Cup exit for Watton

Horsford 5, Watton 3WATTON United endured their third straight defeat away at Division One side Horsford on Saturday in the quarter-final of the Mummery Cup.

Horsford 5, Watton 3

WATTON United endured their third straight defeat away at Division One side Horsford on Saturday in the quarter-final of the Mummery Cup.

After the previous week's 8-1 rout away at Blofield, managers Harwood and Hunt urged Watton to show some resilience in their defensive attitude.

However, the team obviously did not take these instruction onto the pitch and, as with the previous week, found themselves once again facing an uphill task after another opening half hour going 3-0 to their lower division opponents.

Watton did, however, salvage some hope of progressing to the semi-finals, when, just before half-time Mark Allibone turned in a Walker free-kick, and Rudling headed Watton back into a 3-2 scoreline from a Mark Woods corner.

Another roasting from the management, which has been a factor in the half-time team talks over the past few weeks, showed some glimmer of the desired effect - with Watton levelling the scores with a further goal from Rudling after the break.

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With the returning Astbury and Rudling to the midfield, their play with showed the skill and assurance on the ball that had been missing over the last few weeks, and for 20 minutes from half-time it looked like only one winner in this cup tie, with Watton pressing for the lead in the home side's half at every opportunity.

On 70 minutes Watton possession and territorial advantage finally paid dividends when Allibone was felled for a spot-kick.

After his 50 per cent success rate in the two penalties received at Blofield, Bloomfield again stepped up with a chance to put Watton 4-3 up, instead of allowing Rudling to claim his hat-trick.

However, he unfortunately dragged his penalty wide of a post, and deflated Watton suffered an immediate setback when Horsford broke away and scored.

The Greens pressed for an equaliser by moving centre-back Smart to striker, but were unable to find the goal their second-half performance had deserved, they were isolated at the back and Horsford scored again on the break just before the final whistle.

Next up is another tricky fixture to table-topping North Walsham in the league on Saturday.

In Division Four, Watton Reserves moved further up the table with a 2-1 home victory against a good Sheringham Reserves, a team they narrowly lost to two weeks ago in the reverse fixture.

Under the management of David Wilkins and Andrew Griffith, Watton have recently deployed a number of Steve Jones' Watton U18 squad to good effect, and this was no different with debutant Jon Franklin scoring the 90th-minute winner after Watton had led through Danny Reeve.

Man of the match went to Danny Robinson, with keeper Steve Bond pushing him close with a accomplished performance in goal after almost four years out of the game due to injury.

This now puts Watton fifth in the table and should lead them nicely into their last game of 2009 at home on Saturday to St Andrews Reserves (kick-off 2pm).