Silver Fox leave it late to snatch Sunday Junior Cup
SILVER FOX LEAVE IT LATE TO SNATCH SUNDAY JUNIOR CUP
The Norfolk County Cup Finals kicked off with a bang last night as over two hundred people flocked to theFDC Field of Dreams to watch Watton United take on Silver Fox in The Wensum Print Sunday Junior Cup Final.
The crowd in attendance were treated to an exciting game which saw late goals, extra time and a last gasp winner from Silver Fox who will feel particularly triumphant after losing in the final of the same competition last season.
Watton took the lead in the first half of the game via Daniel Reeve however this was cancelled out by a James Smith goal shortly after the break. Two more goals saw Silver Fox go ahead for the first time through Craig Boyles, only for Ben Lemmon to nab an equaliser with ten minutes remaining to go.
Neither side could find the winner in 90 minutes plus stoppage, and so the game went into extra time. After Watton managed to defend a string of Silver Fox chances in the first half of extra time, they might have gone ahead early in the second when John Maslin struck the crossbar. However it was Boyles who, with a minute remaining, found the net for the second time in the evening to see Silver Fox win the cup.
Silver fox started the brighter of the two teams enjoying much of the play and gaining territorial advantage early on. The away team for the evening spent the most part of the opening ten minutes camped in the Watton United half.
Lewis Nabarro gave the Watton defence something to think about early on, causing problems problems with his pace and ability to take on multiple defenders.
Watton tried to impose themselves on the game however had their early chances limited to set pieces with Daniel Reeve and Josh Macann aiming free kicks at the keeper and the defensive wall respectively.
With more fouls than play for a short spell, both teams tried to assert themselves on one another. Haydn Cunningham whipped in a free kick which Jack Gill almost connected with, Luke Middleton did well to regain control ahead of the imposing Watton defence and laid set it to Captain Daniel Bareham who struck his shot into the side netting.
Watton then had a real chance to take the lead, when Xavier Huckle received the ball just inside his opponents half and drove at the defence with pace. Close control, quick movement and trickery saw him beat two men before setting across to strike partner Reeve but the number 10 struck his shot straight into the arms of the grateful Matt Sayer.
Moments later, whilst potentially still ruing his previously spurned chance, Reeve fortuitously found himself on the ball again after a loose touch handed the ball to Ashley Davies who was easily able to pick out the pass to play him through on goal. Clearly not willing to pass on another opportunity, he calmly slotted past the keeper to put United ahead on 39 minutes.
Silver fox almost found an immediate answer when some good play Middleton cross a teasing ball that Joshua Hall in the Watton goal did well to collect.
Half Time: Watton United 1 – 0 Silver Fox
The second half started as an even affair with both teams more aware of what the other could do. Substitute James Smith made an instant impact to the tempo of the Silver Fox attack and pressed well from the front, giving the Watton back line little time.
Smith furthered his effectiveness on the 55th minute when, after a defected shot from Ash Henderson looped high into the six yard box, he bundled the ball across the line at the expense of Hall who was slower to react and unfortunately took a clattering in the process.
Moments after drawing level, Silver Fox could have taken the lead when the ball fell to Middleton outside the corner of the six yard box, but the winger sliced his shot and saw it crash into the side netting.
Those in attendance were treated to some end to end football as the game moved towards the latter stages. Silver fox had a golden chance to go ahead on the 70th minute only for a Watton defender to poke it wide before it crossed the line. Straight up the other end Huckle found himself seven yards out and sent a stinger towards goal, only to be thwarted by the reactions of Sayer who was able to palm it over.
Silver Fox finally go the goal to put them ahead on 75 minutes with Craig Boyles latching on to a perfectly weighted through ball from Smith and calmly placing it to the side of the onrushing Hall.
Adding to a brilliant game for the neutral, not even five minutes later, a Watton corner resulted in a goal mouth scramble with the ball ricocheting off multiple players. Captain Ben Lemmon reacted quick when the ball fell to him to smash home from close range with ten minutes to go.
Both teams continued to fight for everything in the final ten minutes, with Watton having the better chances. The pick of which fell to substitute Mo Bah who twisted and turned around multiple defenders and managed to get a decent shot on target away, only to see Sayer dive well to his right and collect the ball.
Full Time: Watton United 2 – 2 Silver Fox
Just like the start of the game originally, Silver Fox started the more forward thinking of the teams, and it took a great save from Hall to deny the away side from a corner.
Three corners in a row from Brad Yates all posed danger to the Watton defence; Yates who had been a consistent threat from set pieces, as well as working tirelessly down the flanks, will have been frustrated at not registering an assist on the evening.
The game swung in Silver Fox’s favour when Middleton was played through and touched the ball around Hall who had committed to the challenge, taking the player. Referee Ollie Sadd pointed to the spot straight away and Boyles stepped up hoping to put Silver Fox further ahead. Hall made up for the call however, diving the right way and parrying the ball wide with a strong save.
Opening minutes of the second half saw Silver Fox have the opening chance, when Smith’s first touch simultaneously took him round a defender and set up a volley which he fired just over.
Substitute Bryn Hughes had been adding some pace to Watton’s flank and the youngster’s corner lead to Watton strike the cross bar with a fierce shot from Maslin. End to end football returned Silver Fox countered well, using the pace of Yates again.
With the game looking destined to be decided from spot kicks, Silver Fox won a free kick in the last minute of extra time. A long ball was floated toward the area, in which Smith did very well to flick on further toward goal. Boyles read his team mates’ header and timed his run perfectly, grabbing a touch on the ball before Hall could smother. As the ball slowly rolled toward the net, a Watton defender desperately attempted to clear off the line but could only help it on its way.
Silver Fox saw out the final minute of play to put last year’s final loss behind them and win the 2019 Wensum Print Sunday Junior Cup.
Final Score (AET): Watton United 2 – 3 Silver Fox
PHOTOS - A full photo album of this fixture can be found here:
Watton United: Joshua Hall, Nathan Lawes, Ashley Davies, Andy Rae, John Maslin, Sam Fincham, Ben Lemmon ©, Josh Macann, Xavier Huckle, Daniel Reeve & Darrel Wigger.
Subs: James Brown, Bryn Hughes, Mark-Jamie Brock, Mo Bah, Joe Giddings.
Silver Fox: Matt Sayer, Ash Henderson, Adam Linkhorn, Daniel Bareham ©, Lewis Nabarro, Craig Boyles, Jack Gill, Haydn Cunningham, Luke Middleton, Bradley Yates & Sam Lincoln.
Subs: Sam Browne, Sam Woods, Alan Perry, James Smith, Brad Cannell.
Referee: Ollie Sadd
Assistants: Rob Bunting & Stuart Jessop
Fourth Official: Paul Cutter
Player of the Match sponsored by Wensum Print: Craig Boyles
Many thanks to the sponsors of the Sunday Junior Cup Final, Wensum Print, our Official Print Partners who will be printing all match programmes across the County Cup Final season. To find out more about Wensum Print please Click Here.