Both sides made quick start and created early chances. First up, in the second minute, AFC Wanderers wide man Tim Henery turned sharply and fired a shot straight at Taurean Molloy. Then, a minute later, a free kick from Windmill’s Scott Woodcock flew just the wrong side of the upright.
The first goal followed soon after, when AFC’s Lloyd Greening swept home from close range in the 4th minute.
The AFC fans had barely caught their breath before their team doubled the lead in the 6th minute, with Duane Eastall curling a shot past Molloy and in off the post.
Windmill should have pulled a goal back in the 12th minute through Chad Pillar, who had scored a hat-trick in a man of the match performance for Catfield in Monday’s Junior Cup Final. However the forward headed straight at Duane Smith from a few yards out, after the keeper had parried a long range free kick straight into his path.
Midfielder John Bell made no mistake in the 27th minute however, bending his shot neatly into the corner to pull a goal back for Windmill.
In the 40th minute a stunning move from AFC culminated with Aaron Kay dragging a shot narrowly past the post, meaning the Norwich side took their lead into the break.
Half time: AFC Wanderers 2 Windmill 1
The second half was an open affair, with both teams showing intent from the re-start.
Windmill enjoyed the better of the early play, without creating anything clear cut, although Pillar might feel he should have done better with a shot from the edge of the box in the 51st minute.
Soon after, Kay had the ball in the back of the net for AFC, but the referee had already signalled for a foul during the build up in play.
Pillar was again off target for Windmill in the 66th minute, scuffing his shot after being set through on goal.
Both sides made substitutions as the game moved into its final stages – Windmill in search for an equaliser and AFC in an attempt to hold onto their lead.
Adam Thompson almost connected with a dinked cross into the AFC box in the 79th minute, but the Windmill number 9 couldn’t quite stretch far enough. Then, two minutes later, Aaron Bowers wastefully hit a free kick from 20 yards over the AFC crossbar.
Despite Windmill’s best attempts, these proved the most they could muster and AFC held on through 5 minutes of added time for the win, which included Windmill players Bowers and Brandon Ingram being sent off.
Final score: AFC Wanderers 2 Windmill 1
AFC Wanderers: Duane Smith, Tye Bussens, Ben Abrahams, Duane Thompson, Daniel Barraclough (capt), Charlie Bartram, Tim Henery, Duane Eastall, Lloyd Greening, Danny Pennell, Aaron Kay. Subs: Scott Sell, Liam Blofeld, Jody Cork.
Goals: Greening ‘4, Eastall ‘6
Windmill: Taurean Molloy (capt), Lee Turner, Dane Whiteley, Keith Vincent, Spencer Self, Aaron Bowers, Chad Pillar, John Bell, Adam Thompson, Scott Woodcock, Danny Heller. Subs: Scott Butler, Brandon Ingram, Michael Vincent.
Goals: Bell ‘27
Sent off: Bowers ’90, Ingram ‘90
Referee: Andy Symonds
Assistants: David Lewiss and Dainer Lowthorpe
4th Official: Richard Gostling
Man of the match: Tim Henery (AFC Wanderers)