Greens on cup trail
Gorleston 2, Sheringham 1GORLESTON progressed to the quarter-finals of Norfolk Senior Cup, but were made to battle all the way by a spirited Anglian Combination Sheringham side, writes David Hardy.
Gorleston 2, Sheringham 1
GORLESTON progressed to the quarter-finals of Norfolk Senior Cup, but were made to battle all the way by a spirited Anglian Combination Sheringham side, writes David Hardy.
Darren Cockrill came into the back three for his long-awaited return as the Greens looked to book their place in the last eight.
Sheringham started the better. Simon Robinson had a chance in the second minute, but Elliot Pride was out quickly to save.
However, in the fifth minute a cross from the right by Tom Graver looked like being a straightforward catch for Pride at his near post but somehow he fumbled it and the ball went into the goal.
The Greens responded well, Luke Goreham, skipper for the day with Eddie Thompson missing through injury, was thwarted from close range by Sheringham keeper Andrew Jackson who then grabbed an attempted lob by Kevin Howes before denying Goreham again.
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Gorleston should have equalised after half an hour when a terrific Steve Taylor cross gave Howes a free header, but he didn't get a proper connection and it went wide.
Sheringham broke from a Greens attack and won a throw near the Gorleston box. As the ball came in, Abbs' shot rebounded off a post and Graver was first to react to tuck the ball in - but Sheringham's joy was cut short by the sight of the linesman flagging for offside.
Before half-time Forbes had a good shot straight at the keeper and then a Taylor corner was punched the wrong way by keeper Jackson, but defender Steve Jordan was on the line to clear. Howes headed over the resultant corner.
Sheringham started the second half with a great solo run from Jonathan Abbs before he was bought down. Thaine Hacon scuffed the free-kick wide.
Gorleston were back on level terms when a penalty was awarded after the ball struck defender Hooker's arm. There were no appeals, but the referee pointed to the spot and Howes stepped up to confidently convert the spot kick.
Three minutes later another Goreham corner found Richard Gillings seven yards out and he tucked the ball under the keeper into the goal to put the Greens ahead.
Taylor then beat the offside trap, but Jackson was out quickly to save at his feet.
Sheringham looked set to equalise on the hour mark when a deep cross was nodded back across the box to Robinson who was alone and close in, but a brilliant save from Pride kept the ball out.
The game was becoming stretched, but Gorleston were passing the ball well with John Bell pulling the strings in midfield.
Bell's quick free-kick gave Forbes a chance, but he shot over. Kristian Gleave then drilled a free-kick narrowly wide of the top corner of the Gorleston goal.
Both sides changed formation. The Greens switched from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2 with the introduction of Michael Tacon, but it was Pride who produced the next save, from an Abbs shot.
Sheringham bossed the closing stages, but Cockrill should have marked his return with a goal four minutes from time with a free header four yards out. But he planted the ball onto a post.
Sheringham, with a patched up side that never gave up, arguably didn't deserve to lose.
The quarter-final draw will be made tonight on Radio Norfolk at 6.30pm and the matches are scheduled for January 9.
Other sides still in this year's competiton are Spixworth Utd, who put out the holders Kings Lynn Reserves, fellow giant killers Mattishall, who knocked out Diss, Norwich Utd, Dereham Town, Cromer, Loddon and the winners of the Yarmouth/Wroxham replay next Tuesday.