Norfolk Senior Cup
Yarmouth Town 2
Downham Town 3
Paul Neary toasted his Downham Town heroes after they dumped Yarmouth Town out of this season’s Norfolk Senior Cup at the Wellesley.
The Thurlow Nunn Division One outfit were good value for their 3-2 victory over their higher-level Premier Division hosts and booked their place the hard way after being reduced to ten men when Matthew Calvert was sent-off in the second half.
Even Calvert’s sending-off could not detract from Neary’s jubilation at the final whistle.
Neary said:“It’s been a great day for us as a club.
“When you take on opposition from the league above and put in a shift like we did, you can’t overstate how big a performance that was.
“We played so well, we never stopped working and great credit to them for that.
“The players can enjoy this one and so they should.
“The last couple of games have not been great for us, but that was the perfect response and our lads deserve a lot of credit.
“Our lads work so hard, and this is a deserved reward for what they have put in since I have been in charge.”
Downham could have easily been intimidated by the Bloaters, but started well – displaying great confidence – and were ahead after 25 minutes, when Matt Bussens curled a free kick into the back of Connor Milligan’s net from just outside the penalty area.
Yarmouth responded well and were level six minutes later, Arron Sanders getting on the end of Mitch Forbes’ cross at the far post, to level the scores.
Neary’s side regained the lead shortly afterwards when the home defence failed to clear a loose ball, allowing Luke Cross to capitalise to restore Downham’s advantage.
Alex Oughton made it 3-1 just past the hour mark, after a well-timed ball across the face from Bussens, before Calvert was sent for an early bath when he picked up a second caution.
Sanders’ second of the afternoon, five minutes from time, gave the hosts hope of a late equaliser to force extra-time.
But Downham held on to book their place in the semi-finals of the competition.
Anglian Combination Division One leaders Wymondham Town have also booked a place in the last four of the competition alongside Downham. Wymondham overcame Thurlow Nunn Premier Division outfit Thetford 2-1 after extra-time.
Tonight sees King’s Lynn Town Reserves travel to Norwich United in the last eight of the competition.