Hethersett win through to cup final
HETHERSETT ATHLETIC have reached the same cup final for the second time this season.Having played an ineligible player in their 4-0 Central and South Norfolk Pease League Cup semi-final win over Sporle, the club were ordered to replay the tie.
HETHERSETT ATHLETIC have reached the same cup final for the second time this season.
Having played an ineligible player in their 4-0 Central and South Norfolk Pease League Cup semi-final win over Sporle, the club were ordered to replay the tie.
The fates seemed to be against Hethersett as the match had to be switched from Hethersett to Sporle due to a waterlogged pitch on the Memorial Playing Field. The replayed game turned into an enthralling cup tie that swung one way and then the other as two committed teams battled it out on a boggy pitch.
Hethersett had the advantage of a huge slope in the first half and took the lead when Matt Steward rose high above the Sporle defence to head home a Danny Gray centre after just 10 minutes.
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The game then became one of incident with both teams hitting the woodwork on more than one occasion and both defences clearing shots off the line.
In the second half Hethersett found battling up the slope a difficult task as the home side got on top and it was no surprise when they equalised after 77 minutes with another headed goal. Somehow Hethersett clung on as Sporle had two efforts ruled out for offside and a foul.
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Then Hethersett had keeper Ryan O'Sullivan sent off for handling outside his area. Somehow the visitors clung on with just 10 very exhausted players and the game went to penalties which Hethersett won 4-2 thanks to successful spot kicks from Gary Davis, Paul Norman, Chris Kew and Danny Gray. Stand-in keeper Nick Shorten made a vital save to see his side through.
'It was a nerve-racking but excellent game between too highly competitive teams. After the disappointment of having to play the tie again, our players were determined to reach the final and it says much for their character that they somehow clung on despite intense pressure from a good Sporle side,' said Hethersett chairman Peter Steward.
Hethersett will play Castle Acre Swifts in the final at Dereham on March 31.