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Taverners the toast of Dereham as they pick up Primary Cup hat-trick

PUBLISHED: 12:31 10 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:16 10 April 2017

Dereham Taverners celebrate after becoming the first side to win the Norfolk Primary Cup three times in a row. Picture: Oliver Harrison

Dereham Taverners celebrate after becoming the first side to win the Norfolk Primary Cup three times in a row. Picture: Oliver Harrison

© 2017 Oliver Harrison

Dereham Taverners made history when they won the Norfolk Primary Cup for the third successive year.

In front of a big crowd at Norfolk County FA’s FDC ground, Taverners beat Castle Acre Swifts 2-1.

It started well for the holders – Jamie Ryan had already struck a 30-yard free-kick wide before Taverners took an early lead when Leighton Pritchard neatly slotted home Soren Gauntlett’s ball from the right after just four minutes.

Castle Acre withstood further pressure and tested Sam Davidson for the first time in the 14th minute but the Taverners keeper saved Craig Warnes’ drive with ease.

Play flowed from end to end before the Swifts were awarded a penalty when Nathan Pearson brought down Nathan Chase with a clumsy challenge in the box. Jason White stepped up and drilled the spot kick into the top corner to level matters with 26 minutes gone.

The tempo then dropped and the rest of the half was an even affair with neither keeper troubled, until Pritchard was fouled just outside the box just before the break. However, Dean Vann’s attempted chip sailed harmlessly over Karl Gagen’s upright.

At the start of the second half Taverners’ Vann ballooned Davy Ellis’ ball over the top, but they continued to have more of the play, although sloppy passing let them down in the final third.

On the hour, defender Garry Evans headed Vann’s free-kick back across the six-yard box, but Castle Acre keeper Gagen claimed as Gauntlett threatened.

The Taverners brought on Sam Brien and he immediately drilled a 25-yard drive just off target.

Taverners sealed the win with 13 minutes remaining: Gagen made a great save to keep out Nathan Pearson’s header from Vann’s free-kick at the expense of a corner. Vann took the kick and a second Pearson close-range header found the back of the net.

Taverners: Davidson, Ellis, Miller, Pearson, Evans, Holden (Barden 45), Gauntlett, Ryan, Duff (Brien 62), Pritchard (Rae 86, Vann.

Castle Acre Swifts: Gagen, Grummett (Hooten 57), Chase, Warnes, Apolomario (Chapman 35), Pinner, Broady, Smith, White, R Harrison, K Harrison. Sub not used: Brown.

Ref: Mr T Harvey. Att: 285.

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