Norfolk Senior Cup semi-final: Gorleston 2, Norwich City XI 1 (after extra-time)
16:10 19 February 2012
Archant © 2012
Gorleston joint manager Richard Daniels dedicated his side’s semi-final triumph over a Norwich City XI to Jimmy Jones.
The stricken club president was unable to attend the game after suffering a recent fall, and had to spend a week in hospital.
Jones would have been boosted, no doubt, seeing Chris Sandford’s extra-time winner knock the young Canaries out to seal the Greens’ place in the Norfolk Senior Cup final at Carrow Road in May.
“Jimmy (Jones) is very unwell at the moment and this win is for him,” said an emotional Daniels. “We have a fantastic committee at this football club who all work very hard, but Gorleston Football Club is Jimmy Jones - cut him in half and he’ll be green inside. And the good thing was I had 14 players fully committed to the cause, they put their bodies on the line and we got the result we deserved.”
Norwich’s youngsters, captained by first year pro Matt Ball, gave a good account of themselves on a heavy pitch keeping good possession with short measured passing. Central midfielder Ball and centre-half Taylor McKenzie both went close from successive corners, as Norwich forced the early pressure. A rasping 25-yard drive from Josh Dawkin then brought the very best out of Greens’ goalkeeper Elliot Pride.
But it was Gorleston that took the lead in the 34th minute after a costly slip from Canaries’ defender Harry Barker allowed Christy Finch one-on-one with goalkeeper Andrew Wilton.
City hit back in the second half with a superb move to level the scores. Richard Brindley threaded a fine ball to substitute Josh Murphy down the right flank and the striker cut inside his marker to rifle home a blistering shot into the top corner.
In extra-time a defensive error by McKenzie was punished by Sandford to send the Green Army into raptures.
Despite the defeat boss Ricky Martin says he’ll take the positives from the game: “We’ve gone out of the cup trying to play the right way, and I can’t fault the lads for that. We stuck to our passing principles by trying to play through the team, out through the back and from goal kicks. The lads are going to make mistakes and unfortunately it was a mistake that cost us a place in the final. It’s a disappointing result, but we’ll learn from this experience.”
• Gorleston: Pride, Daniels (Kyle Howell, 79), Hunn, Andy Howell, Thurtle, Thompson, Sandford, Williams (Harvey-Cooper, 79), McKenna, Taylor, Finch (Hough, 106).
Bookings: Daniels, McKenna. Goals: Finch (34), Sandford (105).
• Norwich: Wilton, Norman, Toffolo, Ball, Barker, McKenzie, Brindley, Florence (McGeehan, 60), Loza, Dawkin, Hall-Johnson (Murphy, 68). Bookings: Florence, Toffolo. Goal: Murphy (73).
• Referee: Paul Burnham
• Attendance: 143