Bulldogs bow out of cup
Acle Reserves 2, Bradenham Wanderers 0BRADENHAM bowed out of the Norfolk Junior Cup at the quarter-finals stage against higher-league opposition with their heads held high after a performance that deserved more.
Acle Reserves 2, Bradenham Wanderers 0
BRADENHAM bowed out of the Norfolk Junior Cup at the quarter-finals stage against higher-league opposition with their heads held high after a performance that deserved more.
The only real difference between the two sides was that Acle took advantage of the chances that came their way.
Bradenham kicked off in an unfamiliar formation of 4-5-1. The only change to the personnel from the previous game was Chris Miller slotted into left back in the place of the ineligible Matt Cross. And they soon took the game to their opponents.
However, few chances were created until the 15th minute. A linesman's flag for an Acle offside was waved play on as the visitors were deemed an advantage, but the ball was won back by the home side and from the resultant corner Acle were awarded a penalty for a foul in the box. Keeper Findlay got a hand to the ball but couldn't prevent it going in.
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This spurred the Bulldogs on and as the game opened up Gizzy King had a shot cleared from the goal-line and Ricky Forder saw an effort fall the wrong side of the upright.
Bradenham thought they should have been awarded a penalty of their own when Mark Culyer appeared to be tripped, then trampled on in the box, but the referee waved away the appeals.
Acle broke away and were unlucky not to extend their lead when, after a good move, the final shot rebounded off a post to safety.
Just before the break another Bulldogs move saw Craig Foster get in front of the last defender and he was bearing down on goal. But the home keeper was quickly of his line to block his shot with his chest.
The second half kicked off with a determined Bradenham setting about their opponents, and for the first 20 minutes it was wave after wave of attack towards the home goal, but they just couldn't find a break through.
Acle then started to get back into the game and were creating chances as the game turnedinto an end-to-end affair which was exciting for the large crowd.
A crucial moment came with 20 minutes left on the clock when Forder outmuscled a home defender and got himself a clear run on goal. But a bobble just before he shot changed his mind and the keeper made a tremendous save as he tried to go around him.
If the Bulldogs had scored then they would have surely gone on to win the game.
Both sides made changes, the home side to try and shut up shop and the visitors to exert move pressure with fresh forward players.
However with five minutes left Bradenham gave the ball away cheaply and the home side broke away and the forward made no mistake in sliding the ball past the on rushing Findlay and into the net.
There will be no time to dwell on the cup defeat as it is back to league action this week for a top-of-the-table clash with Thetford Rovers who play their home games at East Harling.
Players to meet at Dereham Fire Station at 12.15 for a 2pm kick-off.