Planters ease through in cup

Norwich United 3, Fakenham Town 0Matt Robinson's first-half strike and a second half brace from Paul Atkins saw the Planters ease past Fakenham in the Norfolk Senior Cup.

Norwich United 3, Fakenham Town 0

Matt Robinson's first-half strike and a second half brace from Paul Atkins saw the Planters ease past Fakenham in the Norfolk Senior Cup.

The Planters welcomed back Tom Jeal, Darren Coe and Jake McCabe back from injury and illness replacing the suspended Jordan Blyth, Gavin Frost dropping to the bench and Neil Bugdale.

There were also places on the bench for youth team players Sam Goff and Jordan Southgate.

The Planters were soon on the front foot and Atkins got behind the defence in the seventh minute, firing wide of the far post.

United took the lead in the 16th minute, McCabe's cross from the left was only half cleared to Robinson who stepped inside a challenge before curling a shot into the top corner from just inside the area.

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Atkins saw a shot blocked and Tom Youngs had a shot on the turn blocked by Ghosts keeper Sean Cooper, Lee Hunter, Robinson and Youngs all failed to hit the target.

Having been on the back foot and with the Planters failing to extend the lead it was the Ghosts who came close to grabbing a goal four minutes before the break, Toby Harris capitalising on a rare mistake in the home defence.

He drove toward the byline where he hit a chip shot beyond Ben Nower only to see it come back off the far post, Edward Skinner following up hit a shot on target only to see Nower scramble across to claw it away on the line.

Almost immediately it was United breaking and Atkins released Hunter down the right and the winger was denied by Cooper blocking his shot at the expense of a corner.

United finally increased their advantage three minutes after the break, Robinson was fouled just outside the box and Atkins stepped up to curl the free kick home off the inside of the near post, giving Cooper no chance.

Robinson saw his shot hit the post squarely and Hunter was denied by a defending block.

Cooper denied Youngs with two saves seconds apart, while in a rare attack for the Ghosts Mark Betts saw his shot from distance held at the second attempt by Nower.

Jeal's run down the left caused problems and substitute Kevin Whittred will have been delighted to see his clearance from Jeal's cross narrowly clear the bar.

Atkins went close ten minutes from time when he shot narrowly wide at the far post after Hunter's lovely cross from the right, but the striker made amends one minute later when Robinson picked him out with a cross from the left and he headed past Cooper. Either side of the goal manager Paul Chick introduced Andrew Claydon returning from injury and SAm Goff and Jordan Southgate making their senior debuts for the club.

Atkins went close with an overhead kick and Claydon headed over from a corner, but the Planters already had both feet in the next round.

Chick was pleased with the performance, saying: “When you see the Mattishall and Spixworth results you are just happy to be in the next round, I thought we played well and but for their keeper it would have been a lot more comfortable.”

Norwich United: Nower, Shipley, McCabe, Squires, Wilson, Coe (Goff 79, Hunter, Jeal (Southgate 83), Atkins, Youngs (Claydon 72), Robinson. Unused subs: Frost, Pauling.

Fakenham Town: Cooper, Richards, Alamanos (Whittred 59), Tagg, Felton, West, Skinner, Haynes, M Betts, Harris, Critten (J Betts 76). Unused sub: King.

Referee: L Betts. Assistants: D Myhill & T Balfour.

Attendance: 50.