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Sweet cup revenge for the Shannocks

PUBLISHED: 08:54 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:50 13 July 2010

Sheringham, in red shirts, during their cup triumph at Dereham's Aldiss Park.

Sheringham, in red shirts, during their cup triumph at Dereham's Aldiss Park.

For Sheringham team boss John Kowalyk and his band of merry men it was sweet revenge at Aldiss Park on Saturday where they achieved a stupendous 4-3 victory over Norfolk Senior Cup holders Dereham Town with virtually the last kick of an entrancing semi-final.

For Sheringham team boss John Kowalyk and his band of merry men it was sweet revenge at Aldiss Park on Saturday where they achieved a stupendous 4-3 victory over Norfolk Senior Cup holders Dereham Town with virtually the last kick of an entrancing semi-final.

This magnificent result, which will remain inscribed on the Shannocks' memories until kingdom come, erased painful recollections of being bundled out of the tournament two seasons running by the Magpies, especially last season when the losers had a player sent off, writes Roy Webster.

Now the north Norfolk heroes face another thrill of meeting Wroxham in the Carrow Road final on March 25.

Kowalyk's team will be hoping to better the club's previous final appearances when they lost 5-0 to Norwich City reserves in 1935 and 2-1 to St Andrews in 1972.

With his head still in the clouds and hands trembling from an overdose of adrenaline, Kowalyk had been unable to sleep and said he was still bursting with pride, while adding: “Obviously we would have preferred to play Norwich United in the final which would have given us a slightly better chance. However, Wroxham it is and we know we shall be up against it.

“Whatever the outcome of our visit to Carrow Road our cup run has proved to be a marvellous episode for the whole of Sheringham Football Club, and we shall strive our utmost to put up a good show in return for the special privilege of playing Wroxham in this prestigious spectacle.”

He concluded: “Obviously, it would be great for us to take the trophy back home, but if we lose we can honestly say we are the first Anglian Combination team to make the final since St Andrews lost to Thetford Town in 1991.”

Last Saturday's game kicked off on a pitch that had been made playable by hard-working ground staff who cleared Aldiss Park of a layer of snow, but at that stage there was nothing to indicate that an incredible drama was about to unfold.

The Shannocks stunned their hosts with an excellent first half goal from Andy Eastoe who got on the end of a 30-yard free-kick delivered unerringly by Kristian Gleave.

Clearly the Magpies were rattled and they came out in the second half with a clear intent to validate their manager's match forecast: “I'm sure we can get the result”. Little did he know that defeat in this important semi-final would be followed in his departure from the Dereham club, although it does not appear to be the only reason for the split.

Goals from Adam Gusterson and Ollie Willis put Dereham in front, but with 15 minutes remaining Gleave again became the provider for Stuart Baker to level the scoreline.

Now there were just seven minutes remaining, and Nicky Howell restored the Magpies' advantage before Roy Beevis again put the Seasiders back in with a chance three minutes into time added on.

A considerable gathering of fans were preparing for extra time, but almost straight from the restart Sheringham regained possession and the rest is history.

Ollie King pounced on the ball played to his feet by the home keeper Marshall to joyfully fire home a goal that brought such sweet success for the Norfolk underdogs while Dereham had only tasted the beguiling flavour of unsustaining candyfloss that turned out to be no more than the coating on the bitter pill of defeat.

Back to the bread and butter of the Sterry Cup, Cromer's title ambitions received a jolt from a 1-1 (Davis) draw at home to Norwich Union and the result left Wroxham Reserves red-hot favourites to lift the championship they last won in 1994/95.

The young Yachtsmen's game against Lowestoft Reserves was a weather victim but their big challenge is to come with two games against Acle, who appear to be their main challengers but with the problem of a serious backlog of fixtures.

On Saturday, Wroxham's second string visit Halvergate, Cromer are at Mattishall while North Walsham entertain Lowestoft Reserves. Sheringham, who can see daylight in the race towards a top-two finish, visit Hempnall and a victory there could hoist them two or three places up the table.

In Division One, Holt dropped three vital points with a 3-1 defeat at Sole Bay while in Division Six, Hoveton became the first team to take points off formidable Gorleston Reserves, and they did it in style hitting a nap hand while keeping a clean sheet themselves.

That was a massive boost of confidence for the Wherrymen who on Saturday entertain Swaffham Reserves in a Norfolk Junior Cup semi-final.

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