NORFOLK SENIOR CUP
Diss Town 0 Cromer Town 0 (after extra-time)
by Sam Murley
at Brewers Green Lane
Diss Town captain Mark Shadrack conceded his side did not deserve victory as they were held to a goalless draw by Cromer Town.
The Tangerines were firm favourite to progress to the semi-finals of the competition before kick-off, facing opponents from two divisions below the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division hosts.
However, after a far from entertaining 120 minutes, in which the visitors arguably could have been disappointed not to the claim victory, the sides could not be separated, resulting in a replay, which will take place tomorrow.
“We weren’t good at all and I don’t think anyone could walk off the pitch feeling good about themselves,” admitted Shadrack.
“The only positive is that we are not out of the competition, but things will have to be different in the replay.
“It is a difficult one to put your finger on, but our quality all over the pitch was not good enough from start to finish and wasn’t what it should be or what is expected of us.
“We know what to expect from Cromer now and, if our quality is there on the day and we work a little bit harder, then realistically we should win the game, no disrespect to them.
“They are a good side and they gave us a very tough game, but the chance to be 90 minutes from playing at Carrow Road in a final is something we all want and something we should be able to get.”
In what was a sluggish start to proceedings from the home side, the visitors should have opened the scoring after 15 minutes of the tie.
The lively Anthony Fawkes broke down the left-hand side before picking out Dave Matthews on the edge of the area, who saw his first time right foot shot saved low down to his left by Matt Webster.
Cromer continued to enjoy the greater share of possession and, 10 minutes later, crafted another golden opportunity to break the deadlock.
This time it was Matthew Eves on the left-hand side who picked out Matthews, but just as he did previously failed to capitalise, this time rifling his strike over Webster’s bar.
With the half drawing to a close, the visitors again came close to scoring, but Fawkes could only watch on as his powerful header from David Harwood’s free-kick came crashing back off the crossbar.
After the restart, Cromer picked up where they left off with Webster again coming to Diss’ rescue to keep the score level in the 60th minute.
Again it was Fawkes who called him into action, after beating Eddie Thompson on the left, he drove a powerful low strike at goal, which Webster did well to tip round the post.
With just minutes remaining, the hosts finally mustered a host of chances which could have seen them snatch victory.
First substitute Peter Lambert fired a first-time right foot shot agonisingly wide before fellow sub Armando Alves came even closer, rattling the bar with a stinging strike from the edge of the area after final sub Bruno Tavares’ corner was only partially cleared.
Tavares then called Andy Jackson into action to tip a low drive round the post before Michael Steward sliced wide with the final opportunity of the 90 minutes as the encounter went to extra-time.
However, with fatigue setting in, neither side could find a winner in the additional 30 minutes, leaving the tie and a place in the semi-finals to be decided in a replay.
Diss: Webster, Shadrack, Daniels, Steward, A Taylor, Thompson, S Taylor, Skeggs (Alves 68), Burroughs (Lambert 80), Dixon, Cole (Tavares 70)
Subs not used: Garner, Smith-Edwards