SUFFOLK saw their FA County Youth Cup dreams ended in a 4-1 defeat at Norfolk on Saturday.

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Norfolk started the brighter of the two sides at Bowthorpe Park in Norwich and following pressure and a couple of successive corners, they took the lead five minutes into the game when Rio Starkings rose high to head home. A few minutes later, Suffolk had an opportunity to draw level but Elliot Crowe scuffed his shot wide.

The miss proved costly as Norfolk went to the other end a minute later and made it 2-0. Evan Key attempted to clear the ball and injured himself in the process. This left a gap for Nathan Russell to run through and slot the ball past the helpless Spurling.

Suffolk began to settle into the game and some neat passing and good work could have seen both Liam Wales and Joe Yaxley pull a goal back. Key also had rose high from another corner kick but saw his header go narrowly wide.

On the half hour mark, Suffolk was forced to make a substitution when Forsham went off injured and was replaced by Bailey. Suffolk finished the half strongly with good work from Yaxley getting to the bye-line and putting in a good cross but nobody was able to capitalise. Bailey also went close just before half time but the score remained unchanged.

The second half began pretty much the same as the first half and Suffolk quickly found themselves three goals down when they conceded a third goal two minutes after the restart, Russell running through the Suffolk defence to score his second of the match. Mid-way through the second half, the lively Yaxley went off injured and was replaced by Poxon.

In the 72nd minute, Suffolk were rewarded for their work when Key set his sights from 20 yards out following a corner cleared by Norfolk and he unleashed an unstoppable strike that flew into the top corner, giving Ayres no chance. This was the spark that Suffolk needed and the ball found the back of the goal again following an excellent pass from Heath, only for Poxon to be ruled offside.

Three further chances on goal went begging when Crowe, Bailey and Wales could have added to Suffolk’s tally in as many minutes but it was not to be. As Suffolk pushed to get the second goal, Norfolk nearly added to their tally when Hawkins hit the post following a good move down the right wing.

Suffolk’s pressure to get the second goal appeared to have been rewarded when Crowe was fouled and the referee appeared to have played an excellent advantage. The ball nestled in the back of the net but the goal was disallowed and the referee brought play back and awarded a free kick to Suffolk.

As Suffolk continued to press on, they were undone when Hawkins scored Norfolk’s fourth goal with only two minutes remaining and with that, end Suffolk’s hopes of a comeback. Their disappointment didn’t end there as Finch went off injured before the end and having made all of their substitutions, Suffolk finished with ten men.

Suffolk: Spurling, West, Corrick, Heath, Finch, Key, Wales, Forshaw (sub Bailey), Crowe, Fitzgerald (sub Fryatt), Yaxley (sub Poxon).

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