Norfolk Senior Cup final: Dereham 2 Wroxham 3
- Credit: Archant
Wroxham avoided a third successive Senior Cup final defeat in dramatic style – after a late penalty from striker Jamie Forshaw settled a remarkable battle at Carrow Road.
Dereham looked on course to beat their Ryman North rivals thanks to Luke Tuttle following up his missed penalty but Forshaw levelled deep into injury-time after Magpies skipper Oli Willis had used his hand to prevent a goal, resulting in a red card and a penalty.
Forshaw fired the Yachtsmen in front in the first half of extra-time but Toby Hilliard had seemed to tee up a penalty shoot-out when he levelled, only for Forshaw to score another penalty and seal the win for Wroxham.
Wroxham went into the game without injured top scorer Christy Finch but despite that the best chance of the first half fell to them, after Nathan Stone's cross picked out Forshaw just 10 yards out but his header was straight into the arms of Dereham keeper Andy Wilton.
It was the Magpies who were dominating proceedings though, as they looked to repeat their Senior Cup success of 2011.
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It was nearly a Wroxham player who gave Dereham the lead though, Yachtsmen skipper Andy Howell narrowly heading a Frazer Blake-Tracey free-kick just over his own crossbar.
Wroxham again went close in the 32nd minute, Jack Garrod teeing up Forshaw, who unleashed an excellent curling shot from 25 yards which prompted a sprawling save from Wilton.
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But it was the Magpies who grabbed the lead after the break after Wroxham right-back Steve Taylor went shoulder to shoulder with Sam Borrer inside his own box in the 60th minute and conceded a penalty.
Pride then dived to his left to save Tuttle's penalty but the striker followed up to squeeze the ball into the next from close range to put Dereham 1-0 up.
But the game was to turn in dramatic fashion in the fifth minute of injury-time, with Wroxham keeper Elliot Pride turning the ball goalwards from a Remy Gordon corner, only to see Willis block the ball on the line with his hand. The penalty was given and Forshaw made no mistake, firing high into the net to equalise and send the game into extra-time.
Dereham went very close to reclaiming the lead in spectacular fashion in the 10th minute of extra-time, after Ryan Hawkins had clattered into the advertising hoardings with a sickening thump, only to rejoin proceedings and unleash a rocket of a volley which struck the bar, leaving the Magpies cursing their luck.
And the Yachtsmen made the most of the let-off, taking the lead four minutes later after Stone controlled a long ball into the box and teed up Forshaw, how thumped a low drive into the back of the next for 2-1.
The drama had not finished though and the Magpies restored parity in the 21st minute of extra-time when substitute Hilliard seized on a defensive mistake and rolled into an unguarded net for 2-2.
There was still one last twist in the remarkable match though, when a lunging tackle on the edge of the box from Adam Smith brought down Wroxham's Kyle Baker. After a long hesitation referee James Turner awarded the penalty and Forshaw made no mistake to snatch the win.
For post-match reaction from Wroxham manager Stewart Larter and Dereham boss Matt Henman, see Thursday's Eastern Daily Press or Norwich Evening News.
Dereham: Wilton; Willis (C), Barker, Morphew, Blake-Tracey; Clunan (Sturman (90+2), Smith, Borrer, Tuttle (Kay 74); Hawkins, Wales (Hilliard 74). Unused subs: Howard, Mason
Wroxham: Pride; Taylor, Howell (C), Halliday, Price; Garrod (King 78), Hinton, White (Baker 78), Gordon; Stone, Forshaw. Unused subs: Rust, Guyton, Swatman
Referee: James Turner