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Cup KO blow for Watton

PUBLISHED: 18:10 08 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:04 08 July 2010

Watton had the best of the first half but ultimately went out of the Norfolk Senior Cup at Holt 2-1 with something of a whimper.

Afterwards, dejected Watton boss Mike Derbyshire described his side's second-half performance as disappointing but did emphasise some positives.

Watton had the best of the first half but ultimately went out of the Norfolk Senior Cup at Holt 2-1 with something of a whimper.

Afterwards, dejected Watton boss Mike Derbyshire described his side's second-half performance as disappointing but did emphasise some positives.

He was delighted to see Liam Campbell back in a Watton shirt and was pleased with some of the attacking play.

He said: “I'm not usually one for excuses but it has to be said that injuries and absences have run us ragged in the early part of the season.

“Some postponements - leaving us without games for 14 days - have also affected our ability to find a level of consistency. But, for the most part, the players have reacted brilliantly. We have an excellent, if somewhat small, squad here and though we are stretched things will come right. I am totally confident of that.”

In the game against Holt, for the opening half-hour, Watton passed the ball around nicely going forward and created several good opportunities, despite having not been in action for two weeks. And there was a good pace about their attacking play too.

But they went to sleep in central midfield and at the back, and were punished twice.

Firstly, Holt's No 8 was given the freedom of the pitch to run across the edge of the Watton penalty area and drill home a low shot.

Then less than 10 minutes later the home side's No 10 was allowed to flick the ball on from a corner into the near post and a colleague headed home from no more than four yards out.

Earlier and in between, United had looked much the stronger of the two sides and had dominated possession. Bloomfield had gone close as had Walker and Nichols. But finding themselves 2-0 down clearly knocked the stuffing out of the players. To their credit, they responded and deservedly pulled a goal back through MoM Bloomfield's clever curling chip.

He went on to hit the underside of the bar only moments later - one of three occasions that Watton struck the woodwork in the first half.

For the first five minutes of the second half United were again dominant. Bloomfield was unlucky not to connect with Walker's fine cross which was turned away by a last-ditch header.

But there can be no doubt that Watton began, at this point, to lose their way badly. As a whole, the team seemed unable to repeat the good passing and movement of their early play.

Nichols, Walker and Astbury had good opportunities late on. By then Holt had a couple of chances of their own but in the end Watton simply could not find a way back into the cup tie although they might have had a penalty at the death for a hand-ball offence.

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