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Ten minute Town treble sinks Otters

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Attleborough Town Reserves became Norfolk Intermediate Cup Winners on Saturday night after beating Earsham Reserves 3-1.

Earsham Reserves vs Attleborough Town Reserves – The Norfolk Intermediate Cup Final                    

Harrod Sport Arena, 13.05.23, KO 7.45pm

Final Score: Earsham Reserves 1 – 3 Attleborough Town Reserves



Attleborough Town Reserves became Norfolk Intermediate Cup Winners on Saturday night after beating Earsham Reserves 3-1.

After a goalless first half, Ben Barlow rose highest five minutes into the second period to put Town in the lead. This started a flurry of goals, with Adam Croxall smashing home a second and Carl Sturman adding a third from the spot.

Alex Moralee netted a consolation for The Otters late in the game, but Town held firm to become this season’s County Cup winners.    

The opening chance of the game came to Earsham on five minutes when a mix up in communication at the back enabled forward Reece Last to latch on to a loose ball in the box and force a good save from Attleborough’s Thomas Crondon. Last came close again from the resulting corner but couldn’t get good contact as he rose for the header.

Good play from Attleborough saw James Dawes deliver a dangerous ball to Josh Dunstan who forced a corner for the away side. The ball was returned to Dunstan twice from the set piece for successive deliveries before Earsham could eventually see the ball out for a goal kick.

With the game approaching the 30-minute mark it had become a little scrappy with a yellow card having been produced for a late challenge by Earsham’s Aidan Collett. Both teams were pushing for the opener however neither could find the clear-cut chance needed to take the lead.

Town came their closest to getting the opener when Dunstan beat his player on the right and drilled a dangerous ball across the face of goal, but a full stretch Michael Smith was still inches away from making contact. Up the other end, Last and Craig Bolger were causing problems with their movement, physicality and flick-ons, but much like their opposition, couldn’t fashion a clear opportunity on goal.

Town had spot kick claims in first half stoppage time when good play from Dawes and Smith saw forward Mackenzie Enver put through on goal. As the number nine looked to shoot, pressure from an Earsham defender saw him lose balance, however Referee Tyler Clayton waved away appeals for a penalty.

Adam Croxton then went down under pressure looking to pick up the loose ball, but appeals were quashed once again and the first half ended goalless.

Half time: Earsham Reserves 0 – 0 Attleborough Town Reserves

Attleborough started on the front foot once again and forced a good save from Earsham’s Josh Goodwin-Tallents inside the opening five minutes when Dawes struck low from near to the penalty spot. Smith then had a chance from a tight angle deflected for a corner, and this is where Town would make it count.

The resulting set piece was not cleared effectively and played out wide for another delivery. This time, Town right back Ben Barlow rose highest to latch on to the cross with a looping header into the far right corner.

Earsham thought they’d created the chance to equalise five minutes later, with big claims for a handball in the box. Referee Clayton didn’t give the penalty, but proceeded to consult with his Assistant, giving an offside against the Otters as the resulting decision.

This would start an eventful few minutes as Boro went up the other end and some great play saw Dawes release Sam Condron into the box, who fired a fierce strike goalward. Goodwin-Tallents produced a fine stop and parried to his left, however much to his dismay it was Croxall who was quickest to the rebound and the number 7 smashed his strike home with aplomb.

Within two minutes Attleborough had the opportunity to put themselves in a great position for the rest of the game when after regaining possession, Captain Jack Binks was brought down in the box by Aidan Reeve. This time the Referee pointed to the spot straight away and Carl Sturman stepped up to convert, sending Goodwin-Tallents the wrong way.

With social media admins barely able to keep up as it was, Town pushed on the offensive once again, knowing another goal would put the game out of reach. This time Goodwin-Tallents executed an unbelievable double save to keep the score at 3-0, and his team just about alive after a devastating five minutes.

The game lost some of its energy as the final ten approached, but it was still Boro who looked like getting the next goal as Binks and Ben Eagleton both wasted good opportunities to extend the lead.

However, as football sometimes goes, it was the Otters who added to the goal tally on the 84th minute, against the run of play. A corner was headed out and picked up by substitute Alex Moralee, who spun his player and struck a deft shot that lobbed Thomas Condron in the Attleborough goal.

The goal rejuvenated the home side, and their energy had clearly returned as they pressed the Boro backline with purpose. As time ticked away Town looked to utilise the corners of the pitch to keep possession, however as the fourth official raised the board to signify five minutes of added time, the home side got out of their own half, pushed forward and managed to earn a corner.

The set piece was cleared by a Town head but only as far as substitute Dan Whyman who struck a dangerous long-range effort toward goal from 40 yards from just outside the centre circle. The ball moved in the air and Condron did well to fling himself back and get a hand to force the shot upwards. The stopper reacted quickly, and pounced on the ball before the Earsham forward could tap home.

Another corner was cleared and this time Boro were able to get out of their half and win a free kick on the half way line. Town continued to keep possession for the remaining seconds and see out the game to become the 22-23 Norfolk Intermediate Cup winners.

Final Score: Earsham Reserves 1 – 3 Attleborough Town Reserves


Line ups:

Earsham Reserves: Josh Goodwin-Tallents, Lewi Williams ©, Stu Campbell, Matt Goodfellow, Andy Lamoureux, Reece Last, Craig Bolger, Aidan Reeve, Aidan Collett, Ben Williamson, Brad Stark.

Subs: Brad Field, Rob Marshall, Alex Moralee, Justin Day, Dan Whyman.


Attleborough Town Reserves: Thomas Condron, Ben Barlow, Alfie Nelson, Jack Binks ©, Carl Sturman, Rob Snell, Adam Croxall, James Dawes, Mackenzie Enver, Michael Smith, Josh Dunstan.

Subs: Ben Eagleton, Sam Condron, Sam Godden, Brad Davies, Finlay Page.


Referee: Tyler Clayton        

Assistants: David Jewell & James Newman

Fourth Official: Daryl Godbold

Attendance: 202

Player of the Match: Adam Croxall

Photography: Matt Usher