Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ancients' Vase Dream Shattered

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ancients' Vase Dream Shattered

Article excerpt

Byline: ANTHONY VICKERS

NORTON'S Wembley dream crumbled as they leaked three second half goals at Barwell.

The Ancients battled bravely but lost 3-0 at the Leicestershire outfit in the quarter-final of the FA Vase.

But boss Conrad Hillerby had no complaints at going down to the second favourites for the trophy and heaped praise on his side for reaching the last eight of the minnows' national KO competition.

"The work-rate and energy were there but we weren't good enough on the day," he admitted. "Barwell were too lively for us.

"We were beaten by the better team. Barwell have a great set-up and great support. That's the level we should aspire to as a club.

"Yes we are disappointed, but it has been a memorable run for us. We have showed what we are capable of as a team and as a club. I've got no complaints."

Norton - who had never been further than the second round proper before - did well to match Barwell in the first half.

They dug deep to defend as a unit and keeper James Briggs made some good saves to keep a polished home side at bay but struggled to create chances of their own.

Then after a close fought first half, the game turned on a Barwell penalty early in the second when Briggs brought down Charley and the striker tucked away the resulting spot kick.

That forced Norton to chase the game and, although they had some good possession and chances, they were leaving gaps at the back and were punished for it as Cunnington scored twice in the last seven minutes for Barwell.

Norton must now concentrate on their first ever Northern League top flight campaign - their Vase run has built up a hefty backlog of fixtures -while Barwell prepare for a two-legged semi-final against favourites Whitley Bay.

Back in the NL, Stokesley's sizzling run of 14 straight second division wins finally ended as they could only draw 1-1 at home to Newton Aycliffe. …

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