Double national Christian cup success for UEA teams
It was double success for the UEA Christian Union football teams in their last 16 ties of the National Christian Cup and Trophy in Norwich on Saturday (February 13).
Three Norfolk Christian Football League (NCFL) teams were in action, all hoping to secure a quarter-final place.
UEA Rovers took on NCFL rivals, Norwich Central Baptist Church, who went into the game with a proud 100% record for the season. The morning game, at Eaton Park in Norwich, turned into an action-packed ten-goal thriller.
Rovers opened the scoring in the fourth minute with striker Adam Radley on target. Two minutes later NCBC suffered a further blow when captain Matt Seager took a heavy knock following a challenge which ended with him being carried off with a possible dislocated shoulder and later taken by ambulance to hospital.
Connor Kavanagh put UEA 2-0 up after 29 mins with a chip over the keeper. NCBC responded immediately through Kellen Playford to remain in the game.
Not to be outdone, Radley scored his second and Rovers’ third three minutes later to go 3-1 up. But NCBC were still well in the game and replied immediately from an Ian Garrod free kick which Ben Jervis headed home. Just before half-time NCBC repeated the trick with a Jervis header from a Garrod free kick to go in at half time level at 3-3.
Barely had the second half started when NCBC took the lead for the first time when Daniel Jervis finished off a shot from Ben Jervis which hit the post.
UEA came out fighting and Radley completed his hat-trick from a free kick just minutes later. NCBC then hit the bar before UEA took a decisive lead when Radley scored his fourth to put them 5-4 up after 65 minutes.
NCBC pressed for another equaliser but Tom Buttery wrapped up a 6-4 victory for Rovers in the last minute to also hand NCBC their first defeat of the season.
Credit to both sides for a tremendous open game and Rovers go on to a quarter-final tie in Liverpool.
The afternoon saw UEA Harriers take on Richmond Panthers from the Southern Area Christian Football League in the last 16 of the National Christian Trophy competition, also at Eaton Park.
Harriers repeated the feat of UEA Rovers with an early goal after just a couple of minutes from live-wire Ben Anderson from a very tight angle.
A skilful Panthers team fought hard but lost their discipline several times to see two players booked in the first half and their captain sent off after an hour for a last ditch foul tackle on the edge of the area and then persistent dissent.
Harriers remained disciplined and organised and Anderson extended their lead 15 minutes from time later to see out the game and also secure them a quarter-final tie in Liverpool.
Pictured above is action from the UEA Rovers v NCBC cup game.