Norfolk Under-18s 2 Hertfordshire Under-18s 1
08:57 27 January 2014
Norfolk U18s produced an impressive comeback at the FDC on Saturday afternoon, securing a 2-1 victory over Hertfordshire with a last-minute Liam Jackson goal.
The first half had been a quiet affair, with the main action coming in the form of Hertfordshire’s opening goal. It arrived on 15 minutes, when a Luke Shimell free-kick from 20 yards took a heavy deflection, wrong-footed Norfolk custodian Bradley Stewart and drifted into the far corner of the net.
In a complete contrast to the opening 45 minutes, the second half sprang to life after just a couple of minutes, when Norfolk were awarded a penalty after a foul on Toby Hilliard in the Hertfordshire box. Shaun Stoker stepped up for the home side, only to see his powerful spot kick come back off the crossbar.
Norfolk looked a different team though and levelled on 56 minutes, when Connor Deeks fired home from just inside the box to give the home side a deserved equaliser.
Norfolk’s pair of England College U19 internationals, Stocker and Hilliard, both went close in quick succession with 20 minutes left. First Stocker was played through and drew a smart save from Hertfordshire keeper Connor Sansom. Then, from the resulting corner, Hilliard saw a header cleared off the line.
Norfolk were indebted to Stewart in the 85th minute, after the keeper made an excellent save from a Tashan Dwyer.
It looked as though the spoils would be shared, however substitute Jackson prodded home late in time added on, to give Norfolk the winning goal that their second half performance deserved.
Before the game the coaching staff, players and spectators from both Counties observed an impeccable minute’s silence for Norfolk FA’s Head Groundsman, Peter Smith, who sadly passed away on Tuesday.
Norfolk: Bradley Stewart, Chris Greenslade, Frazer Blake-Tracy, Connor Deeks, Gabriel Mansbridge, Mac Gee, Ethan Hall, Lewis Gibson, Toby Hilliard (Capt), Connor Laskey, Shaun Stoker. Subs: Jack Guyton, Jake Cox, Ollie Ebbage, Liam Jackson.
Herts: Connor Sansom, Harry Norman, Jack Green, Conrad Russo (Capt), Ricky Douglas, Frankie Branch, Bilal Sayoud, Luke Shimell, Tashan Dwyer, Dan Haggerty, Jamie Murphy. Subs: Ethan Taylor, Jordan Leich-Levy, Kieran O’Neil, Dominic Russo.
Referee: Simon Mower
Assistants: Harry Diggens and Warren Skoulding