Aylsham became Norfolk Sunday Junior Cup winners last night as they beat Silver Fox 1-0 at the FDC Field of Dreams.
An early goal, a free kick converted by Travis Whitham, was the difference between the two sides on the evening in what was a scrappy affair separated by a set piece.
Both teams opened proceedings in a positive fashion, with Aylsham’s Dale Gedge whipping in a perfectly placed ball into front man, Owen Collier`s feet. Silver Fox responded instantly, creating a chance of their own, Aylsham held firm with a block and the resulting corner was cleared.
The deadlock was broken shortly after when Aylsham took the lead on five minutes. A clumsy aerial challenge on Owen Collier resulted in a free kick 30 yards out which Whitham struck well, steering his shot over the keeper and into the top left of the net.
After a fast paced opening, both teams attempted to try and gain control of the game however neither side could maintain possession for any length of time.
Silver Fox came close to an equaliser when a ball was whipped in from the half way line and the Aylsham back line failed to clear their lines. A looping ball fell to Captain Ryan Tebble who met it on the volley with a fierce strike from close range. The Assistant flagged to signal that Tebbel was in fact offside however the unknowing Matthew Coles-Rouse in the Aylsham goal pulled of a fantastic reaction save to slap the ball over the bar.
This proved to be a wake-up call for Aylsham who went on the attack, a series of corners saw them hit the bar, fire wide and cause a goal mouth scramble which Silver Fox managed to clear.
As half time approached, Silver Fox tried to create once more when Tebble cut through the Aylsham defence and was able to release the ball out wide to full back, Alan Perry. Perry delivered a low driven cross back to Tebble, who was unfortunate not to find the target from close range.
With all to play for, the second half began in a scrappy fashion with both sides putting in a number of fiery challenges. Each team became vocal and the opening stages of the second period saw more fouls than chances created.
Collier had the opportunity to double Aylsham’s advantage when he received a magnificent through ball that left him one on one with keeper, however the striker fired wide squandering a glorious chance to put his team two up.
Silver Fox began to grow into the game, gaining confidence, creating some chances and troubling the Aylsham defence from corners as they searched for an equaliser. Direct passing saw frequent turn-over of possession and the game reduced to scrappiness in the middle of the pitch once more.
As the game reached the latter stages and with their back line holding firm, Aylsham endeavoured to manage the rest of the remaining time, keeping the ball in the opposition corner areas and putting emphasis on keeping possession.
Frustration got the better of Jack Gill toward the end of normal time, when a second yellow for a rash foul saw the Silver Fox number 9 sent to the dressing room. A goal down and man down saw Silver Fox’s performance become slightly deflated as the time ticked on.
Added time saw Aylsham play some of their best passing of the game as they professionally saw out the final minutes and became the 2018 winners of the Norfolk Sunday Junior Cup.
Full time: Silver Fox 0 – 1 Aylsham
Silver Fox: Brad Cannell, Daniel Bareham, Haydn Cunningham, Craig Boyles, Jack Gill, Lewis Nabarro, Ryan Tebble ©, Sam Lincoln, Adam Linkhorn, Alan Perry & Matt Tickle.
Subs: Jordan Scent, Sam Woods, Nathan Baston, Sam Browne, Jason Lambert.
Aylsham: Matthew Coles-Rouse, Toby Oliver, Dale Gedge, Kieron Bunn, Craig McCann, Jake Bonner ©, Danny Rust, Stuart Boam, Owen Collier, Will Abbs & Travis Whitlam.
Subs: Ollie Obeney, Jake Morris, Chris Pearce.
Man of the Match: Daniel Bareham