GREENING AND BARRETT GET CUP HOLDERS OFF TO A WINNING START
A bitterly cold morning greeted players, officials and spectators as the first round of the Sunday League Cup took place this weekend. Holders AFC Wanderers began the defence of their trophy with a win as goals by Lloyd Greening and Tom Barrett helped them to a 2-1 victory at Anglian Rovers. Acle Rangers won their all Premier Division tie with Dussindale Rovers 3-0, whilst Riverside Rovers progressed after scoring six of the nine goals in their game with DCS Rapid. Fraser Rankin scored twice for Poringland Wanderers as they won 2-1 at Taverham Utd, whilst fast improving Windmill Wanderers put in another good performance at Bell Inn where goals by Gary Walsh, Tony Palmer, Matt Barker and Aaron James helped them to a 4-2 victory. Aslacton were 2-0 (Ed Lake, Dean Mortimer) winners over William Wanderers, whilst Dancing Farmers progressed after Nick Aston 2, Dan King and Dan Payne scored in their 4-2 victory at St Faiths. Moles Rest won 5-2 at home to Vale Longo and there was an amazing game at Easton College where the home side Schoolhouse found themselves 4-2 down to Premier side Spixworth Sunday with a couple of minutes left but they managed to strike twice and take the game into extra time, where they preceded to win the game 9-6. Rhys Logan scored four times for Schoolhouse with James Slater, Sam Watts, Chris Hall and Connor Delaney also on target. The Pow needed extra time to beat Sprowston Rovers 4-2 and Sprowston Wanderers go through after a good 3-1 home win over Sporting Longdale as do Earlham Utd who won by the same score (Scott Roberts 2 Marcus McInerny) at Horsford Utd. Ribs Rovers also advanced at the expense of Heartsease FC. After the game finished 4-4 aet, Ribs won 5-4 on penalties. The tie between Brooke and Bungay Town was called off due to an unfit pitch, whilst Farmhouse and Mad moose received walkovers.
Shipdham Rangers continue to lead the way in 2A after scoring five Mark Alibone 2, Lewis Fuller 2, Jack Flynn) without reply at bottom side Fat Cat & Canary, whilst New Buckenham are second after defeating Newsman Celtic 5-3. I saw the game at Thorpe HS where home side The Cottage entertained fourth placed Dilham Cross Keys. The visitors took the lead after ten minutes when debut making Tindall fired home a good strike from the edge of the area. Antoni Fawkes then had a great chance to make it two but sliced his shot wide from a yard when it seemed harder to miss than score. Connor Veal almost pulled the home side level soon after but fired over from close range and the visitors increased their lead when a reckless challenge by the Cottage keeper saw a penalty awarded which was despatched by Dan Duff. The game became a bit tetchy and saw four players receive yellow cards before the interval but when play resumed after the break Fawkes made up for his earlier miss by firing a cracking drive into the roof of the net. From this point there were few more chances in the game until Duff took advantage of a defensive slip to round the keeper for his second goal of the game. Elsewhere, Constable Crusaders produced a battling performance with ten men to gain a point in a 2-2 (Jay Dugdale, Liam Frost) draw at Micawbers Tavern and Ketts Tavern Wizards collected their second win of the season, 3-2 at Deopham. 2B leaders Revolution FC got back to winning ways as they scored seven without reply at home to Mettingham FC. DEF FC are second after a 4-0 win against Locksley Ath, whilst Lakewood Utd ran out 5-2 winners at Salhouse Rovers. Adam Waters scored both his sides goals as Hethersett Athletic came from behind to beat Costessey Sports 2-1.
In 3A, GaGa FC remain top after a 3-0 (Sam Halsey, Sam Aldis, Damian Browne) home win over Brooke Res, whist The Middle Green remain second after beating bottom side Freethorpe FC by the odd goal of five. Mischief FC did their goal difference a power of good as they came back from South Norfolk having scored fifteen (Lee Askew 4, Craig Cutting 3, Theo Chamberlain 3, Luca Elia 3, Matthew Payne, Liam Baker) at Winfarthing. With three goals and five assists Adam Preston was outstanding for Dynamo FC as they won 8-1 at a spirited ten man Tasburgh Utd. Jamie Morter, Richard Samuels, Richard Ayers, Matthew McGuiness and James Day were also on target. AFC Westlegate made it two wins on they bounce as they beat Sporting Longdale Res 3-1 Matthew Richmond 2 and Karl Spurdon scoring, and there was a big win for MC Rovers as they scored nine without reply at Westfield. Phoenix FC are now nine points clear at the top of 3B after beating Salhouse Rovers Res 3-0 with goals coming from Jack Goldsworthy, George Tallent and Charlie Lamb. Silver Fox are third after a 4-0 (Aaron Tunaley, Michael Hurst, Matt Cartledge, Luke Gould) win over Felthorpe and Hickling Barn were 3-0 winners over Red Lion. Binham Village had a good 6-1 win at home to East Tuddenham and Hethersett Ath Res also won on their travels, 3-1 at Cellar House.
Under 19A leaders Blofield Utd were held to a 3-3 draw at home to Beccles Caxton and are now six points clear of Long Stratton whose game was called off. North Walsham came from three goals down to beat Thorpe Village 8-5 in a game where there were hat tricks from Ryan Beeson and Charlie Holmes and a debut brace for Johnson.
Marlborough remain top of section B after winning 9-1 (Sebastian Bialastik 3, Bradley Spooner 2, James Cooper, Rob Sayer, Adam Wilson, Jack Lincoln) at Norman Wanderers Youth. Reepham Town are level on points with Marlborough as they scored a dozen at home to Coltishall Jaguars B. Sprowston Athletic beat Litcham 2-0 and East Coast warriors were 4-1 winners at Drayton. Swanton Morley will be pleased with their victory, 4-1 at home to Hellesdon Youth B.
Wymondham Town are the new leaders of section C. Goals by Sam Lubbock and Harrison Cheal-Ferris helped them to win 2-0 at Poringland Wanderers who now drop to third. Watton Utd went down 5-1 at home to Scole Utd, whilst Newton Flotman scored eight times when beating Freethorpe FC
On mornings such as this when it’s a bit crisp, the league encourages clubs to give the game every chance of being played and are quite happy for the kick off to be delayed 30 mins or so if it helps get the game played. Of the four games off due to “frozen” pitches this morning, it was disappointing that three of them were called off just after 8am, a full two and a half hours before kick off. As proved with the amount of games played, pitches throughout the County were perfectly playable by kick off time