Mean machine is in top gear for Norman Wanderers

John Palmer presenting a training top to captain Warren Preston. Back, left to right, Paul Freeman (

John Palmer presenting a training top to captain Warren Preston. Back, left to right, Paul Freeman (football operations adviser), Ethan Frosdick, Adam Plumstead, Dave Freeman (Joint player-manager), Rob Miller, Stuart Palmer, Callum Webb, Luke Durant (joint player-manager), Clive Pligrim (director of football). Front: Sean Wines, Daniel Wynne, Matthew Pilgram, Tom Amis, Sam Gaunlett, Rikki George, Adam Townsend. - Credit: Archant

One of the meanest defences in Sunday League football showed plenty of new year resolution as Norman Wanderers breezed into the semi-finals of the Norfolk Sunday Senior Cup.

But despite the 6-1 victory which takes the Sloughbottom Park-based outfit to within one step of a Carrow Road final for the first time in seven years, joint- manager Dave Freeman insists the league will remain the priority.

“We’re delighted to have reached the semi-final but the main aim is still to get promoted back to the Norwich Sunday League Premier Division,” insisted Freeman, who along with ex-Marlborough colleague Luke Durant took the helm this season.

All ears will be on the cup draws on Radio Norfolk on Friday evening but Freeman admits Wanderers will be the competition outsiders whoever they are paired with, as they bid to reach the final for the first time since 2006 when they lost 2-0 to Delaneys.

“We know it is going to be tough whoever we get. Everyone is saying that Windmill from Yarmouth are the team to avoid. Dog House have been there and done it while Bohemians are a little bit of an unknown quantity.”

Goals from Rikki George, Daniel Wynne (2), Adam Plumstead, Warren Preston and Matty Pilgrim secured Norman’s semi spot after a 6-1 win over Bayer.

The Bayer goal, which came from the penalty spot, was only the third one conceded by Wanderers in 16 league and cup matches this season.

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“At any level you would be pleased with that,” said Freeman. “The team has got six or seven centre halves and we have had to fill out the positions a little bit.”

The goalkeeper with the enviable record is Stu Palmer, who enjoyed success with treble-winners Marlborough last season.

“Apparently two years ago he only conceded 11 goals in all matches and his target this season is to beat that.”

Togetherness is the buzz word as the happy Wanderers fly high in Division 1a and the cup.

“We know we have got 14 players who we can rely on to turn up every week and there is a lot to be said for that,” added Freeman.