Hornets sting Suffolk Senior Cup finalists Cornard twice early on

PUBLISHED: 21:50 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 21:50 09 April 2019

Action from Blackhouse Lane with hosts Cornard United (blue) taking on Debenham. Andy Schofield (No.8) and Ezra Drann (No. 9) compete with Debenham's Kevin Barker (No.4) and Max Hutchings (No.3). Picture: CARL MARSTON

Action from Blackhouse Lane with hosts Cornard United (blue) taking on Debenham. Andy Schofield (No.8) and Ezra Drann (No. 9) compete with Debenham's Kevin Barker (No.4) and Max Hutchings (No.3). Picture: CARL MARSTON

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Cornard United 1 Debenham LC 2

Debenham players celebrate their opening goal at Cornard United, scored by Matt Chaplin. Picture: CARL MARSTONDebenham players celebrate their opening goal at Cornard United, scored by Matt Chaplin. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Cornard United are on the crest of a wave, having recently booked their place in the Suffolk Senior Cup Final for the first time in 30 years.

League form can often suffer, with the mouth-watering prospect of a trip to Portman Road just around the corner (actually a month away, on May 10), and this result against visiting Debenham LC would suggest that was just the case at Blackhouse Lane tonight.

True, The Ards shipped two goals inside the first 20 minutes, but a mostly inexperienced side, due a number of absentees, stuck to their task and staged a second-half rally to almost force a draw.

With both sides installed in mid-table, the pressure was off, so this defeat will certainly not take the gloss off Cornard’s recent fine Cup exploits.

Cornard's David Dowding, left, ready to compete for the ball with Debenham's Matt Chaplin. Picture: CARL MARSTONCornard's David Dowding, left, ready to compete for the ball with Debenham's Matt Chaplin. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Debenham LC were 2-0 up at the break, but they could have easily doubled that advantage with the number of clear-cut chances that they spurned.

The visitors were ahead inside five minutes, burly striker Matt Chaplin expertly diverting home Joshua Dowsing’s teasing cross from point blank range.

A glaring error from stand-in keeper Colin Athey, a veteran goalkeeping coach, enabled the Hornets to double their lead in the 17th minute. Athey mis-kicked an attempted clearance, deceived by a bobble, and Matt Poxon had the simple task of steering the loose ball into an unguarded net.

Cornard started the second half brightly. Leading scorer Jack Graham was clean through on goal, on 47 minutes, only to shoot straight at keeper Sam Chilvers, who blocked with his legs.

Substitute Olly Dinnell then rattled the bar with a header from Mike Schofield’s free-kick, while at the other end Poxon headed agonisingly wide from close-in.

Cornard halved the deficit in the 70th minute when Christian Walsh was fouled just inside the box. Up stepped Ezra Drann to plant the penalty into the roof of the net.

The hosts almost snatched a point in the 80th minute, Max Dinnell charging onto a superb cross-field pass, only to smash his shot narrowly off target, while Olly Dinnell dragged a shot inches wide in the 90th minute.

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