Horsford completed the cup and league double last night after beating Tavern Old Boys 4-3 in extra time to win the 2019 Norfolk Veterans Cup.
Tavern took the lead early through Troy Bond, before Daniel McKail’s long range effort and a Roy Bevis penalty turned the game on its head before the break.
From the restart Stephen Jones pounced to put the scores level and then completed his brace to put Tavern back in the lead, before Grant Holt headed home late on to take the fixture into extra time.
Late into the extra period Bevis fired in off the post to grab his second of the night and the trophy for Horsford.
The penultimate Norfolk County Cup Final of the season took place at the Football Development Centre last night with over two hundred people making their way to the Field of Dreams to watch Horsford take on Tavern Old Boys in Norfolk Veterans Cup Final.
It was certainly an exciting affair from the start, when Troy Bond reacted to a ricochet from a free kick and stabbed home from close range to put Tavern ahead on 7 minutes. Bond could have doubled his lead moments later but couldn’t connect with a cross from the right hand side.
Despite Tavern beginning the game the better of the two teams, the score was turned on its head within another 15 minutes when a cross, or very speculative effort, from Daniel McKail on the wide right, found its way into the inside of the far post. Only moments later Roy Bevis was adjudged to have been fouled in the box and the number 10 confidently placed the spot kick to the right of Fahy to put his side ahead.
Tavern then had penalty claims of their own when Jones was involved in a tussle and went down under pressure from a Horsford defender, but the Referee waved the appeals away much to the frustration of the Tavern crowd.
Bevis could have got a second just before half time when a deflection from a free kick looped in the air over the Tavern back line. The forward gently guided the dropping ball first time; however it bounced off the far post and out for a goal kick.
Half Time: Horsford 2 – 1 Tavern Old Boys
Tavern, probably feeling hard done by at being behind, started the second half much like they began the first. They once again found an early goal 5 minutes in when Jones latched on to a long ball before Clive Chamberlain, who had raced out from the Horsford goal, could get there. The number 9 calmly knocked the ball over the goalkeeper putting the score at 2-2.
Ten minutes later it was Tavern who had the advantage once again, and once again it was Jones who made the difference. Bond who had cut in from the left fired a fairly tame shot toward goal but Chamberlain couldn’t keep hold of it, spilling it in front of him with a grateful Jones pouncing and making no mistake in putting his side ahead for the second time in the game.
Tavern could have extended their advantage when a dangerous ball was delivered across the six yard box, but with two players waiting for the tap in Horsford Captain Steve Middleton got there first and managed to clear the cross over the bar. From the corner Andrew Moody rose high for Tavern and connected well with the header, but Chamberlain, despite initially spilling, was able to gather and hold on to the ball.
Horsford, knowing they were chasing the game, began to increase the tempo and began to push forward with intent. Some fantastic last ditch tackles from Brendan Foley saw him singlehandedly stop Horsford from having two clear shots on goal. Foley then found his own net under pressure from Grant Holt, with the ball bouncing off his back and past Fahy. However the Horsford front man was penalised for a foul on the keeper while the ball was in the air.
Horsford really began to crank up the pressure and the Old Boys’ job was made even harder when Luke Adcock was given his marching orders, picking up a silly second yellow card when blocking the goalkeeper’s kick. Ten-man Tavern worked tirelessly though, riding their luck slightly when two big chances from Horsford were not converted.
Horsford found the goal they needed just two minutes from time when Holt reacted well to a cross from the right and fought his way in front of Stuart Baldry to meet the ball with a diving header to tie up the game. Heart-breaking for Tavern and harsh on Baldry who had battled valiantly with the miss-match of size all game; celebrations for Horsford who played out the seven minutes of added time to take a tired Tavern into extra time.
Full Time: Horsford 3 – 3 Tavern Old Boys
Horsford started extra time with a renewed energy, and endeavoured to dominate proceedings from the start. Holt did well to pull back from the side of the area to an onrushing Bevis, but Tavern Captain Wesley Baines did brilliantly to get back and make the tackle.
Paul Timm and Bevis both found themselves in very good positions as Horsford continued to apply to pressure. Both were foiled by Fahy in the Tavern goal who showed excellent decision making in the final period.
Graham Barrett was put through on a Tavern counter but Chamerlain did well to stand his ground and make the save, allowing Horsford to travel forward and attack once again.
Timm was then involved again, receiving a ball on the turn and opening out on the penalty spot, firing a left footed shot which whistled past the post.
With five minutes remaining it looked as though penalties would be the way the game was decided, however it was Bevis who finally got his second of the night that ultimately made the difference with a moment of quality.
A through ball evaded the midfield of both teams and fell to the feet of Bevis just inside the area who held the ball up, moving backwards with Duncan Hewitt of Tavern standing him. The forward the swiftly pivoted to the right and fired a low drive toward the bottom left corner, which cannoned off the inside of the post and across the goal line, beating Hewitt and an outstretched Fahy in one move and with a shot that had to be perfect.
A deflated Tavern tried to muster some attacks in the final minutes, and did have one free kick in a dangerous position. However this was eventually cleared by the Horsford back line, who were able to see out the remaining time and win the 2019 Norfolk Veterans Cup.
Final Score (AET): Horsford 4 – 3 Tavern Old Boys
PHOTOS: We’d like to thank David Richardson of BigPhatPhotos who stepped in as official photographer on the evening.
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Horsford: Clive Chamberlain, Antony Warner, Darren Cox, Damian Fahy, Steve Middleton ©, Steve Tidy, Daniel McKail, Grant Holt, Roy Bevis, Matt Gill & Paul Timm.
Subs: Oliver Bennison, Daniel Brown, Alan Rudder, David Coyle, Paul Reeve.
Tavern Old Boys: Dominic Fahy, Stuart Baldry, Stuart Garner, Brendan Foley, Duncan Hewitt, Wesley Baines ©, Ricky Forder, Luke Adcock, Stephen Jones, Graham Barrett & Troy Bond.
Subs: Mark Dawkins, Andrew Moody, Gareth King, Matthew Barden, Andrew Cunningham.
Referee: Phil South
Assistants: Tony Collins & Kevin Slater
Fourth Official: Mark Swaby
Player of the Match: Graham Barrett