AC Mill Lane overcame Horsford at TheFDC Thursday evening, in the Stuart Dracup Cup Final in association with Wensum Print.
Goals from Callum Lockwood and Tyler Miller each side of the break saw the Great Yarmouth based team victorious in the U14 Norfolk County Cup Competition.
Horsford thought they had taken the lead on the 8th minute when Benji Blyth met a corner with a great header at the back post, however the Referee adjudged there to be a foul on the goalkeeper and a free kick was given to AC Mill Lane.
Joel Field went close for the greens only moments later when an under hit back pass saw him through on goal, however he could only scuff his first time shot wide, and despite Harvey Manning getting to the wayward shot, he blazed his over.
The lively Jaylen Coe then had a good chance from distance for Mill Lane, however the forward looking to lob the keeper, put his shot wide of the post.
Coe looked increasingly dangerous as the half wore on and won his side a free kick just inside the opposition’s half. Ashton Boast lofted a deep ball into the Horsford area however Marcus Mehew in between the sticks was able to gather calmly.
In a spell of Horsford pressure, Charlie Abbs delivered a deep free kick into the Mill Lane box from the half-way line, but with only a touch needed, his centre back partner Arthur Watson couldn’t get on the end of it. In the next minute, Ashton McKinney’s lob shot from the edge of the area went only just wide.
Risby was enjoying possession in the middle of the park and was frustrating his Horsford counterparts who could only foul him. Despite the number 10’s good work, he fired his free kick far over the bar.
With the Mill Lane back line having held firm, the east coast outfit began to exert pressure of their own in the final five minutes of the half, with a brilliant cross field ball from Risby met by Sam Howell. Mehew was fast out to meet the ball however and managed to smother the ball in the area.
Taylor Pollard then did well to win a free kick on the right-hand side of the box in the last minute of normal time. Howell stepped up to take the kick and Callum Lockwood hit a first-time flick which was well cleared for a corner.
In the one minute added, the corner was delivered, and Lockwood stepped up again to execute a similar finish, and this time caught the ball sweeter on the volley. His deft flick lifted over Mehew and into the back of the net to give AC Mill Lane a slender lead at the break.
Half time – Horsford 0 – 1 AC Mill Lane
Horsford had the first chance of the restart when Mill Lane keeper Raidon Calubaquib cleared straight to Josh White, however the Horsford man couldn’t hit his first time shot over the scrambling GK who did well to reposition and was able to gather.
Good work from Bradley Garkaviy-Easton after a long clearance from Mehew, saw the substitute take on three players with a mazey run to win a throw in the final 3rd, however it only led to a speculative long-range effort by Watson which flew high and wide.
Horsford having more of the possession since the restart were searching for an equaliser, and nearly had it when Alfie Bell fed White on the right hand side The latter took a strong drilled shot that looked to be heading toward the bottom left corner, however fizzed past the wrong side of the post.
AC’s first real chance of the half saw Ollie Downes set by Joe Easemen however the number 9’s first time shot proved to be a comfortable catch for the Mehew.
The reintroduction of Coe from the bench proved decisive for Mill Lane, and good work from the forward saw them double their advantage 19 minutes into the second half.
Opening out in the centre circle, Coe was able to play a perfectly weighted through ball to Tyler Miller who was racing through on the counter. Miller struck the ball well over the keeper and hit the back of the net with a delightful lob.
Horsford came back with a big response and almost pulled a goal back when Blyth struck a fantastic free kick from 30 yards out. Calubaquib was equal to the strike however and pulled off a magnificent save to palm it over the bar.
As the game entered the final stages Horsford had to commit more players forward and AC Mill Lane were happy to break when given the opportunity. Long balls through to Easemen were proving effective with the nippy front man exhibiting great pace and skill.
Easeman nearly got on the scoresheet with five minutes to go, when Leighton Kerr played him through one on one with the keeper, however Mehew produced a fine stop to keep his side in the game.
AC Mill Lane took no chances in the final minutes, opting to keep the ball in the corners of the pitch, and despite a couple of threats from the Horsford attack, they professionally saw out the game to become the 2021 winners of the Stuart Dracup Cup in association with Wensum Print.
Final Score: Horsford 0 – 2 AC Mill Lane
Horsford: Marcus Mehew, Lewis Brown, Charlie Abbs, Harvey Manning, Arthur Watson ©, Benji Blyth, Josh White, Isaac Gwillian, Ashton McKinney, Joel Field, Alfie Bell.
Subs: Harley Hardin, Bradley Garkivay-Easton, Liam Ireland, Connor Gaskin, George Chaplin.
AC Mill Lane: Raidon Calubaquib, Ashton Boast, Callum Lockwood, Ashton Ribbons ©, Dylan Wilson, Samuel Howell, Jaylen Coe, Levi Risby, Oscar Lerpiniere, Daniel McNab, Taylor Pollard.
Subs: Ollie Downes, Joe Easeman, Tyler Miller, Leighton Kerr, Ben Atkinson.
Referee: Nick Hunt
Assistants: Morgan Rusted and Alex Vesey
Fourth Official: Luke Fisher
Player of the Match: Callum Lockwood
Photography: Dave Richardson