Oulton Broad defeat Claydon to retain Suffolk FA Junior Cup
Holders, Oulton Broad held off a spirited late comeback from SIL Division One side Claydon, to retain the Suffolk FA Junior Cup with a 2-1 victory at Woodbridge Town on Monday.
Two goals in the final five minutes of the first half, from Gary McGee and Matt Harlow, gave the Lowestoft & District League Division One side a comfortable half-time advantage.
Claydon rarely threatened a riposte until the last 10 minutes when Lee Bloom headed home in a crowded penalty area, from Lee Brill’s corner, to give his team hope.
The final few moments saw Claydon throw everything at Oulton, who also won this competition in 1963, but their opponents held out, having been solid in defence for the majority of the game.
After a dour opening 39 minutes, McGee opened the scoring for Oulton.
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A deep cross from the left was not dealt with by the Claydon defence and after early substitute Joel Haverson diverted the ball across the box, McGee made no mistake with a cushioned volley from eight yards.
This lifted Oulton and three minutes later, after some questionable defending, they doubled their lead.
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Harlow picked the ball up just past halfway but, never having the ball under control, looked to be heading towards a dead end.
However, the Claydon defence backed off and Harlow was able to run onto a return ball from McGee, despite a poor first touch, before sliding the ball under Stephen George from 10 yards.
Up to McGee breaking the deadlock, a Ben Le Compte’s corner, which went right across goal, was the nearest Oulton came to scoring.
At the other end, Claydon had one decent chance but Andy Richards headed straight at goalkeeper Ian Barber when well placed at the back post.
In the second half, McGee went close to making it three with a volleyed chance before Bloom diverted a header wide at the other end.
Oulton then had strong appeals for a penalty turned down when McGee was seemingly flattened by goalkeeper George in the box, before John Attridge’s goalbound shot was thwarted by a good defensive clearance from Claydon defender Winston Ewers.
The introduction of Perry Arthur for Claydon livened up proceedings and they came close to scoring, prior to Bloom reducing the defecit.
Claydon won a free-kick on the edge of the box but when Mark Francis’ fierce 30-yard free-kick cleared the wall, Oulton stopper Ian Barber was on hand to divert the ball around the post.
That led to the corner from which Claydon scored but one goal was not enough as Oulton dug in.
Claydon: George, Francis. Claridge, Vince, Ewers, Cooper, Brill, Felgate (Howlett), Richards (Arthur), Berry, Bloom. Subs: Bolsover, Lockwood, Waldon
Oulton: Barber, Moore, Wall, Lowe, Thomas, Le Compte, Rudder (Haverson), Attridge, McGee, Shepherd (Lee), Harlow. Subs: West, Michalski