Watton win after penalty drama
Watton 1, Loddon 1 (Watton win 3-2 on penalties)WATTON United progressed into the fourth round of the Mummery Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out as they got revenge on Loddon.
Watton 1, Loddon 1 (Watton win 3-2 on penalties)
WATTON United progressed into the fourth round of the Mummery Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out as they got revenge on Loddon.
In the previous week's league fixture against the same opponents Watton's players had failed to perform and went down with a miserable performance in a 4-1 home defeat.
However, managers Harwood and Hunt rung the changes this week, partly due to some call-offs and suspensions.
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Pitcher and McKeever were brought in to shore up the back line, and it was obvious from the kick-off that this was exactly what was needed, with the former keeping the previous week's scorer Hayton at bay, and McKeever producing a fine man-of-the-match display in defence.
Watton took the lead on 15 minutes with a direct ball from keeper Cruikshank fell nicely to top scorer Bloomfield who lobbed the advancing Collins in Loddon's goal.
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However, just before the stroke of half-time Loddon levelled when speedy sub Wise got to the ball before both Cruikshank and Brown to slot home from 15 yards.
In the second half Watton's midfield of Mark Woods and Rudling began to show tough tackling and nice touches in the midfield areas, dominating the opposition pairing and restricting their approaches upfield.
Fincham, 17, starting his first game for the first team, performed admirably out of position at left wing and was replaced on the hour by Campbell. He immediately troubled the visitors with his pace and strong running, matched on the other flank by Walker, who came more into the game as Loddon tired. It was an inspired substitution as, almost immediately, Watton put Loddon on the back foot and almost restored their lead when a Mark Ward header was brilliantly tipped over from a Campbell corner.
Wise was still troubling Watton with his pace, and nearly snuck through on 85 minutes, only to be denied by Cruikshank's quick thinking to narrow his angle and cause him to miss.
In extra time Watton were still holding firm at the back with Bennett and McKeever's determined tackling. Ward was replaced by Jones, 16 - another one for the future.
It provided some respite to the pressure Loddon had exerted in the opening 10 minutes of extra time, keeping the ball in the visitors' half for the second period before the whistle took the game to a shoot-out.
Watton's Bloomfield stepped up to coolly dispatch the first penalty, Campbell the second, and Paul Woods clinically the third versus Loddon's solitary reply to lead 3-1.
Pitcher had his fourth penalty saved, after Loddon's impressive captain Summons had just slotted their third penalty past Cruikshank. However, the opposition missed their fourth, excluding Watton's Rudling from stepping up to take what no doubt would have been a nervous final penalty.
In the next round Watton face Horsford on December 5.