FA Vase: Gorleston and Kirkley & Pakefield see Wembley dreams come to an end

Joel Watts scored a hat-trick for Gorleston. Picture: David Hardy

Joel Watts scored a hat-trick for Gorleston. Picture: David Hardy - Credit: Archant

The east coast wasn't the place to be for good weather or bright news for teams in the FA Vase.

On a day when football battled the icy elements, Gorleston and Kirkley & Pakefield both made exits. Kirkley went down 2-1 at home to Edgware Town, Jack Smith's 49th-minute opener cancelled out five minutes from time, while Gorleston were beaten 4-3 by visiting FC Romania after extra-time.

Premier Division leaders Norwich United saw their home game against Hullbridge Sports fall victim to the conditions – they will try again tomorrow (7.45pm).

In the Premier Division, Fakenham Town went down 6-3 at home to Newmarket Town, their goals coming from Robbie Harris, Matt Franks and Ricky Claxton.

King's Lynn Town's Norfolk Senior Cup game against Downham Town has been rearranged for next Saturday.


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Joel Watts put Gorleston ahead six minutes into the second half, and two minutes later the hosts doubled their lead after terrific work by Kyle Ingram on the right saw him beat three defenders before laying the ball back to the edge of the box to Watts who sidefooted into the top corner.

Romania pulled one back seven minutes later but the game, having been played in good spirit, changed in the 63rd minute, when Romania defied convention over a drop ball and instead of allowing the Greens to play it back to the visiting keeper, took possession, and scored.

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Gorleston fans and players were incensed – and with 10 minutes left the sense of injustice was exacerbated, the official awarding a penalty and showing Aaron Taylor a red card after what Gorleston were convinced was a fair tackle.

Adrian Cososchi didn't care and tucked the penalty away.

Romania tried to play the game out but the resilient Greens had other ideas and two minutes into stoppage time Watts marked his 50th appearance by completing his hat-trick with another great finish to make it 3-3.

It was always going to be difficult in extra-time for the 10 men of Gorleston and with the game looking set for penalties, the visitors inflicted the killer blow that undeservedly knocked the Greens out.

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