Bulldogs on cup trail
Newton Flotman 1, Bradenham 2FOR Bradenham Wanderers it was Norfolk Junior Cup action and a trip to division four Newton Flotman. If anyone thought this fixture was just going to be a formality, they were going to be in for a big shock.
Newton Flotman 1, Bradenham 2
FOR Bradenham Wanderers it was Norfolk Junior Cup action and a trip to division four Newton Flotman. If anyone thought this fixture was just going to be a formality, they were going to be in for a big shock. The Bulldogs did not get off to the best of starts with players arriving late, which in turn interrupted the pre-match warm up. On a pitch that was in some parts under water things were not going to be easy.
The home side kicked off on a blustery, miserable day and soon set their intentions out as they got the ball out to their pacy wide men who were soon attacking down the flanks. Bradenham were finding it difficult in the conditions to play their normal passing game and had to adopt to hitting longer balls to the front two, which were either cleared by the home defence or over-hit.
Play was even, but the home side were creating the better chances, Luke Findlay in the Bulldog's goal having to pull of two tremendous saves and full back Richard Dickinson was well placed on the goal line with a clearing header from under the bar. The home side took the lead on the half hour mark from the penalty spot after a tangle involving Dickinson brought about the kick. Findlay then made another terrific save tipping over a free header from a corner. To hear the half-time whistle was a welcome relief for the visitors.
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The Bulldogs came out in a much more determined mood in the second half after a blasting during the break from manager Read. Up until the hour mark the Wanderers pushed and probed the home defence but could not find a way through.
Changes were made with fit again Marc Galer slotting into centre midfield and pushing Ricky Forder forward into his more customary striking role at the expense of the hard-working Nathen Ferguson.
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This then inserted more pace up front which in turn unsettled the Flotman back line. The equaliser came from a Thurley corner which was cleared to Dean Garrod on the edge of the box and his left foot volley blasted its way into the net.
This lifted the visitors and from a Culyer through ball Forder outpaced the last man but was harshly judged to have handled the ball before slotting past the keeper.
More and more pressure was exerted onto the Flotman defence and for the last 20 minutes there only looked to be one winner.
With 10 minutes left on the clock the ball fell to Forder in the home penalty area and his left foot shot found the bottom corner of the net, much to the relief to everyone connected to the club.
Flotman were not going to give up the game easily and tried to put pressure on the defence with high balls into the box, but these were dealt with by the superb handling from Findlay, who was without doubt the Bulldog's man of the match with the first half saves that kept his team in the cup.
The game came to a conclusion with the Bulldogs happy to be in the hat for the next round after a game that could have gone either way. Congratulations to the referee Vince Roper who had an excellent game in very difficult conditions.
This week the Bulldogs are back to league action with a trip to Thorpe Rovers (kick-off 2pm). Players to meet at the Fire Station at 12.15pm sharp.