Friendly Rivalry produces top cup tie

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Source: Norstar United
Norstar United made a wonderful start to the season, with a thrilling 4-2 victory over local rivals AFC West Hull Gunners. Norstar were hoping for a chance to lay a few demons to rest, after west hull took the spoils in the cup semi final last year. Both teams enjoyed successful seasons last year, with Norstar winning promotion and the sponsors cup, and West Hull doing the league and cup double. The stage was set for a titanic cup tie, and it didn’t disappoint.
Norstar were immediately on the front foot, and after just a few minutes took the lead. Some intricate footwork on the right wing from Chris Johnson put the ball on a plate for Timmy Holmes, and he bundled in from close range.
West Hull steadied the ship and began to take a foothold in the game. Target man Tom Dawes was the focal point in their attack, however his threat was quelled by the outstanding Norstar captain James Stainton. Dawes and Andrew Stott both saw good chances evade them in a good spell in the game for the hosts.
As we’ve come to expect from Norstar, they love a counter attack. A quick kick out from Nathan Barr, allowed Johnson to sprint through and finish expertly into the bottom corner. 0-2 Norstar lead, and we’re good value for it.
Just as they did after the first goal, West Hull reacted well to conceding and began to get long spells of possession. The ever willing Reece Walker provided pace down the flanks and caused all sorts of problems. The best chance of the half for the home side fell to Adam Wright, as he sprung the offside trap and marched through on goal. A wonderful last ditch tackle from Danny Cutsforth thwarted him, and ensured Norstar carried the 2-0 lead into half time.
It was clear to see that West Hull had their managers words ringing in their ears as they started the second half. They immediately upped the tempo and began to press and hunt the ball with real purpose. A few desperate tackles and clearances held them at bay, but it was only delaying the inevitable. Some clever footwork on the edge of the box was followed by s thunderous strike by Adam Wright, who beat the keeper from all of 25 yards. No more than they deserved, West Hull were back in the game, 1-2.
With their tails up, Jordan Hunt’s men were smelling blood, and once again began to hammer the Norstar defence. A lovely bit of intricate football allowed Andrew Stott the chance to level. His delicate chip hit the bar, before Liam Scaife nodded in the rebound. 2-2 and firmly game on.
Norstar needed to regroup and get back to the way they played in the first half. Tim Holmes and Chris Johnson has hardly touched the ball in the second half, having being so influential in the first. One moment of expert vision had the away side celebrating again. Ryan Langton lifted his head and slotted a beautiful through ball for Tim Holmes. He touched out of his feet, and rifled the ball into the bottom corner. Just what the doctor ordered, and they had regained their lead.
With less than 25 minutes to go, Nortsar changed to a 4-5-1 in a bid to protect what they had. This made for a tense finish to a wonderful game. West Hull carved out plenty of crossing opportunities, however this played into the hands of Norstar centre back pairing Stainton and Fyvie, who were immovable.
They huffed and puffed, but just couldn’t find a way through the resilient Norstar defence. Good counter attacking play created chances for James Richmond and Aidan Welham to put the tie to bed, however both blazed efforts well over the bar. It was left to man of the moment Tim Holmes to close the game out, when he latched onto a Welham through ball, rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into an empty net. The full time whistle shortly followed, and the young Norstar side were through to the next round.
This was a brilliant display of amateur football. A mixture of mesmerising attacking play, and an immense defensive performance made for a wonderful cup tie on this Wednesday evening.
I’m sure both teams will enjoy successful seasons, and we wish AFC West Hull Gunners all the best for the 2016/17 campaign.
Next up for Norstar is a league fixture against Linnet/Bowery FC on Sunday week.
Squads;
Norstar United; Pat Alston, Nathan Barr, Dan Crofts, Danny Cutsforth, Luke Fyvie, Callum Holmes, Tim Holmes, Jack Humphries, Chris Johnson, Lewis Jones, Ryan Langton, James Richmond, James Stainton, Aidan Welham.
AFC West Hull Gunners; Tom Dawes, Callum Forth, Daniel Furlong, Robbie Griffiths, Sam Leach, Robert Moy, Daniel Petheridge, Stef Radley, Craig Robinson, Liam Scaife, James Stathers, Andrew Stott, Courtney Tarbotton, Reece Walker, Adam Wright.

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