STOCKBRIDGE needed a 94th-minute equaliser before emerging victorious in a penalty shoot-out against Sway, setting up a home semi-final against Upham in the George Mason Memorial Shield.

On an action-packed afternoon at Jubilee Field, the hosts made the most of a contentious refereeing call, bundling home a corner inside five minutes despite vocal protests from the Stockbridge players. 

After their early setback, Stockbridge began to play some free-flowing football and came close to drawing level 14 minutes in when Josh Graham got to the byline, his low cross flashed across the face of goal and was hacked clear by a Sway defender. 

The home side found themselves two goals to the good on 21 minutes when a free kick found the Sway number 7 unmarked for a free header into the far corner. 

The disappointment of going two goals down didn’t last long however, and the Robins reduced the deficit on the half hour mark. Graham did brilliantly down the right by combining with full back Henry Bragginton, his driving run ended with a cross which was turned home at the back post by Neil Abrahams. 

It was nearly a quick turnaround when Stockbridge’s Luke Neal was found by Liam Hammond, his improvised finish was unlucky to cannon off the near post.

Half time came at the wrong time for Robins who failed to turn their ascendency into parity. The second period started in scrappy fashion with the only chance of note a Hammond snap shot before on the hour mark the game burst into life once more. 

A free kick was awarded and curled in from all of 25 yards by the Sway number 8, seemingly ending any hopes of a comeback that the Robins had.

But going further behind seemed to galvanise Stockbridge who took the game relentlessly to Sway. The deficit was once again reduced in the 78th minute when a brilliant Josh Graham header found the top corner.

Moments later substitute Ryan Sanger nearly found the equaliser, smashing a half volley against the upright.

It took until the 94th minute for the Robins to finally draw level. A corner was played short for Graham to swing in a cross that was turned home by a combination of a Sway defender and Sam Scannelli - cue bedlam from the Robins players and a penalty shootout to follow. 

With both sides converting four out of their five penalties, it was down to sudden death. Robins’ keeper Wilson saved Sway’s sixth spot kick and Ryan Sanger slotted home to send Stockbridge into the semi-final, where they will face Hampshire League Division One side Upham.