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Town triumph in Stuart Dracup shootout

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Wymondham Town United became 22-23 Stuart Dracup Cup winners after beating Hellesdon St Faiths in a penalty shootout at Harrod Sport Arena.

Hellesdon St Faiths vs Wymondham Town United – The Stuart Dracup Cup Final                    

Harrod Sport Arena, 23.04.23, KO 10.30am

Final Score: Hellesdon St Faiths 2 – 2 Wymondham Town United (WTUFC win 5-4 on penalties)


Wymondham Town United became Stuart Dracup Cup winners after beating Hellesdon St Faiths in a penalty shootout at Harrod Sport Arena.

With the game tied at the break, tied at full time, and tied after five penalty kicks, it took sudden death to find a winner. Goals from Harry Gedge and Lewis Hamshaw saw the fixture tied 1-1 at half time, before a strike from Jesse Bradford gave Wymondham the lead in the second half.

Jack Bennett scored in injury time to take the game to penalties, but it would be Wymondham who came out on top after their six spot kicks.

Hellesdon St Faiths started the brighter of the two teams and got a deserved lead in the 7th minute when Harry Gedge tapped home from inside the six-yard box after good work down the left from Jack Bennett. Bennett showed great skill to beat his player and delivered a perfect pass to find Gedge with keeper Euan Freeman unable to do anything to prevent the goal.

The home side almost had a second only two minutes later, with a reverse combination of Gedge going on a powerful run down the right hand side, and putting through Bennett. Good defending Wymondham captain Lucas Poll stopped the attack which would prove to be a crucial moment in the momentum of the game.

United started to create some chances of their own with Will Long picking up a loose ball in the middle of the park and firing a long range effort that tested Monty Weston in the Hellesdon goal. A big dive to the right ensured he was able to put it out for a corner kick which was then cleared at the front post.

The battle between Gedge and Poll continued, with the latter edging the contest. Wymondham began to grow into the game with the introduction of Devine Musasa in the centre of midfield, and some good forward play from Long and Lewis Hamshaw

Hamshaw almost had the game square midway through the first half with a driven strike from outside the area, which was tipped round the post by Weston diving low to his left. Poll rose highest from the corner and headed centrally but Weston was again equal to the challenge.

With ten to go the Referee awarded a free kick to Hellesdon, with Bennett standing over it and his strike taking a deflection out for a corner.The set piece caused a scramble in the box with multiple shots blocked before the ball was eventually hacked away.

As half time approached St Faiths were trying to get to the break with their lead intact, but a moment of magic from Hamshaw tied up the game up in spectacular fashion when he rifled a brilliant volley into the top left corner.

Half time – Hellesdon St Faiths 1 – 1 Wymondham Town United

Wymondham started strong in the second half with early pressure forcing a free kick which Poll fired low and hard and a deflection giving the away side a corner.

Successive set pieces kept the ball in Hellesdon’s area, with Jack Moir having a fierce shot parried by Weston and hacked away for 3rd corner. Jesse Bradford then thought he’d taken the lead for his team, latching onto a looping ball with a first-time flick that flew just wide of the goal.

In a Hellesdon counterattack, Bennett surged forward and wriggled his way into the box, beating two defenders in the process. The dynamic forward squared it across to the waiting Gedge but Poll was on hand to deflect it over the bar.

Within the same minute, Wymondham and Bradford got the goal they’d been searching for on the counterattack themselves.

Hamshaw turned provider, picking the ball up in his own half on the right side and spotting a high Hellesdon line with Bradford making the run off the blind side of an isolated defender. The through ball was perfect and Bradford had only the keeper to beat, sliding the ball past Weston with composure to give United the lead.

Wymondham were pressing, looking for a third goal to take the game away from Hellesdon and nearly found it with fifteen minutes to go. Sam Davies threaded through Charlie Barr with a perfectly weighted pass, but the number 7 sliced his shot wide of the top right corner.

The excellent Poll then struck a wicked long range free kick that moved in the air and Monty Weston had to use his feet to clear. Two shots were then blocked by the Hellesdon defence inside the box from the resulting corner as they worked hard to hang on and keep within a goal of their opposition.

As the game approached the final stages it looked as though Wymondham would either hold on for the win or extend their lead, with Hellesdon reduced to long balls and counter attacks. As the Referee raised the board for three minutes of stoppage time however, Hellesdon pushed forward with a now or never attitude.

It seemed it would take a moment of brilliance for the home side to get back into the game, and brilliance it was from Bennett once again.

The skilful attacker drove down the left side and weaved past defenders into the Wymondham box, touching across the area from 10 yards preparing to strike. Freeman made an excellent reflex save from the initial shot; however the ball fell back to Bennett who took advantage of having a second go. He scuffed his strke to the left of the keeper and despite not making great contact it spun slowly over the line, with a valiant attempt at a goal line clearance from a Wymondham defender deemed too late by the Assistant Referee.

Both sides tried to find a last minute winner but it would be penalties to decide the 22-23 Stuart Dracup Cup winners. With five spot kicks taken it was four a piece and sudden death began. Hellesdon’s Ben Turner crashed his strike against the bar, putting Wymondham in pole position to win the game.

Ben Rollinson then stepped up and found the bottom left corner to make Wymondham Town United the 22-23 Stuart Dracup Cup Winners.

Final Score: Hellesdon St Faiths 2 – 2 Wymondham Town United (WTUFC win 5-4 on penalties)



Line ups:

Hellesdon St Faiths: Monty Weston, Reggie Gerard, Marcus Wood, Mason Fowler, Isaac Reeve, Sam Gurney, Brodie Searle, Jack Bennett, Ben Turner, William Berrisford ©, Harry Gedge.

Subs: William Morgan, Oliver Ward, Charlie Hutchinson, Mikey Bush, Liam Egmore.


Wymondham Town United: Euan Freeman, Charlie Walker, Jake Moir, Charlie Barr, Rijkard Correira, Cayden Donald, Lewis Hamshaw, Stan Davies, Lucas Poll ©, Will Long, Jesse Bradford.

Subs: Ben Rollinson, Jude Wheeler, Willem Frosdick-Mlles, Devine Musasa.


Referee: Tom Miles

Assistants: Anoushka Williamson & Andy Lucraft-Townley

Fourth Official: Tom Armes

Attendance: 148

Player of the Match: Jack Bennett

Photography: Cyan Fullbrook