Norwich United need to shake off cup disappointment to focus on Ryman North play-off push
Matthew Usher Photography
Senior Cup disappointment will need to give way to play-off determination for Norwich United today.
The Planters battled back to take King’s Lynn Town to a shootout in the county semi-final at the FDC in Norwich on Tuesday night but were beaten 5-4 on penalties to miss out on a Carrow Road final.
Now the Blofield side need to bounce back from that defeat to Ian Culverhouse’s team when they host struggling Ware, as they look to start closing the six-point gap to the Ryman League Division One North play-off places.
United boss Steve Eastaugh said of his side’s defeat to the Linnets: “Yes they’re in a higher league and they’ll go on to bigger and better things with a man of his experience behind them but for us, our season is still alive.
“We’ve got eight games now, six of them are at home and we’re in touch with the play-offs. So we’ve got everything to play for and whilst we wanted a Carrow Road appearance, it was not to be this year.”
Reaction: Cup final is just reward for King’s Lynn Town players after tough campaign – Ian Culverhouse
The Planters will be without central defender and captain Andy Eastaugh after he suffered a broken nose during Tuesday’s game but midfielder Cassimiro Datocompol returns after being cup-tied.
“I’ve got some winners in there and they’ll use that as a stepping stone,” the United boss added.
“They’ve expended a lot of energy so I might have to look at what bodies are fresh and I’ve got two or three who can come back in and give us that level of freshness but Saturday’s a big game for us because it’s the next game.
“We’re still fighting and hopefully we’ll give ourselves a real big chance.”
• If Ware were to cause an upset and win at Plantation Park then Wroxham could see their relegation sealed this weekend.
That would rely on Brentwood getting an unlikely point at high-flying Maldon & Tiptree though, with Wroxham also facing a tough away game, at third-placed Hornchurch.
With eight successive defeats, it is looking highly unlikely the Yachtsmen will be able to escape the drop which they were reprieved from last season.
Dereham are at home and face mid-table rivals Aveley as they look to climb into the top half of the table and bounce back from a disappointing 3-0 loss at Brentwood last weekend.