Planters bounce back from cup disappointment
Norwich United 1, Hadleigh United 0Report by Norman Bygrave Planters' manager Paul Chick asked for a response after Monday night's Senior Cup final disappointment and he got it with Ricci Butler's goal enough to secure victory over Hadleigh United.
Norwich United 1, Hadleigh United 0
Report by Norman Bygrave
Planters' manager Paul Chick asked for a response after Monday night's Senior Cup final disappointment and he got it with Ricci Butler's goal enough to secure victory over Hadleigh United.
“That was as one sided a 1-0 scoreline as I have seen all season, but for poor finishing it would have been much more comprehensive” said Chick after his team's victory had elevated the Planters up to 13th, their highest position since September.
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With Ben Furlong and Paul Atkins unavailable through injury and illness respectively and Jake McCabe dropping to the bench there were recalls for Justin Fox, Ricci Butler and Neil Bugdale.
The visitors were first to show, however, with Matthew Chenery heading wide from Ben Garnham's second minute cross, but it wasn't long before Fox had an impact. He released Lee Hunter down the right but the striker was denied by Hadleigh keeper Aaron Benstead. Hunter went close again within a minute heading wide from Butler's cross after good work down the left by Andrew Claydon and Jordan Blyth.
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The Planters were gaining the ascendancy and Fox and Claydon both went close to breaking the deadlock. The failure to take chances was almost punished when Liam Jennings curled a free kick-over from 20 yards and three minutes later when Ronaldo Wright jinked into the area but shot wide.
It was the Planters who finished the half strongly though, Hunter headed wide, Blyth saw his shot from outside the area saved by Benstead, Darren Coe headed wide from Fox's free-kick and Claydon pulled his shot wide after more good work by Fox.
Within 30 seconds of the restart the Planters went close to opening the scoring when Hunter's cross was well cleared by Kris Rose with Blyth poised to head home, and from the corner Fox saw his shot blocked and then headed wide with an instinct header as the ball came back to him.
Hunter's cross was hit over by Butler with a shot on the turn at the near post. A rare Hadleigh attack saw Chenery head over from a Michael Fitzgibbon flag-kick.
Fox was opening up the Hadleigh defence at will and twice he released Hunter down the right with no joy, but it was third time lucky for the midfielder as he put Butler in down the left and as his shot was blocked he made no mistake with the rebound to finally break the deadlock in the 63rd minute.
Fox himself went close when he spotted Benstead off the line but his floated chip just sailed over the bar. Hunter forced another save from Benstead and Claydon on the stretch saw his shot go over the bar. Claydon then curled a shot wide of the far post. Fox gained possession in midfield and once more released Hunter who with Fox alongside him chose to shoot and was denied by Benstead.
Norwich United: Nower, Squires, Bugdale, Coe, Wilson, Shipley, Hunter, Fox, Claydon, Blyth (M Tacon 80), Butler. Unused Subs: McCabe, T Jeal, D Tacon.
Hadleigh United: Benstead, Roper, Woods, Jennings, Leys, Rose, Fitzgibbon (Harewood 80), Garnham, Wright, Chenery (Cowan 60), Laws. Unused sub: Bethell.
Referee: N Smith. Assistants: P Goodacre & S Gray.