West Norfolk non-league round-up: Hanslip and Stearman make headlines in Swaffham and Downham derby
Midfielder Sam Hanslip and referee Paul Stearman stole centre stage as Downham Town won 1-0 at rivals Swaffham Town in the Norfolk Senior Cup third round on Saturday.
Both camps agreed that Hanslip's wonder strike, a long-range volley, was the best goal he's ever likely to score as Town avenged their 5-0 league drubbing at Swaffham earlier this season.
And both also claimed the man in the middle had made a mistake by sending the hosts' defender Dean Miller off for a second booking in the second-half.
Downham assistant Pete Brassett said: 'The boys were superb. The defeat there early this year drove them on. We weren't at our best with the ball, but when we lost it we were disciplined and everyone did their jobs.
'Sam's goal was a worldy. He whipped it first time into the top corner. It was a great strike. It's just a shame the ref sent their lad off. Both benches and the players told him there was no need. He booked at least six players and it wasn't even a dirty game.'
Pedlars boss Paul Hunt said the decision to show Miller a second booking – for what he described as his arm hitting the ball as he fell to the ground – left him bemused.
He said: 'He didn't consult his linesman and the worst thing is he seemed to take some glee from doing it.
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'I think the assessor knew he made a mistake and it's frustrating we can't appeal it. But massive credit to Downham. Their lads, and their bench, were telling the ref not to book him, which was really refreshing to see.'
Downham host Debenham LC on Saturday in the Thurlow Nunn First Division while Swaffham visit struggling Cornard. Striker Neil Goodbourn looks set to make his debut for Hunt's men.
Premier Division Wisbech Town, who drew 0-0 at Norwich United at the weekend, host CRC. Peterborough Division One King's Lynn Town Reserves – who lost 2-1 at higher-level Peterborough ICA Sports in the cup at the weekend despite Gino Livoti's goal – are without a match.
On Tuesday, Wisbech and Swaffham were in League Cup first round action. Adam Millson and Dubi and Toby Ogbanna netted in Wisbech's 3-1 win over Nemarket. A 'depleted' Swaffham side lost 4-0 at home to higher-level Kirkley & Pakefield.