Thompson and Pillar strike as Cats get the cream at Carrow Road
PUBLISHED: 16:35 17 May 2013 | UPDATED: 16:35 17 May 2013
Catfield 4 Mundford 1
Adam Thompson and Chad Pillar bagged two goals apiece as Catfield lifted the Norfolk Junior Cup for the first time at rain-lashed Carrow Road on Tuesday night.
The Yarmouth Saturday League side’s deadly duo struck to claim the trophy their long-serving manager Peter Self had described as “the Holy Grail.”
Thompson sparked a turnaround in fortunes for the Cats, who had been outplayed by the Anglian Combination Division Two runners-up, when he netted with virtually the last kick of the first half.
A low drive from Bodie Carter which rippled the side-netting in the 28th minute had been the Ormesby-based outfit’s only effort on goal until Thompson moved smoothly on to a slide-rule pass from Craig Lewis and calmly rolled the ball past keeper Joseph Clements.
The Brecklanders, appearing in their first Junior Cup final since 1958, had dominated from the outset and were good value for their 1-0 lead courtesy of a strike from their outstanding player Ben Coe.
The busy forward was at the heart of everything as Mundford piled the pressure on the Catfield defence and their keeper Jamie Guest.
Captain Richard Williams headed a Coe corner narrowly wide in the 9th minute and penalty appeals were dismissed when Karl Barnard’s robust 22nd-minute challenge on Adam Leamon was deemed to be firm but fair by referee Darin Geary.
Coe, later to be red-carded for a second yellow card for a foul in the dying seconds, netted with a low angled drive from outside the box in the 26th minute.
Shortly afterwards his raking pass freed Mason Thorogood who saw his shot smartly tipped over by Guest. With a minute of the half remaining Coe forced a brilliant point-blank save from Guest amidst penalty area panic.
Cats, unable to get the ball to their talismanic marksman Pillar, who cut a subdued and isolated figure, found themselves on level terms with a goal out of the blue in the dying seconds of a one-sided half thanks to Thompson’s ice-cool finish.
Maybe it was something in the half time tea or some Fergie-style hairdyer treatment from manager Self but the Cats were a team transformed after the break.
After a familiar 4-4-2 formation had been reverted to, the beaten 2007 finalists took the upper hand when Thompson netted his second with a brilliant instinctive volley.
A ball was floated into the box by Aaron Bowers three minutes after the restart and Thompson applied the killer touch. He missed a chance to complete a hat-trick when his diving header was saved after another ball over the top from Bowers.
Mundford were not finished as an attacking force though and a cleanly-struck 40-yard free kick from Coe had Guest scrambling to make an unorthodox save at the expense of a corner in the 57th minute.
The prolific Pillar, who had seen a header well saved after a ball in by Goodrum, finally made his mark when the ball broke kindly for him in the penalty area, dancing around the keeper to slot home in the 72nd minute.
Ten minutes later a long ball was flicked on by the head of Thompson perfectly for Pillar to find the bottom corner with a low angled drive.
Catfield: Jamie Guest, Daniel Goodrum, Scott Calver, Adam Hodds, Spencer Self (captain), Aaron Bowers (Paul Thompson 83), Chad Pillar (Ben Taveras 88) , Craig Lewis, Adam Thompson (Ross Goodwin 89), Bodie Carter, Karl Barnard.
Mundford: Joseph Clements, Jonathon Maslin (Keith Thomson 83), Richard Williams (captain), Pat Yates, Neil Suckling, Adam Leamon, Cameron McIsaac (Neil Groves 79), Roy Bland, Mason Thorogood (Fabio Almeida 54).
Booking: Williams. Red card: Coe (two yellows 90+3).
Referee: Darin Geary. Assistant referees: Colin Blyth, Steve Coleman.
Norfok FA Man of the Match: Chad Pillar.
My man of the match: Adam Thompson.