MIXED FORTUNES FOR NDSL CLUBS IN COUNTY CUPS
In a weekend that saw the Quarter Final stages of the County Cups, there were varying degrees of success for our clubs taking part. I was part of a large crowd who attended the Sunday Senior QF at Acle Rangers where Riverside Rovers were the visitors. Rovers took the lead within five minutes when Scott Gray fired home from the edge of the box following a corner. The remainder of the half remained fairly even, but after the break, the home side produced some glorious chances to level the scores but failed to take them and were punished for it. Roy Bevis found time to cut in from the left to curl a shot into the corner, before the same player blasted a twenty yard effort into the top corner, much to the delight of the visiting supporters. Davy Watling added a fourth before the end in a game superbly handled by referee Andy Symonds. So Rovers move into the semi final, with Acle left to ponder what might have been. Schoolhouse joined Riverside in the last the last four with a comfortable 9-1 (Brendan Burke 3, Sam Watts 2, Sam Slater, Rhys Logan, Chris Hall, Tim Henry) victory over fellow Norwich side Mad Moose and both sides go into the draw along with Chilvers from Kings Lynn and El Sol from Yarmouth. In the Intermediate Cup there was a great win for Salhouse Rovers who beat a strong Thetford Rangers 4-0 with James Smith, Ryan Tebble, Neil Woolner and Martin Woolner all scoring. Costessey Sports Sunday were unlucky to go down 3-2 aet at Windmill Reserves, but Dilham Cross Keys reaped the benefits of a Saturday evening meal and then breakfast courtesy of sponsor Paul Grothier as a single Danny Tindall goal was enough for them to reach the semi finals as they won at FC Gorleston. The league will be supplying three of the semi finalists in the Junior Cup. Mischief FC made light of the long trip to Heacham, winning 6-0 whilst The Middle Green were 5-1 victors over Reepham Town U19's. Harleston Town U19's progressed via a penalty shoot out at Norman Wanderers U19's, but there was no joy for Poringland Wanderers U19's as they went down 3-0 at home to Labas FC.
In league action, Farmhouse bounced back from last weeks defeat to beat Sprowston Rovers 4-0, whilst The POW continued their recent good run as they won 2-0 (Calvin Pond, Chris Holmes) at reigning champions Norman Wanderers. A twenty five yard free kick from Matty Adcock was the only goal in AFC Wanderers game at Dog House, and Poringland Wanderers scored four times in the second have as they came from behind to win 4-1 at Dussindale Rovers. Tom Cullabine had given Rovers a half time lead before a hat trick from Tim Carey and an Andy Skipper strike took the points.
In 1A, leaders Sporting Longdale had a 2-1 home win over Brooke FC. Bungay Town got back to league action and won 4-2 at Dancing Farmers, whilst Aslacton were held to a 2-2 draw at Horsford Utd. Jeff Larke and Leon Edwards scored for the home side, with Ed Lake and James Smith replying. Goals by Tony Palmer and Matty Barker helped Windmill Wanderers come from two down to take a point against Norman Wanderers Res, and Anglian Rovers had a 2-1 home win over DSC Rapid. In 1B, William Wanderers won 2-1 in a tight game at Taverham Utd, goals coming from Dan Childerhouse and James Denmark, and a debut goal for Nick Bunn and a Dale Simpson strike ten minutes from time helped Bell Inn to a 2-1 win at Spixworth Sunday Res. Earlham Utd scored five (Marcus McInerny 2, Scott Roberts 2, Darrell Wigger) without reply at Sprowston Wanderers, whilst Moles Rest scored six as they won at Heartsease FC.
There was a big result in 2A where Celtic (Newsman) beat Rangers (Shipdham) 4-3. Six goals were scored in the first half as the sides went in all square with Mitchell McArdle, Tommy Brown and Jack Sinclair scoring for the home side and Neil McNab-Grieve 2 and Charlie Gunner replying, before McArdle found a way through to net the winner. It was a result that saw Shipdham knocked off top spot as New Buckenham returned to winning ways as goals by James Beales, Chris Watling and Gareth Moore helped them beat Constable Crusaders 3-1. Costessey West End stayed in touch with a 4-0 win at Ketts Tavern Wizards. The big game in 2B saw leaders DEF FC move four points clear at the top with a 2-0 win at second placed Lakewood Utd. Revolution FC moved up to second after Haydn Cunningham hit his third brace in as many games in their 2-0 win over Briston Wanderers and don't rule out SDC Utd being involved in the shake up towards the end of the season. They won 2-1 in an entertaining game at Hethersett Athletic and have games in hand on the four sides above them. After Luke winter had put Hethersett ahead, goals by Kevin Thurston and Kevin Trueman gave United the points. It was also good to see referee Justin Grosse receive praise for his performance. Mettingham moved away from the foot of the table as they won 4-2 at Locksley Athletic, Mettingham's goals coming from Robbie Mitson 2, Camerone Armstrong and Dan Smith.
With the top two in 3A in cup action, GaGa failed to fully take the chance of closing the gap as despite goals from James Wheeler 2 and Dan Bowen, they were held to a 3-3 draw at fast improving Reedham FC. Brooke Res had a 6-1 win over Tasburgh Utd whilst Sporting Longdale Res also scored six as they beat Westfield. There was another victory for MC Rovers as they scored five (Keenan Kindleysides 2, Ashley Land, Ryan Gray, Marc Howard) of the eight goals in their game with Winfarthing FC. The clash of the top two in 3B ended in stalemate as Trimingham Pilgrims prevented Phoenix FC from collecting all three points for only the second time this season. Neither side found the net, but it would be hard to see either side not finishing in the top two. Hickling Barn could dispel that theory though. Their 9-2 thumping of Binham Village moved them to within seven points of Trimingham with three games in hand, so who knows. Cellar House were 3-1 winners at East Tuddenham and there was a point for both sides as the bottom two, Felthorpe and Red Lion drew 2-2.
In the Under 19 A section, leaders Blofield Utd had a comfortable 6-0 home win over North Walsham, whilst second placed Long Stratton, who have games in hand, stayed in touch by beating Hethersett Athletic 3-0. Hellesdon Youth came back from Suffolk with three points as they won 3-1 at Beccles Caxton.
In the B section there was a surprise result as leaders Marlborough FC went down 2-1 at Litcham. This enabled Sprowston Athletic to take over at the top by winning 6-2 at Swanton Morley whilst East Coast Warriors were 5-1 winners at Hellesdon Youth B. Drayton scored seven (Jack Dearden 3, Lewis George 2, Taylor Robinson, Nikhil Ahuja) without reply in their game with Coltishall Jaguars B.
In section C, leaders Wymondham Town went down 4-1 in their local derby with Attleborough Town for whom Daniel Thurston, Jordan Lake, Jamie Edwards and Patrick Kassaga all scored and they now move up to second spot. Newton Flotman had a great 3-1 (James Melton 2, Billy Kelly) win over Norwich United and well done to Mulbarton Wanderers who collected their first points of the season as they won 4-1 at Freethorpe.