MERLEY Cobham Sports required penalties to edge past Balti Sports and progress into the Supplementary Cup final, writes Ian Gilmartin.

Balti, who were well beaten earlier in the season when the league was still active, were a totally different proposition this time around and fought tooth and nail at Merley Park with high-flying Cobham.

The game was even from the outset and Balti were in no mood to be pushed around by the prolific Cobham side.

Joe Wickham did nearly put Cobham ahead in the 16th minute when his fine 20-yard drive was saved well by Andy Nott in the Balti goal.

It was then Balti that had their turn to pressure Cobham when home keeper Andy Knights pushed a great effort onto the crossbar. Defender Nathan Walker made a superb block from the rebound to keep the scores level.

The game was end-to-end for much of the half with Wickham, Asa Phillips and Nathan Saxby all going close for the home team, but the game remained goalless at the interval.

Balti went close on a couple of occasions after the restart, without really testing keeper Knights. Both teams were looking dangerous on the counter, with Saxby and Matt Groves trying their luck.

Both sides went to the bench as the game drifted towards extra time, but that period also finished goalless, meaning Cobham failed to score for the first time in 37 matches.

Balti netted their first two penalties, with Saxby and Wickham on target for Merley.

The Weymouth side's third spot-kick went high and wide from Ryan Dovell, allowing Cobham to squeeze through 5-4 on penalties with Connor Ford, Dan Edwards and Groves all netting.

Merley will face arch rivals Hamworthy Recreation in Saturday's final at Holt's headquarters in Petersham Lane.