Cromer FC power into Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-finals
Cromer Town 5 Blofield Utd 1
The top two sides in the Anglian Combination faced each other at Cabbell Park for a place in the Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-finals, writes Richard Cox.
Cromer made one change to the side that had beaten Mattishall last time out with Antoni Fawkes being rewarded for his recent fine performances by replacing Simon Freemantle in the starting line-up.
On a wet Cabbell Park pitch the home side made a bright start and had an excellent chance on 15 minutes when Dale Wilton slid the ball through to Dave Matthews but he was unable to beat Blofield keeper Danny Lloyd.
Moments later the hosts did take the lead. Sam Applegate played a superb ball behind the Blofield defence that caused confusion between the defender and goalkeeper, and this allowed Fawkes to nick in and finish from close range.
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Shortly after Blofield grabbed an equaliser against the run of play. A shot by Damien Didwell from about 25 yards went straight down the middle of the goal, but Cromer keeper Andy Jackson stumbled and was unable to react quick enough to prevent the ball from crossing the line.
Despite this piece of bad luck the Crabs didn't let their heads drop and and on the half hour mark they regained the lead. After patient build-up play down the right involving Wilton and Matthew Jordan the ball went inside to Matthew Eves who side-stepped the defenders and then fired into the bottom left corner.
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The threat of the Cromer attackers was causing sloppiness in the Blofield defence. The ball was gifted to Fawkes just outside the box and he closed on goal but he fired over. Eves then ran at the back four and crossed to Fawkes whose effort was half blocked by the defender and then picked up by Lloyd.
Before the half-time whistle the Crabs got a third. Eves once again used his pace to scare the visitors and his shot went to the feet of Fawkes who finished with his left foot for his second successive brace.
In the second half the visitors never looked like getting back into the game and in the final 15 minutes Cromer grabbed two more goals to secure an emphatic victory. Eves cleared the ball and it was picked up by Wilton inside his own half. He then broke forward quickly and made it to the by line to deliver a cross that was palmed down by Lloyd and fell kindly for the incoming Matthews who finished smartly.
In the 82nd minute Matthews got his second and Cromer's fifth. Eves was again the outlet down the wing and his cross picked out Matthews who finished first time in the bottom right corner.
This capped off a fine display from the Crabs who limited the high scoring visitors to just a couple of chances while their attacking play was just too much for their opponents.
They now wait the draw for the next round on Friday evening to see who their quarter-final opponents will be.
The match was sponsored by Cromer Giftware Centre.
Cromer: Jackson, M. Jordan, Applegate, Cameron, S. Jordan, Landamore, Eves, Horton, Matthews (Davison), Fawkes, Wilton.
Mattishall 3 Sheringham 1
Sheringham's struggles near the foot of the Anglian Combination Premier Division table continued when they suffered another defeat.
Mattishall had plenty of early possession but clear-cut chances were scarce as the visitors defended stoutly. However the home side took the lead on 10 minutes when a flowing move ended with George Watts Sturrock crashing his shot into the back of the net off the post.
Mattishall continued to push forward and on 28 minutes Powley gathered the ball in his own box and swiftly threw the ball to Moran. He carried it to half way before finding Gibbons whose early flick saw Jake Anema go past the last defender before firing past Youngs to increase the hosts' lead.
The Shannocks hit back after the interval and on 65 minutes a breakaway saw Mallet turn Edwards and his cross evaded all the Mattishall defenders and fell to Jodi Norris whose shot took a slight deflection before finding the bottom corner of the net.
This sparked the hosts back into action and on 78 minutes Moran threaded the through to Anema who coolly fired home to restore the home side's two goal advantage.
The Shannocks are at Beccles on Saturday while Cromer are without a fixture.