Cromer FC do themselves proud in Senior Cup quarter-final

Diss Town 0 Cromer Town 0 (aet)

Reigning Anglian Combination Premier Division Champions Cromer Town returned to action with a trip to Diss Town from the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division in the quarter- finals of the Norfolk Senior Cup.

There was one change from the Crabs side that had drawn with Spixworth last time out with Simon Durrant making his first appearance of the season in midfield in place of Karl Horton, who was absent following the birth of his daughter.

Cromer showed no hints of any rustiness and began the game with great urgency and endeavor.

The first effort on goal went to the hosts when Mark Shadrack's driven cross picked out Ashley Skeggs who headed over. The visitors then had their first strike when Antoni Fawkes laid the ball to Dave Matthews whose first time strike was well saved by Matthew Webster.

Halfway through the half Durrant's ball into the box dropped into space six yards out but Matthews wasn't quite able to capitalise. Matthew Eves then intercepted a loose pass and broke forward before squaring it to Matthews who fired over.

Every time the home side did look to mount any kind of threat it seemed to leave them vulnerable to a counter attack and on 31 minutes Dale Wilton broke down the wing before playing the ball inside to Matthews whose shot then took a deflection and again Webster's handling was spot on.

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In the 39th minute the Crabs had Webster beaten when Harwood's delivery was met by Fawkes whose header left Webster rooted but the ball rattled back off the bar.

Cromer started the second half with the same dominance. Eves cut in from the left across the penalty area, the ball ran to Fawkes who took the ball with his left foot and forced a good diving save from Webster.

In the 57th minute Fawkes chased down the ball and showed great strength to hold off the defender, but again Webster kept the score level.

On the hour mark Diss' Dixon found himself in between two defenders but headed off target from a good position. The same player was then fouled on the edge of the box by Steve Jordan who was perhaps fortunate to avoid a second booking. The resulting set-piece was blasted over.

The lack of recent games was beginning to show for Cromer as fatigue was starting to set in and as a result the hosts were able to have more of the ball and created some good opportunities.

On 84 minutes Cromer were sloppy from their own corner and Dixon got the ball and broke forward quickly before playing it back to Bruno Taveres, but the Diss substitute put his shot wide. Armando Alves then unleashed a superb strike which Jackson could only watch go by, but for the second time in the game the crossbar was struck.

Matthews had a couple more opportunities to win it for Cromer before Andy Jackson made a fine stop to deny Tavares.

The match now went into half an hour of extra time and the break seemed to help the Crabs re-energise and Shaun Cameron fired over. In the 14th minute of extra-time Cromer finally had the better of Webster in the Diss goal when Cameron found the back of the net after Liam Davies' flick on but the goal was disallowed for correctly for offside.

Dixon then struck the crossbar for Diss before the match petered out into a draw.

This was a superb performance from all the Cromer players who were certainly deserving of taking the game to a replay and probably actually deserved to get the victory on the day. They were dominant for a majority of the game but just didn't get that little break or piece or luck in the final third.

Cromer: Jackson, Harwood, Applegate, Cameron, S. Jordan (Davies), Landamore, Wilton, Durrant (Terrington), Matthews, Fawkes, Eves (M. Jordan). Subs Not Used: Davison, Cullington.