Bloaters win penalty thriller to keep cup run going

Jamie Smith on the attack

Hat-trick magician, Jamie Smith. - Credit: Woods Photography

Great Yarmouth Town continue their winning streak with another penalty win in the Norfolk Senior Cup. 

The Bloaters faced Mundford FC on Saturday with young goalkeeper Fenn Nicholls retaining his place after his heroics of the last round against Sheringham

The visitors got off to a dream start when a corner was converted by an unchallenged header from close range in the third minute.  

The lead was doubled after fifteen minutes as a cross from the left was not cleared properly and the Stags’ lively centre forward reacted quickest to fire home from close range. 

Attackers Kyle Baker and Jamie Smith were a handful for the Stags, but the visitors remained defiant with the experienced Will Viner in goal.  

The Stags' number nine got between defenders Forbes and Urry before putting the ball past Nicholls to give Mundford a three-goal lead in under thirty minutes. 

Minutes later, the Bloaters fought back as Smith capitalised on some hesitant defending to pull back a goal for the home side. 

Great Yarmouth Town FC celebrating on the pitch

The Bloaters fought back after trailing 3-0. - Credit: Woods Photography

The turning point in the match came as Stags’ goalie Viner hauled Smith over when through on goal.

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Referee Ben Green had no option but to send off the visitors’ keeper, reducing Mundford to ten men. 

Minutes later, Smith drilled in a powerful low shot that found the net to make it 2-3 just before half time.  

Seventeen minutes into the second half, Smith completed his hat-trick when he latched onto Barnes’ header and fired home to make the scores level. 

Youth players Tyler Halliday and Alex Dalton were introduced for their first team debuts and both youngsters acquitted themselves very well in a tough game.  

Both sides had chances in the dying minutes, but the scores remained level as the penalty shoot-out loomed. 

The home side struck five perfect penalties and young keeper Nicholls repeated his heroics of the previous week to see the Bloaters through.

Full-time: Bloaters 3 Mundford 3 (Town win on penalties 5-4)

Fenn Nichols saves a penalty

Fenn Nichols continues his 'heroic' performances with Great Yarmouth Town FC. - Credit: Woods Photography

Of the win, Bloaters’ manager Rob McCombe concluded: “It was a terrific response from the boys.

“The injuries and missing players is taking its toll but I am delighted by two good debuts for Halliday and Dalton to top off the win.”

Bloaters: Nicholls, Atkins, McAvoy, Forbes, Urry, Barnes, Delaney, McCombe, Baker Philpott, Smith Subs : McAra, Pinheiro , Skoyles, Halliday and Dalton.

The Bloaters played in the quarter finals of the Senior Cup against Wroxham (a) on Wednesday, April 28 behind closed doors. Match report to follow.