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MATCH REPORT: Harleston wrap up the double

MAKE MINE A DOUBLE: Harleston celebrate their Mummery Cup victory
MAKE MINE A DOUBLE: Harleston celebrate their Mummery Cup victory


Not content with being crowned Anglian Combination Premier Division champions, Harleston Town backed that up by getting their hands on the Mummery Cup at the Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe on Tuesday evening.

Adam Gusterson's men were in rampant mood during the opening 45 minutes and headed into the break three goals to the good.

To their credit, Division One runners-up Sheringham responded positively after the restart and managed to pull a goal back, but the damage had long been done.

It took Harleston less than two minutes to break the deadlock when the lively Scott Roberts caught out Sheringham goalkeeper Chris Bird with a free-kick from distance.

Roberts, whose goal against Mulbarton Wanderers sealed Harleston the title on April 28, was leading the charge and it was little surprise when he scored his second goal of the night in the 16th minute.

After playing a corner short to Nathan Stone, the ball was returned to Roberts and from a tight angle he fired through a crowded penalty area and into the top corner, despite the best efforts of Bird in the Sheringham goal.

Sheringham found it difficult to contend with Harleston's build-up play during the first half and they duly fell further behind four minutes before the interval.

Connor Delaney kept an attack alive after Olly Willis had overhit a cross from the right wing. Delaney's pass picked out left-back Jake Imrie, who in turned crossed towards the back post for Lawrence Cheese to head home.

At this point the easy thing for Sheringham to do would have been to wave the white flag, but they rallied in the second half and after Tim Cary's acrobatic effort drifted wide their perseverance was rewarded with a goal in the 62nd minute.

Jamie Nelson was the scorer as the centre-forward saw his low effort from the edge of the box nestle in the bottom corner via a deflection.

Two minutes later Harleston really should have been celebrating a fourth goal but first Roberts' clever chipped effort hit the underside of the crossbar, before Ryan Fuller saw his rebounded header suffer the same fate.

And there was more frustration for Fuller in the 70th minute when he rolled in Olly Willis' low cross, only for the referee's assistant to flag the substitute offside - though it did appear that the pass to the striker had been played backwards and therefore the goal should have stood.

It mattered little in the grand scheme of things, though, as Harleston saw out the minutes that remained to secure a historic double ahead of their likely step up to the Thurlow Nunn League First Division.

Harleston: Pauling, O Willis, Imrie, S Willis, Pearce, Howard, Delaney (Howell 70), Page, Cheese (Fuller 60), Roberts, Stone

* For an extended report, reaction and pictures, see this week's Express print edition on Friday.

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