Dream of the FA Cup alive and kicking for coastal rivals
- Credit: Archant
Coastal rivals Great Yarmouth Town and Gorleston flew the Norfolk flag as this season's FA Cup adventure got under way.
Both were convincing winners – Yarmouth beating visiting Diss Town 5-0 and Gorleston coming away from Stanway Rovers with a 4-2 win, thanks in large part to a Connor Ingram hat-trick.
Swaffham Town are also into the next round after a 3-1 home win over Rothwell Corinthians – but it was meagre pickings for the other Norfolk clubs involved in extra preliminary round action.
Thetford Town went down 3-2 at Eynesbury Rovers, Tanner Call scoring both for the Brecklanders, Fakenham town were beaten 2-0 at home by Wellingborough Town, Kirkley & Pakefield lost 2-1 to visiting Saffron Walden Town while Wroxham were beaten 1-0 at Southend Manor.
Yarmouth's joint manager Martyn Sinclair was delighted with the Bloaters' performance.
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'A good solid start to the season with all of our new signings settling well into the team, and all making significant contributions,' he said. 'It was a dream debut for Aaron Sanders, with two goals in the first six minutes of an FA Cup tie – it doesn't get much better than that.
'All credit to Diss who have suffered a lot of turmoil over the summer. They never made it easy for us, but we are delighted with that performance today.'
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Yarmouth had four debutants in their line-up and a host of regulars absent, but the game was won well before half-time.
An early corner was cleared, but within minutes Sanders, a new signing from Acle United, reacted quickest to Haydn Davis' blocked shot and neatly turned the ball into the net for a dream start.
The young striker was at it again three minutes later as he hit a powerful shot from 30 yards that found the bottom corner of the net to make it 2-0 with just six minutes on the clock.
Fifteen minutes into the game the heavens opened and torrential rain engulfed The Wellesley, making play difficult for both sides. However, it was 3-0 on 20 minutes when Davis curled in a beautifully-weighted shot that sailed over Riches and into the top corner of the net.
The rain had almost cleared as the players emerged for the second half and again the Bloaters started well – Davis was again denied by Riches while some excellent play between Sean Perfect and Sanders almost brought a fourth as Sanders' effort was somehow deflected over the bar.
Joel Glover almost scored on his debut but headed wide from Perfect's cross. Diss were reduced to 10 men on the hour mark when Luke Priestley was shown a second yellow and soon after a long ball by Mitch Forbes found Glover, who muscled his way past a defender and fired in an unstoppable shot to cap a fine debut performance for the big striker.
Yarmouth made changes to rest some legs for tomorrow's league match at Wroxham. One of them, Chaz McAra, had a goalbound header cleared off the line before former youth player Kyle Gallant showed his quality as he beat two defenders and fired in a cross that was turned into his own goal by a defender.
Gorleston made it past the extra preliminary round for the first time in their last four attempts in their 100th game since Ricci Butler took charge – although Reserves boss Scott Butler was standing in for him in the dugout as Ricci was serving the second of a three-game touchline ban.
They were ahead on 10 minutes when Ingram played a corner out to Mitch McKay who thumped a volley goalwards. The shot was blocked but fell to Connor Deeks who drilled in a low effort through two defenders and in off a post.
Six minutes before the break Gorleston doubled their lead. McKay tried his luck with a shot but shinned it – but it turned into a superb pass out to Ingram who brought it under control, stepped inside the defender and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
The hosts pulled one back before half-time, through Taylor Bannister, but six minutes after the break the Greens increased their lead, Ingram's fine dipping shot from 25 yards making it 3-1.
Stanway hit back again to make it 3-2, through Bannister again, but three minutes later Gorleston gave themselves a two-goal cushion again when Ingram completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
A goal two minutes from time meant Wroxham exited the cup at the first stage.
Southend Manor's Bayley Newell netted the winner on the break as the Yachtsmen were pressing to win the game themselves.
Wroxham were the better side throughout and had chances through Ross Gilfedder, Harley Black and Shaun Taylor but they came up against a formidable Klinton Makayabo, who pulled off save after save as he stood tall.
Wisbech Town were 4-1 winners at Biggleswade.
In the Thurlow Nunn First Division, Norwich United U21s beat Team Bury 4-0, Norwich CBS drew 1-1 at Braintree Town, King's Lynn Town Reserves lost 2-1 at Whitton United and Wisbech St Mary won 3-1 at Little Oakley.