Bungay Town Reserves 5 Norton Athletic 0
Norton crushed in semi final
Norton ended the season with a non-performance in the semi-final of this year’s Bungay Charity Cup, which was not what I intended for my final game in charge.
After impressing in beating Beccles Caxton in the previous round today’s game was poor all over the park. Squad wise we were strong, and I made one change with Scott Raven perhaps unlucky to be replaced by James Hardy in an otherwise unchanged line-up.
Bungay looked up for it from the start and were knocking the ball around with ease with Norton chasing shadows, but it was Norton that nearly drew first blood in the 16th minute as Archie Crossan played a fine pass into Carl Cooper whose early long-range strike clipped the cross bar.
Bungay were the more likely team with Norton being asked to do lots of defending but when Ben Burcham rode the back of a Bungay player in the 26th minute it was a penalty that was easily dispatched to give Bungay a deserved lead.
Norton set about the task of finding a way back into the game and in the 31st minute carved our best opening yet as Rory Spinks worked some space to find a shot that cannoned off the cross bar, but Adam Orme could only fire the rebound high into the cow field behind the goal.
Bungay then dealt the sucker punch as immediately they doubled their lead as a huge defensive error led to an own goal.
In the 39th minute and it was 3-0 as Bungay were simply allowed too much time and space to pick out the top corner from the edge of the box to take a 3-0 margin into the half time break.
I pulled no punches and replaced the ineffective midfield duo of Smith and Hardy with McHelinney and Raven and we looked brighter early on particularly for Raven who found some nice crosses and a couple of tame shots but when Bungay added a 4th goal on the counter in the 56th minute it was game over.
Norton huffed and puffed but never looked likely to score and Bungay capped a magical night for them by curling a late free kick home low inside the post.
All that was left for Norton was frustration which boiled over into yellow cards for Burcham, MacDonald and Crossan.
The Read Bros MoM goes to Mike Ball.
I would like to apologise to the fans for the above performance and am sorry to sign off this way. After beating Caxton, I did expect to win this game and reach the final but on the night we underperformed.
I would also like to sign off by thanking all the players that have played under my tenure. Its been a rollercoaster but I believe it’s time for some fresh ideas from the touchline however I will still be nagging you all for your match fees.
Outside of the playing group I would like to thank Julian for all his help and support over the years and now look forward to working with him on planning the club’s centenary celebrations and further ground improvements/maintenance.
I would like to thank Paul for all his help and assistance and he will be a great incumbent for next season.
I would like to thank Mark and Claire from Thurlton Queens Head for all the post-match hospitality and wish them in their next adventures.
I would also like to than Di Hoadley for the constant manning of the club’s tea hut which has been a great addition this season.
Finally, the club would not exist if it was not for our many sponsors and I hope you continue to support the club in years to come.