Photo gallery: Norfolk Senior Cup final: Gorleston 1, Wroxham 0
PUBLISHED: 22:03 15 May 2014 | UPDATED: 11:05 16 May 2014
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A second-half strike from Chris Sandford helped Gorleston edge out Wroxham to win their second Norfolk Senior Cup final in three seasons.
In a game of few chances at Norwich City’s Carrow Road ground, the midfielder struck in the 65th minute to help the Greens replicate their 2012 success against Thetford Town. But it was county cup heartbreak again for their higher-level opponents who lost their second final in a row following a 2-0 defeat against City’s under-21s in last year’s showcase.
Winning boss Stewart Larter said: “I felt we deserved it. I didn’t think it was a great game, it wasn’t a classic for supporters – cup finals sometimes are not engineered that way, but overall on the night I felt we edged it and could have had one or two more.
“I think we’ve had a really good season, the under-18s have won the east division, and it was just great to win it.”
The Thurlow Nunn Premier Division Greens, who play their football one tier below the Yachtsmen, moved the ball about well early on with Peter Lambert pulling a half-chance wide. The villagers responded with some neat play of their own and midfield powerhouse Danny Self tried his luck from way out, but his effort never threatened keeper Elliott Pride.
Wroxham’s Robert Juhasz had to get down smartly to deny Christy Finch from netting a clever free-kick. But that was the one and only time either goalie was forced into making a save during a tight first half. Remy Gordon and Finch, who struck the sidenetting from a tight angle, saw slight openings – as did Aaron Sanders who would have scored had Gorleston’s Ben Lewis not made an excellent intervention.
Larter’s side took control after the break with Finch and Steven Taylor making Juhasz work. A last-ditch tackle from Matt Halliday denied Lambert before a moment of luck saw Pride’s clearance at the other end strike Gordon but cause no damage.
The deadlock was finally broken five minutes later when Sandford burst forward from midfield and latched onto Finch’s through ball before slotting home. A deflection lifted the ball over Juhasz’ desparing dive. David Hinton, Bradley Hough and Finch went close to making the game safe. But in the end it didn’t matter as Wroxham, a late rally aside, failed to build on the highs of the day’s earlier relegation reprieve.
Yachtsmen manager Pawel Guziejko said: “I was expecting quite a different game from both of us. We were solid defensively, there was no real go in the game, and they got that one real chance where they scored.”
Gorleston (4-4-2): Pride, Lewis, Taylor, Hinton, Howell, Armes, Garrod (Hunn, 75), Sandford, Lambert (Middleton, 64), Finch, Hough. Subs not used: Williams, Roots. Goal: Sandford (64)
Wroxham (4-2-3-1): Juhasz, Marsden, Halliday, Groves, Price, Harty, Cary (Doyle, 67), Self, Gordon, Durrant, Drake (Sanders, 34). Subs not used: Guyton, King, Rust.
Referee: Lee Betts