Norfolk Under 18s stay on course for more County Youth Cup success thanks to Daegan Watts winner

Norfolk Under 18s after their victory against Sussex. Picture: Norfolk FA

Norfolk Under 18s after their victory against Sussex. Picture: Norfolk FA - Credit: Archant

Norfolk Under 18s are through to the semi-finals of the FA County Youth Cup after a 1-0 win over Sussex Under 18s.

Daegan Watts got the only goal of the game for Norfolk midway through the first half as the youngsters look to become the first county to retain the competition following their success last year.

Norfolk goalkeeper Connor Milligan had to make some fine saves in the latter stages of the game but manager Gavin Lemmon felt his side were good value for the victory.

'It was a very different challenge for the boys - it was an intense game against a good side,' he said. 'Playing on a third generation pitch gave it a different dynamic but I think that we coped with it really well.

'In the first half we were the better side and we had some good chances and their keeper made some good saves. I think we deserved the 1-0 lead.

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'The second half was about managing the game and making sure that we were disciplined, which we did.

'We had to rely on Connor a few times and he played excellent throughout the whole game. He made a great save at the end of the game but I also think their keeper was very good.

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'I think we were deserving winners and I think we can take that confidence into the next round.'

Cameron Wing came close to giving Norfolk Under 18s some breathing space shortly after Watts had given his side the lead but saw his effort cannon off the post.

The match was played on a third generation surface and Lemmon felt his side coped well with the conditions.

Norfolk are yet to learn their opponents for their last four tie but Lemmon is certain his young charges will approach the game in the right way.

'We've got to manage the occasion - obviously we're only a game away from the final,' said Lemmon. 'If you see it that way it can get too much.

'I think you've got to take it as a one-off game as we have done. If we make sure we play our game and don't get caught up in ifs, buts and maybes, I'm confident we will give ourselves as best shot as possible.'

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