Harleston Town battle hard to push Norwich United all the way in Norfolk Senior Cup

Jamie Speller scored Norwich Uniteds winner against Harleston. Picture by Seb Daly/Focus Images Ltd

Jamie Speller scored Norwich Uniteds winner against Harleston. Picture by Seb Daly/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Seb Daly/Focus Images Limited

Norwich United avoided a potential banana skin as they scraped through to the quarter-finals of the Norfolk Senior Cup with a narrow 1-0 victory over Harleston Town.

The south Norfolk side may sit second from bottom in the Anglian Combination Premier Division, but did more than hold their own against the runaway leaders of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, leaving manager Adam Gusterson proud of their efforts.

'I thought the lads were absolutely tremendous today and I'm really proud of our efforts,' said the current Norfolk Under-18s boss.

'We knew it was going to be difficult for us because they are a good side who are steam-rolling the division they are in, but we stayed in the game throughout and that was the important thing for us.

'We nullified their threats really well throughout the game and I think they will be relieved they got the job done in the end because given their position, on paper, they should have been coming here and winning by five or six, so it is a testament to our lads that they didn't.'

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Gusterson's side enjoyed the lion's share of the first-half possession, but soon after the retest the Planters broke the deadlock courtesy of Jamie Speller and after weathering a late storm secured a home tie with Acle United in the next round.

Spixworth also booked their place in the quarter-finals of the competition, setting up a tie with Ryman League North side Dereham Town after a 4-0 victory over Dersingham (Jordan Rocastle 2, Danny Brown, Paul Cook).

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Gorleston's fourth-round tie with Fakenham was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch and the winners of the tie will face Thetford in the next round. The other tie will see King's Lynn Reserves or Downham Town travel to Wroxham or Great Yarmouth Town – both of those ties are due to be played tomorrow night.

In league action, it was high fives all round at Walmer Road as Kirkley & Pakefield thrashed Godmanchester Rovers 5-0 to move up to eighth in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, after goals from Kyle Baker, Miguel Lopez, Matty Brown and a brace from Ross King.

Thetford Town put their recent struggles behind them as they climbed to 17th in the standings after an impressive 6-2 victory over neighbours Swaffham Town, a result which saw the Pedlars slip to 14th in the table.

In the Thurlow Nunn First Division, Diss Town secured a point from their meeting with promotion-chasing Ely City at Brewers Green Lane. Two goals from Kyle Downes and one from Jamie George earned the Tangerines a share of the spoils in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Robbie Back's King's Lynn Town Reserves side enjoyed a 4-2 victory away at March Town United.

The Linnets went behind after 11 minutes when Luke Pepper scored for the Hares, but Nathan Daw set up Dylan Edge for an equaliser on 26 minutes. A Liam Fryatt free-kick put Lynn ahead, with debutant Alex Clunen makign it 3-1.

Lewis McManus pulled a goal back on 70 minutes but Lewis Curson made sure of the points for Lynn.

It was also a good day for Great Yarmouth Town, who enjoyed a 5-1 victory over Braintree Town Reserves at the Wellesley (Matty Anderson 2, Declan McAvoy, Mitch Forbes, Leighton Crux).

Downham Town slipped to a 3-0 defeat at home to Wivenhoe Town and Wayne Anderson's Dereham Town Reserves side suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Halstead at Aldiss Park.

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