Norman Wdrs Res 2 Winstone Rovers 2

WITHOUT doubt, Sloughbottom Park is a virtual Mecca for fans of Sunday League football.

Evening News Norwich Sunday League Division 2A:

Norman Wanderers Res 2 Winstone Rovers 2

WITHOUT doubt, Sloughbottom Park is a virtual Mecca for fans of Sunday League football.

And for the past few week, thanks to Norman Wanderers, the facilities on offer have improved considerably for those dedicated (or stupid) enough to brave the freezing temperatures to watch the beautiful game there.

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Enterprisingly, their under-14 side has set up a refreshment stall outside the pavilion to help raise funds for the club. Although I suspect it probably isn't the boys themselves who actually brew the tea and make the bacon butties…

Even though it's still only March, this was the last match of the season for Norman Wanderers Reserves, who are now in the strange position of having to watch their fate decided by the teams below them in Division 2A.

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After last weekend's results they know they can no longer take the title, but promotion is still a distinct possibility.

Laying fourth in the table, Winstone Rovers are one of the teams with a say in Wanderers' destiny.

A successful cup run means they still have six games to play, three of which are against the two other teams standing between them and the summit of Division 2A.

So the scene was set for a proverbial six-pointer, but it was Rovers who looked hungrier in the first half and they went ahead in the fourth minute. Wanderers' goalkeeper Ian Walker kept out the initial header from Lee Howard's long throw into the box, but couldn't prevent Dave Potter scoring with the follow-up.

If it hadn't been for Ben Eyre's poor finishing and Walker's heroics between the sticks, Rovers might have been three or four up by the break.

But they managed to restrict Wanderers to only one chance of note, which Lee Barnes hit wide with the outside of his boot after Lee Carter had put him through, to leave their lead intact at the end of the half.

Manager Clive Pilgrim's decision to bring on Scott Sawyer in place of Barnes for the second period revitalised Wanderers, and it was Sawyer who scored a well-taken equaliser from a ball by Matthew Pilgrim with just under half-an-hour to go.

Sawyer was also involved in Wanderers' second goal, a penalty scored by Michalis Lindridge after his team-mate had seemingly been brought down in the area.

A valuable three points weren't heading Wanderers' way, however, as referee Graham Barber took it upon himself to even things up by awarding Rovers a penalty in the dying minutes.

Ben Eyre may not have been able to contribute with a goal of his own, but it was his tumble under the challenge of a Wanderers' defender, that gave Lee Aldridge the chance to make it 2-2 from the spot.


t Norman Wand Res 2: Sawyer 64; Lindridge 74 (pen); Winstone Rovers 2: Potter 4, Aldridge 86 (pen)


Norman: 1 Ian Walker 8, 12 Craig Rudd 7, 2 Aaron Bartram 7, 9 Lee Cornfield 7 (3 Ben Abrahams 62 7), 5 Michalis Lindridge 7, 7 Charlie Bartram 8, 8 Steven Carver 7, 16 Lee Carter 8, 11 Karl Carter 7, 10 Matthew Pilgrim 8, 6 Lee Barnes 7 (14 Scott Sawyer HT 8). Sub unused (possibly because he didn't turn up until after the final whistle): 15 Rhys Turtell.

Winstone: 1 Ben Davey 8, 2 Sam Furness 8, 3 Leon Larkins 7, 4 Peter Eyre 7 (9 Matthew Hodgkinson 66 7), 5 Lee Aldridge 7, 6 Craig Roberts 7, 7 Lee Barnes 7, 8 Lee Howard 8, 10 David Potter 8, 11 Ben Eyre 7, 16 Jake Newstead 7. Sub unused: 14 Bahrum Karimi.

Shots on: Norman 3, Winstone 7

Shots off: Norman 4, Winstone 11

Corners: Norman 5, Winstone 1

Offsides: Norman 5, Winstone 2

Fouls: Norman 15, Winstone 11

Referee: Graham Barber

Attendance: 36

MoM: Scott Sawyer

Entertainment value: 4 out of 5

Weather: Bitter

Alternative MoM: Lee Barnes - for his amazing feat of being able to play for both teams.

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