WESTFIELDS’ goalkeeper Steve Sarkodie was the hero saving two penalties in a shootout which saw Fields progress in the FA Vase.
Midland Football League Romulus scored a last gasp equaliser to force the tie to penalties during a 2-2 draw.
“We made hard work of it and everybody watching the game thought we were the better side but needed that third goal to finish them off,” said Westfields manager Phil Glover.
“When that didn’t come about nerves crept in which we haven’t seen much but I understand as it was a big game in the Vase which we want to have a good run in.
“We dropped off which is unlike us really but fair play to Romulus as they kept going.”
Westfields had dictated play in the first half but found themselves behind at the break when Kyle Burke turned smartly on the edge of the box and curled his shot home.
However, after the break Glover’s side got back on level terms in the 60th minute when Ben Miller scored with an acrobatic overhead kick to draw level.
Westfields then introduced substitute striker Richard Greaves and the big marksman made an immediate impact.
Sirdic Grant put over a perfect cross and Greaves was on the spot to slam home the goal and put Westfields ahead.
It looked as though Fields had done enough then to win the game, however two minutes from time Romulus seized on a hesitant defence and equalised through Jarrell Hylton.
This put the game then into an agonising penalty shoot-out and both sides missed their opening spot-kicks. However, Westfields eventually triumphed 3-2 with goals from the penalty mark by Greaves, Keanu Cooper and skipper Kane Kahaki.
Sarkodie saved two penalty kicks and then the last penalty kick from Romulus was hit wide by their striker.
“I was quite confident as Steve shows us in training week in and out how good a goalkeeper he is, he’s outstanding,” added Glover.
“So I was quietly confident but you never know as penalties are a bit of a lottery.
“When a few lads missed their penalties you start to think if it’s your day especially after hitting the bar in normal time.
“We also had what we believe was a stone-wall penalty turned down and you start to wonder if it’s one of those days.
“But thankfully we got through.”
It was Westfields’ first game back following an enforced break through Covid-19 precautions.
“It’s been a real test as a manager and for the club to go so long without football in the summer and then to come back and it to be so stop, start,” added Glover.
“It’s meant we’ve struggled to get that momentum going which it is all about for us.
“We would like to get on a run like last season with momentum.”
Westfields welcome back experienced former Hereford defender Ryan Green back into their squad for the tie.
“We’ve had an injury list as long as my arm,” added Glover.
“We lost some in pre-season and when we got somebody back somebody else is out.
“A lot of clubs are having the same due to the prologued break.
“Realising that, my relationship with Ryan (Green) is really good and I speak to him about a number of things with his experience.
“We really needed that leadership and professionalism around the lads.”