Norfolk U18s 3 Gloucestershire U18s 1: Ryan Miles hat-trick sends Norfolk into FA County Youth Cup final
PUBLISHED: 17:11 11 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:11 11 March 2018
Norfolk FA chief executive Gavin Lemmon believes their under-18s side has put ‘Norfolk on the map’ following their 3-1 win after extra time win over Gloucestershire in the FA County Youth Cup semi-finals.
Ryan Miles was the hero for Norfolk as his hat-trick set up a final date against Staffordshire with a date yet to be finalised.
And Lemmon had nothing but praise for the youngsters and management team Adam Gusterson and Olly Willis after a thrilling victory at the FDC.
“I’m really proud of what the boys have done – they deserve all the credit and they have put Norfolk on the map again,” he said. “We’ve shown we’ve got ability and talent in this county.
“The boys have been a pleasure to be around. Getting to the final was something that we aspired to do but probably never thought we could do.”
Norfolk looked the better side in the first half but could have gone in at the break behind with Ray Urry doing well to throw himself in the way of Jardell Hartley-Keeling’s goalbound effort.
But Norfolk got the breakthrough they deserved early in the second period when Miles slotted home from the penalty spot.
However, Gloucestershire didn’t let their heads drop and restored parity thanks to Daniel McBeam’s finish.
Johsua Ford came close to finding a winner with a fierce volley from the edge of the area but after 90 minutes it was 1-1 with the game going into extra time.
Gloucestershire almost got their noses in front in the first period when they hit the woodwork but the match swung in Norfolk’s favour when the visitors were reduced to 10 men.
Norfolk made the extra man tell and it was that man Miles that proved the difference with another two goals.
“I think we adapted to the conditions far better than they did,” added Lemmon “I must admit they had a spell in the second half when we weathered the storm and in the end I thought we just about deserved it.”
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