Linnets lift Senior Cup
Norfolk Senior Cup final: King's Lynn Reserves 3, Wroxham 1: Two late moments of quality secured 10-man King's Lynn Reserves the Norfolk Senior Cup at Carrow Road last night, toppling the holders in the process.
Norfolk Senior Cup final, Carrow Road
King's Lynn Reserves 3, Wroxham 1
Two late moments of quality secured 10-man King's Lynn Reserves the Norfolk Senior Cup at Carrow Road last night, toppling the holders in the process.
Classy late goals from Andrew Fisk and man of the match Rory Harper earned Lynn the win, despite Lee Hyde's sending off with more than 20 minutes remaining.
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And Lynn Reserves boss Steve Lilley hopes the Reserves' Senior Cup win will give a bit of light relief to what has been a troubled season for the Linnets, considering its financial difficulties and the A team's Junior Cup defeat last month.
“The club itself needed a bit of a boost,” said Lilley of his Ridgeons League Premier Division strugglers. “We're in the headlines for the wrong reasons at the moment, aren't we, and I think everybody connected with the football club needed tonight.
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“I'm proud as punch. It's a young side, just so much enthusiasm and even when you go down to 10, you can see they'll run all day for you.
“We've had a hard season and we're still in the hard. Tomorrow morning I'll wake up and we've got a relegation fight on our hands, but this doesn't do us any harm. It's a good way to forget about our troubles and enjoy our evening, so it's been great.
“We do end games really well and I've always said to the boys if we're in the game with 20 minutes to go, we've got a chance because they're so fit. The boys love training.
“We very often end the stronger side so even with 10, I just felt we had a good chance and obviously they felt with the extra man that they could push on a bit more, and we've got players with pace and were able to hit them on the break a little bit.”
The Carrow Road final, played in front of 823 partisan fans saw brothers Ally and Duncan McAnally starting in goal for Lynn and Wroxham respectively, but that was as far as the family feel stretched in a game with plenty of fight but little quality until the final quarter.
A turgid 70 minutes - with little to note except four bookings - was finally ruffled by Hyde's second yellow, handed out by referee Stephen Artis following an innocuous-looking coming together with Danny Self.
Going down to 10 men stirred Lynn into life and they took a lead their improved play deserved on 72 minutes, Ross Kelly breaking from a surprisingly open midfield and as the ball arrived at the feet of promising youngster Dominic Dwyer, he composed himself before working the ball on to his left foot a driving home with the aid of a slight deflection.
Wroxham were soon back on terms. Older brother Ally McAnally, playing against his old club, punched Shaun Howes free-kick out for a corner when it looked easier to catch, and the Yachtsmen made him pay for the error as Danny White's flag kick from the left was flicked in off the far post by Andy Key on 80 minutes.
But that merely spurred Lynn on and as gaps began to open in the Wroxham defence, Lynn took full advantage.
With just two minutes remaining, a quality counter that belied the rest of the game saw Dwyer set Harper free down the left and as he won his 50-50 with defender Matt Halliday, the striker's vision picked out Fisk on his own with just the keeper to beat - which he did with aplomb from 20 yards.
Some late Wroxham huffing a puffing kept Lynn on their toes, but Harper sealed matters with a turn befitting Johann Cruyff, as he took two Wroxham centre-backs out of the game before running through to coolly side-footi past McAnally and send the Lynn fans into rapture.
t King's Lynn Reserves: A McAnally, Harvey, Bush, Setchell, Defty, Hyde, Kelly, Fisk, Dyer, Harper, Nicholls. Unused: Fell, Gilchrist, Rudd, Fiddy, Rix. Booked: Harvey (35), Hyde (45), Bush (52); Sent off: Hyde (67); Goals: Dwyer (72), Fisk (88), Harper (90).
t Wroxham: D McAnally, Halliday, Howes, Challen, Carus, Key, White, Lemmon, P Cook, Self, Gilmore. Unused: Wines, Bensley, Baker, D Cook, McCabe. Booked: Halliday (37), Howes (77), P Cook (84); Goal: Key (80).
t Referee: Stephen Artis (Norwich)
t Attendance: 823