Controversy as Danny Knock strike fires Claydon past Crane Sports

Chris Pratt went close for Cranes

Chris Pratt went close for Cranes - Credit: James Ager

Bob Coleman Cup quarter-finals Claydon 2 Crane Sports 1 An injury time strike from Danny Knock saw the Division One leaders dump their Senior League opponents out of the Bob Coleman Cup in an entertaining game tinged with controversy.

The winning strike was certainly contentious as referee Paul Kitson allowed an apparent high boot on Mark Van Oene before the ball fell for Knock to crash the ball home.

That said, Claydon will point to Knock being denied an earlier goal which probably should have stood.

The game itself saw Claydon general manager Kevin Cunningham up against his son Matt who is part of the successful Cranes coaching team. And it was Cunningham senior who was the first to celebrate as the hosts opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Knock’s corner was forced over the line via the head of Elliot Blackman.

Knock drilled a free kick just over from 35 yards shortly afterwards before Cranes got into their stride and Chris Pratt connected with Jon Ince’s cross, forcing a brilliant point blank stop from veteran keeper Glyn Dixon.

Cranes equalized midway through the half when Ince’s corner was only half cleared to Lyndon Dowson-Alexander who hit a 30 yard screamer into the roof of the net, giving Dixon no chance.

Claydon had the chance to go back into the lead right at the end of the first half after Ryan Bedingfield brought down Knock, only for the stopper to redeem himself with a fine save from Kieran Driver’s spot kick.

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After a slight lull at the beginning of the second period the game came to life on 70 minutes when Kitson overruled the assistant’s flag as Ben Lapworth played in an onside Knock, who finished well.

However, the assistant continued to flag and the goal was eventually disallowed much to the displeasure.

Cranes were then awarded a spot kick on 82 minutes when Driver brought down Tye Webb. Skipper Mark Roper stepped up only for Dixon to block the penalty before the ball was scrambled away.

The excellent crowd of around 130, certainly couldn’t take their eyes off the action and Cranes’ Ali Brett should have scored in the last minute of normal time but blazed over. Then came Knock’s winning goal in the next attack, to send Claydon into the semi-finals.

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