Norfolk Under-18s make progress in national competition
PUBLISHED: 10:41 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:13 07 November 2017
Norfolk U18s moved into the third round of the FA County Youth Cup after beating Jersey U18s 2-1 at the FDC.
On a cool, damp afternoon the crowd were treated to a wonderfully competitive match, with the hosts going in front after just seven minutes when full-back Charlie Hitch’s cross found the head of Ryan Miles who leapt highest and nodded home.
Miles almost doubled his tally 10 minutes later, with the striker turning his defender inside out before drilling a low shot that forced Dan Birrell to tip round his post.
Jersey responded well and a well worked move saw striker Sol Solomon dummy a shot to send the defender to ground before rifling his left footed strike against the upright.
The game became an increasingly end-to-end affair that saw both teams creating plenty of opportunities before Jake Syvret levelled for the Channel Islanders five minutes from half-time, striking the ball low and hard past Billy Johnson.
Jersey began to pile on the pressure in the second half but the partnership of Joshua Ford and Isaac Burrage, with Hitch and Patrick Pye the full-backs, looked comfortable for the majority of the game.
Norfolk also posed as a real counter-attacking threat, with Miles Palmer on the right and Jimmy Morrissey out on the left proving to be effective outlets and centre forwards Miles and Archie Galley linking up nicely.
What proved to be the winner came on 65 minutes after Norfolk had pounced on a Jersey error to give central midfielder Sam Dodden a one-on-one with the keeper. He kept a cool head and slotted his effort into the far corner to give the home side the advantage for the second time.
That goal gave Norfolk an immense amount of confidence and with coach Adam Gusterson bringing on some fresh legs they found more and more space behind the Jersey defence.
It required a number of superb saves from Birrell to keep the visitors in the tie but it mattered little as the hosts stayed strong at the other end to book their place in the next round.
Norfolk U18s: Johnson, Hitch, Pye, Johnson, Burrage, Ford, Palmer, Dodden, Miles, Galley, Morrison. Subs: Carey, Exley, Hudson, Katsande.