Dog House storm into semi-finals after fightback
Thankfully, after a two week lay off, football was back on the Sunday morning agenda. This first week of the New Year saw the quarter-finals of the County Cups taking place, with the league having an interest in all three competitions.
Dog House entertained a very good El Sol side and, after an even first 20 minutes, the visitors took the lead courtesy of a defensive blunder, and shortly after scored again. Dog House had to replace their goalkeeper through injury, and were soon a further goal behind. After the break El Sol increased their lead and the tie looked to be all over, but then it all changed. Goals by Paul Timms (2), Craig Terrington and John Curtis in a dramatic final half an hour took the game into extra time, and with the home side now in the ascendancy, John Curtis sent the home crowd wild as he produced a quality finish that proved to be the winner.
Norman Wanderers will be the league’s other representatives in the semi-finals as they produced a powerful performance to beat Bayer FC 6-1, but sadly Earlham United who lost 4-1 at home to Bohemians and North Walsham, who were beaten 3-0 at Windmill, went out of the competition.
In the Intermediate Cup, Riverside Rovers and Bell Inn recorded good wins to reach the semis, but The Cottage were beaten by Lynn side Chilvers and in the Junior Cup, Freemasons progressed at the expense of Sporting Longdale Reserves.
In league matters, Marlborough closed the gap at the top of the table as they ran out 3-1 (Ben Whelham 2, Jason Armes) winners at Sprowston Rovers, whilst Aylsham Sunday had a 6-2 home win over Hellesdon Athletic. A single Andy Hanby goal was enough for Norwich Busmen to take all three points at Fiveways.
In 1A, Sprowston Sunday stay top after a 4-2 win at Horsford Sunday and are three points clear of Windmill Wanderers who were 3-2 (Gary Walsh 2, Gary Bland) winners over Dussindale Rovers. Vale Longo are fourth after a 5-1 win at home to Hockering and DCS Rapid scored four without reply at home to Eaton FC.
In 1B, PL Rangers started the New Year in the same form that they finished the old one as the recorded a 6-1 victory at Heartsease FC. Connor Simpson (2), Matt Plumstead (2), Robbie Rout and Chris Leveridge scored for Rangers, who after an indifferent start to the season, have now grabbed five straight league wins. St Faiths missed the chance to return to the top of the table as they lost by the odd goal in seven at Spixworth Sunday, Ryan McFadden Jody Peacher and an OG the St Faiths scorers, whilst Prince of Denmark continued their recent good run with a 3-1 (Sonny Atherton 2, Ben Lewis) home win over Rose Tavern.
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With Riverside Rovers in cup action, Norman Wanderers Reserves took the opportunity to close the gap at the top of 2A to two points as they beat Acle Wanderers 4-0. Mad Moose remain third after a 5-0 (Chris Goodwin, Tom Swabey, Ryan Newell, and Darren Hills 2) win over Constable Crusaders and New Buckenham scored 13 times as they won at ten man Green Man. Nick Aston scored five times for Dancing Farmers as they won 8-3 at Stoke FC, further goals came from Dan King (2) and Ross Brookes.
In 2B, second placed Briston Wanderers scored seven without reply at Hillside OB and stay a point ahead of Poringland Wanderers who were 9-0 (Chris Reynolds 3, Jonny Causton 3, Ryan Cook, Elliot Udell and Lee Edwards) victors over Sloughbottom Revolution and have played one game less. Salhouse Rovers came from behind to score a last minute winner at DEF FC. Ben Potts and Phil Fordham scored for Salhouse before debate raged as to who scored the winner. As Neil Woolner sent in the reports, he’s claiming it!! One Love United started the year with a 4-1 win at SDC United.
After losing their last game of 2012 in 3A, Bungay Town made sure 2013 produced a winning start as they scored ten times at Phoenix Felthorpe. That result enabled them to return to the top of the table on goal difference despite Brooke’s 5-0 win at Norman Wanderers A. Temple Bar came from two down to level against Sporting Longdale but the visitors eventually proved too strong, running out 7-2 winners, and despite a first goal of the season from club treasurer Mark Wilcox, Eaton Young Boys lost 2-1 at home to Temples Property.
There were goals galore in 3B. William Wanderers scored five with Jason Kemp, Daniel Childerhouse, Olly Johnson and Matthew Nixon amongst the scorers as they won at Windmill Elite. Jordan Rocastle scored eight and Ben Furlong four, as Angel Gardens hammered Chapelfield Rovers 13-0, and Schoolhouse scored a dozen as they won at Earlham Colney. Hainford Howitzers won 5-1 (Dom Miller, Brad Waterman, Peter Taylor 2, OG) at Salhouse Rovers Reserves, whilst James Wheeler, Ross Potter, Dominic Doggett and Will Cook all scored as Hethersett Athletic beat Taverham United 4-2.
Costessey West End extended their lead at the top of 4A with a 3-1 victory at Brooke Reserves. Horsford Youth missed the chance to go second as they went down 3-1 at CNSOBU Sunday and Micawbers were 3-0 winners at The Stores Reserves. Bungay Reserves were the highest scorers in the division scoring seven times as they beat Hockering Reserves.
In 4B Hethersett Reserves made it a good day for the club as they leapfrogged Shipdham Rangers into second spot after beating them 5-1, whilst there was a 5-2 win for Locksley Athletic over Bunwell Sunday.
In the League Cup, Luke Tuttle and Aaron Kay both grabbed a brace and further goals came from Ben Abrahams and Lloyd Greening as Premier Division leaders AFC Wanderers won 6-3 at Aslacton, whose goals came from Shaun Moss (2) and Edward Lake, and Sprowston Wanderers progressed to the next round after beating Castlegate 2-0.