DEFENDER-turned-keeper Gavin Podmore revealed he had "fancied" himself to be the shootout hero after Worcester Raiders produced a county cup shock.

The centre-half was thrown between the sticks with six minutes to go and saved from ex-Worcester City striker and former professional Mark Danks in 4-2 success on penalties following Tuesday's 1-1 draw at higher-ranked Stourport Swifts in the Worcestershire Senior Cup.

AS IT HAPPENED | Raiders win shootout with outfield player in goal

Regular stopper Lewis Pinches withdrew due to a head injury sustained while sliding in at the feet of Swifts frontrunner Joe Billingham.

With no keeper on the bench, Podmore got the nod and produced a flying stop to his left to thwart Danks from 12 yards.

The stand-in had been unfortunate not to save from Billingham before that and with Martin Slevin clearing the crossbar, Dave Reynolds, Kirk Layton, George Corbett and Kyle Belmonte sent Raiders through the club's first tie in the competition. 

“I just picked my way, went with it and got lucky,” said Podmore.

“I think I read them all quite well, I got close to the other two as well but it was just nice for the lads to get through because they left everything out there.

“Once it got to 88-89 minutes I was still thinking ‘it would be nice to go and nick one’ but I used to play in goal and was quite confident going into the shootout.

“I fancied it and towards the end was almost hoping for them, I was looking forward to it.

“It is the old cliché for a keeper, in a penalty shootout there is nothing to lose unless you have a howler.

“I don’t think anyone can deny we deserved to win, it was a fair result so all credit to the lads.”

Manager Karl Gormley revealed Raiders could have named a second stopper among their substitutes but that competition rules had prompted a rethink. 

“If he had played that would have made him ineligible for the reserves in their county cup campaign,” explained Gormley.

“We didn’t want to do that to the reserves and thought we would be alright. We weren’t but it all turned out okay in the end.

“Gavin has played in goal a couple of times before, coming on when we have had injured goalkeepers and we were confident in him.

“Craig (Teague) the goalkeeping coach was a bit shaky but we felt good about the penalty shootout, we had five good takers and knew they would need to score five to beat us.

“I thought we were the better side on the night, it was no lucky penalty win. We dominated the game throughout and deserved to win.”

Raiders led after 10 minutes when Josh Farnsworth steered inside the near post having been set free down the left of the box by Reynolds.

Chances came and went for Gormley’s men with Roland Krol pelting the inside of the post and Reynolds spurning a number of presentable openings.

Those opportunities came either side of Lewis Clarke’s headed equaliser from a swirling Danks free-kick four minutes before half-time but other than a 10-minute flurry after the interval, Swifts were poor.

The play was generally scrappy but Raiders had more bite throughout and created by far the better chances against a Stourport backline that looked shaky, particularly in the first half.


On a heavy pitch which stifled hopes of a fluent contest, Layton's drive proved infectious and got his colleagues rolling up sleeves.

Conditions made it impossible to see the best of either team but Raiders, fresh from a 5-1 beating on Saturday, took the bull by the horns.

The whole backline deserve honourable mentions with Sam Carey, Dan Flowers, George Corbett and in particular Alex Marsh throwing their bodies on the line.

It was a true team performance with that man Gavin Podmore worthy of an eight - if only he had been on for long enough to receive a rating!


Stourport: Smith 6, Jim Hanson 5.5, Danks 5.5, Timmins 5.5, Fulloway 6, Hayer 4.5 (M Hanson, h-t, 5.5), L Clarke 6, Slevin 6, J Clarke 5, Billingham 5, MacPherson 5 (Conway, 85).

Unused subs: Joe Hanson, Platt.

Raiders: Pinches 6 (Podmore, 84), Carey 7.5, Flowers 7, Layton 8*, Corbett 7.5, Marsh 7.5, Andrews 7, Belmonte 7, Krol 6, Reynolds 6.5, J Farnsworth 7 (Birch, 61, 7).

Unused subs: Goddard, Beattie, Drake.

Referee: John Roskelly, 7.