Gorleston 3 Downham 1
Downham Town are out of the Norfolk Senior Cup after an extra-time defeat at Emerald Park, writes Ed Colman.
Despite defeat, the visitors went ahead when Matt Calvert capitalised on a poor clearance from Liam Hembling to fire Bob Warby’s side ahead against the run of play.
Underdogs Downham defended their lead well as the game went on and continued to frustrate Premier Division Gorleston, with Joe Clements producing a string of high quality saves to maintain his side’s narrow lead.
Peter Lambert and Keegan Middleton continued to threaten the Downham defence and the hosts picked up where they left off second half with a string of chances, but still with nothing to show for their hard work.
On the hour mark Gorleston were handed their equaliser. A powerful header beat Clements but was cleared off the line by the arm of Harry Porter. Despite his claims that it had hit his shoulder, the assistant referee was perfectly placed to see otherwise and the referee had no option other than to send Porter off.
Middleton stepped up to dispatch the penalty leaving the away side frustrated.
The Greens’ pace dropped after the exertions of getting back into the game and the visitors were defending well, not appearing to be suffering through their one man shortage.
A great Russell run gave Lambert a shooting opportunity but again Clements was equal to it. Hough pulled a shot wide after a good run himself, then shortly before the 90 minutes was up Middleton was also denied by the keeper.
Extra time continued in much the same way as the main 90 minutes, with Gorleston pressing Downham back and, eight minutes into the additional period, the Greens finally took the lead.
An excellent Lambert crossfield pass was taken down well by Middleton who then slid a pass between defenders for substitute Scott Woodgate to run onto and drill past the keeper into the roof of the net.
Gorleston made sure of the win with a goal midway through the second period of extra time. Russell, seemingly trapped by the corner flag, somehow escaped, dribbling close to the byline then thumping the ball into the net from a narrow angle.
Swaffham Town are also in Norfolk Senior Cup action this week. The Pedlars welcome Wroxham to Shoemakers Lane tonight, kick off 7.45pm.