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Foulsham reach Carrow Road final

PUBLISHED: 10:17 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:12 07 July 2010

Foulsham scorer Simon Prior, in red.

Foulsham scorer Simon Prior, in red.

ANOTHER local village side will be playing in a showpiece Carrow Road final.

Foulsham booked their place in the Norfolk Junior Cup final on Saturday, just two weeks after Mattishall secured their Norfolk Senior Cup final spot.

ANOTHER local village side will be playing in a showpiece Carrow Road final.

Foulsham booked their place in the Norfolk Junior Cup final on Saturday, just two weeks after Mattishall secured their Norfolk Senior Cup final spot.

Foulsham, of Anglian Combination Division Three, won a pulsating semi-final against a very good UEA side from Division Four 3-2 after extra-time, having been 2-0 down at half-time. In the other semi, West Lynn SSC drew 3-3 at home to Catfield aet and must replay.

Foulsham's chairman Jackie Price said this week: “We are all on cloud nine and can't wait for our night at Carrow Road. It is the biggest day and achievement for our club and I hope it shows other small clubs in the area what you can achieve if you work at your club and have a great time.” Money did not come into it.

As kick-off got closer a large crowd could sense the nerves in the home dressing room.

The game started at a fast pace. Despite UEA's pressure, Foulsham created the first chance when Stu Longhorn, in a great position, headed wide from a Craig Hagon corner.

With 22 minutes played Foulsham fell behind when hesitation in the defence allowed a UEA forward to slot in from close range. The game became increasingly open and as Foulsham tried to push forward they were regularly caught by slick counter-attacking from UEA.

With 40 minutes played another good move saw the UEA increase their lead with the forward neatly finishing past Mark Bidewell in the Foulsham goal.

The half-time team talk message by managers Darren Gorbould and Stu Brown was to get at the UEA early and the second half started much better for Foulsham as they took the game to the UEA and started causing problems. They played at a much higher pace, and when the UEA keeper fumbled a cross Ben Darby was the first to react and slot in from close range.

With spirits raised Foulsham dominated play and equalised on 63 minutes when a move which started on the right with Darby finished with Hagon slotting his right-foot shot into the bottom corner.

The game ebbed and flowed, and with emotions running high the tackles flew in hard. But referee Andrew Hedtke and his assistants Andy Waite and Ian Holmes controlled the game well and kept it flowing when possible.

With extra time looming, Bidewell pulled off a great save to keep Foulsham in the game. With minutes remaining both teams had the opportunity to win. Foulsham's chance came when a great move saw Hagon, with an empty goal beckoning, place the ball over the bar. The UEA were denied their chance by the Foulsham captain James Woodhouse who got back to clear a certain goal off the line.

The first half of extra-time belonged to the UEA as their fitness started to show, but despite all their possession they never really threatened on goal.

Two minutes into the second extra period Foulsham made a break into the UEA penalty area. The ball fell to Simon Prior in front of goal who neatly moved the ball onto his left foot to croes of “shoot, shoot” he rifled into the bottom corner to send players and fans into a frenzy.

The last eight minutes saw the Foulsham players giving their all in the face of UEA free-kicks and corners. The UEA were very sporting in defeat and a big thank you went to everyone involved in Foulsham club including the 80 or so people who came and supported the team. The final date will be announced soon.

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