock in normal time.
Spartak can now turn their full attention to matters in Division Two of the Midland Football League.
They sit ninth having only played nine games so far this campaign.
Their next fixture, a trip to rock-bottom Redditch Borough on Saturday (2pm), provides them with an opportunity to rise up to eighth with a win as GJ Singh and Neil Martin’s men start the long process of making up the ground on the sides above them.
Barnt Green have as many as nine games in hand on the sides above them, with only Earlswood Town having played fewer league matches this term (7).