Necton 1-2 East Harling
The first team travelled to Division 5 North strugglers Necton at the weekend and were given a far sterner test than most would have predicted.
Played on a small and boggy pitch, the visitors desire to win the game would be tested to the full in a very scrappy and physical battle which made for a horrible spectacle.
The away side were forced into making more changes following the away win at Wells Town The previous week. Croome was forced into taking a place on the bench through injury whilst the impressive Tarft missed the encounter through holiday.
Burgess also missed the game through holiday whilst Durrant and Holt were serving the final game of their suspension. Jordan Scent remains on the long term injury list whilst brother Jake Scent was a debutant in the squad as defensive cover.
In a boring and scrappy stalemate of a first half the best chances falling to Verrell from 16 yards after receiving a good Senior cut back and a raking ball from Hutt finding the returning Williams but the wide man couldn’t adjust his feet quick enough as the ball bobbled out of play.
The home sides number 9 caused the visitors plenty of problems with his direct play but Woodcock was barely threatened in the Harling goal.
The second half saw a slight improvement from the away side as they went more direct to avoid playing football on the small pitch.
Rose was the first to benefit as he latched onto a through ball but couldn’t find the net when one on one with the keeper.
Senior then opened his stride and burst past several defenders but when the keeper stopped him, no striker was on hand to tuck the ball away.
A change then saw Johnson replace Barnett as the visitors went more attacking to find the win.
They were rewarded soon after when a Conroy corner found the head of stand in skipper Bareham to notch his second goal of the season since his arrival in the summer.
Then came a spate of several penalty appeals as the away side had 3 turned away and the home side thought they should have had one as the number 9 theatrically went tumbling.
Against the run of play the hosts were level. A long ball found the big number 9 who beat Sivier on the edge of the box before firing home from 18 yards.
Back game the visitors and they were soon ahead again. Conroy out jumping his maker to power home his header.
The home sides number 9 was at it again and nearly drew his side level when he broke clear of a terrible defensive line and rounded Woodcock however was denied by a great last ditch tackle by Sivier.
Further chances came from a Rose, Johnson and a Sivier overhead kick but to no avail.
Conroy also had the ball in the net but was ruled out for offside somehow with video evidence proving it was definitely a perfectly good goal.
The whistle was blown and credit to Necton who worked so hard throughout.
The first team now move into the last 16 of the competition with the draw live on Radio Norfolk next Friday.
Necton 1-2 East Harling