Harleston bow out of the county cup in second round

KNOCKED OUT: Thetford goalkeeper Kingsley Barnes thwarts a Harleston attack during the Norfolk Senior Cup tie
KNOCKED OUT: Thetford goalkeeper Kingsley Barnes thwarts a Harleston attack during the Norfolk Senior Cup tie

NORFOLK SENIOR CUP

SECOND ROUND

Thetford Town 4

Harleston Town 1

After reaching the semi-finals last season, Harleston Town bowed out of the Norfolk Senior Cup in the second round to higher-league opposition on Saturday.

Needing a fast start to boost their chances of causing an upset, Harleston started well and created a couple of openings during the first 10 minutes.

However, no goals were forthcoming and that was eventually punished by the hosting Brecklanders in the 35th minute.

The lively Ben Anderson raced past the Harleston defence and then squared for Max Melanson to turn the ball in.

And it was 2-0 by the break thanks to Sam Bond, who scored from a Ross Bailey free-kick in the 42nd minute.

To Harleston’s credit, they raced out of the traps at the start of the second half and managed to halve the deficit in the 50th minute when Connor Delaney poked in from close range.

Adam Gusterson’s men pushed hard for an equaliser thereafter, but they were hit by a sucker punch 20 minutes from time as Thetford scored a third goal.

Bailey was again the creator, this time sending in a cross that Robbie Priddle headed in.

It was also Priddle that ended any hopes of a dramatic Harleston comeback in the 80th minute with a chip that beat visiting goalkeeper Nathan Pauling.

Harleston will switch their focus back to Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Premier Division matters tomorrow when they welcome Caister (2pm).

Gusterson’s side go into the encounter having won all seven of their 2017/18 league matches so far.

Caister, meanwhile, sit eighth in the table with three wins from seven fixtures.

n Harleston Town Reserves ended Tacolneston’s nine-game unbeaten run on Saturday with a 2-0 victory.

Neville Oliver and Andy Lamoureux found the back of the net for Town’s second string, who have now extended their winning sequence to four matches.