North-West Norfolk League round-up: Semi-finals provide plenty of excitement
Three NWNL League Cup finals were decided this week, with all semi finals hotly contested.
Riverside, who had already disposed of Discovery Royals en route to the Primary Cup Final, made it to the Division Two final 1 - 0, courtesy of a Steven Firth strike. Riverside who were struggling to field a team due to injuries and absentees dominated the match throughout, and the impressive Firth grabbed the decisive goal early on during a dominant opening period.
Discovery continued to press for the equaliser in the second half but the excellent Riverside defence stood firm and booked their place in April's final. Their opponents will be Lynn Napier who progressed 3-1 over William Burt.
In Division Three, Birchwood knocked out cup holders Gayton Utd Res 3-1.
In this highly charged game it was Gayton who scored first after 25 mins. Birchwood responded 10 mins later when Andrew Wood hit the upright and Paul Phillips was in the right place and put the ball in the back of the net. Andrew Wood put Birchwood into the lead with a cheeky chip over the keeper with his back to goal.
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Gayton tried to get a goal but were thwarted by the excellent keeping skills of Paul Sainty. Birchwood's third goal came when a move that was started by Rowan Smith in his own half, he passed the ball to Brad Wilson who then played a one-two with Rowan Smith who took on four players in the box before calmly scoring.
Man of the match for Birchwood Paul Sainty and Rowan Smith.
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In the second semi final Lee Grantham scored two goals in his first game in five months and Les Barry the winner in extra time as Wiggenhall won 3-2 at Redgate Rangers Res. Stephen Duncan and John Verela had excellent games for Wiggenhall.
It was Tilney FC 3 - 4 Snettisham Maroons (AET) when the top two in Division Four went head to head for the prize of entering the final of the league cup.
Snettisham had the better of the early chances but it was Tilney who opened the scoring with Grant Varnham. Snettisham soon found an opening and levelled the score and also took the lead in a rare defensive error which they capitalised on. Tilney never gave up and got just rewards from a corner so captain Darren Browne could smash one in to equalise but in reply to that Snettisham went up the other end and also from a corner took the game into half time 3-2 up.
Thinking the second half would ease down was never going to happen, both teams came out raring to go. Tilney came from behind again with a lovely finish from James Callaby to take the game into extra time. Snettisham Dan Mooney took the chance to score early in the first half of extra time and held the lead till the final whistle. Anton Ely, Scott Deadman, and Mark Lloyd stood out for the Maroons who also lost Steve Kerr with a concussion; they also thank young Dan Goggins for taking the keepers gloves. Thanks to referee Neil Farrow. Man of the Match: The whole Tilney team.
In Division One Lynn North End capitalised on Gayton Utd being held 3-3 by Watlington with an 8 - 1 win at West Winch. With some late call offs once again, they went 1 0 up through Darren Hewitt stunning 25 yard shot, Neil Goodbourn made it 2 0. West Winch made it 2 1 from bad defending.
It was soon 3 1 through Ashley Keegan, Jack Webber made it 4 1 at half time. North End made it 5 1 through a great Webber header. Goodbourn grabbed the 6th to get his double and Webber completed his hat trick to make it 7 1. Late on Gavin Proctor completed the scoring making it 8 1 MOM Jack Webber for his hat trick today, North End also happy to announce the return of Ash Smith he has been missed.
In the other Div One game Ingoldisthorpe beat a depleted South Creake side 2-0. Creake's CK Caravan MOM - Tom Raisbury.
In Div Four a good clean match played between Castle Rising Res & Pentney where both teams were evenly matched. With the score at one each for most of the match, rising ran out 3-1 winners. Goals Jake Ellis (2), Sam Hewitt MOM - left back Paul Woodhouse. Thanks to the ref for standing in. South Creake Res came from 3-0 down at half time to draw 3-3 with The Woottons Res. Goals from Darren Studd, Matty Kemp and Craig Bulley (pen). PDS MOM - Martin Stearman.
- Report provided by the NWNL.