Match Report – by Terry Oakley
Eastern Counties Senior Knock Out Cup
Norwich versus Peterborough
3rd February 2023 at Sir John Leman School, Beccles
1 Gavin Lambert (Goalkeeper)
2 Daniel Burnham
3 Marcus Nelson
4 Mikey Collins
5 Grant Bradfield (Captain)
6 Kurtis Bradfield
7 Liam Hanley
8 Paul Foster
1 Anthony Williams (Goalkeeper – 2nd Half)
2 Declan Lander
3 Milo Carter
5 Luca Oakley
6 Harry Hillam
7 Josh Aaltonen (Captain)
8 Tom Hillam
9 Lily Messenger
10 Tyler Salmon (Goalkeeper – 1st Half)
77 James Berry
Referees:- J.Pozyczka and Kevan Berry.
The initial first few minutes started evenly until Peterborough found the back of the net in spectacular fashion. Peterborough were moving the ball around well and were probably unaware that they were very close to exceeding the 45 seconds attacking time limit when a loud shout of “shoot” was heard from the spectators (it was in fact the Peterborough Team Manager that made the call) and Josh Aaltonen duly unleashed a slapshot which sped into the Norwich net with a couple of seconds to spare. Norwich 0 Peterborough 1.
A fine speedy movement down the left hand side of the Norwich defence by Harry Hillam gave himself time to look up and find Luca Oakley waiting at the Norwich back post unmarked. He quickly swept his shot under the Norwich keeper. Norwich 0 Peterborough 2.
A mistake in the Peterborough defence when a cross rink pass was intercepted allowed a free path to goal for Paul Foster. He confidently advanced forward and placed his shot past the exposed, unprotected Peterborough goalie. Norwich 1 Peterborough 2.
Peterborough continued to move the ball around confidently with their opponents working hard to try and snatch it back to launch their occasional attacks. Eventually a gap appeared in the Norwich defence and Josh Aaltonen advanced into the space and hit a fine slapshot into the Norwich goal for his second goal of the match. Norwich 1 Peterborough 3.
Half Time:- Norwich 1 Peterborough 3.
The Norwich Coach had clearly instructed his Team to “step up” their approach and game for the second half. In the first half they struggled to gain possession of the ball from Peterborough’s continual attacks and overall movement. Their refocused application to their second half performance saw a more spirited and robust attitude being applied as they were clearly hoping to knock their younger opponents out of their stride. However, they fell further behind as a stray ball from a Norwich defender, who was trying to block a Peterborough slapshot, was snapped up by Declan Lander who despatched a fine shot into the roof of the Norwich net. Norwich 1 Peterborough 4.
The next action saw a Peterborough attack which “played right into the hands” of Norwich. Three players over committed their move and left themselves stranded at the wrong end of the rink. This provided Norwich with a two on one situation which they duly exploited and Liam Hanley opened his account for the match by sweeping his shot under the diving Anthony Williams. Norwich 2 Peterborough 4.
Norwich then missed a golden opportunity to put themselves right back into this match. A Peterborough defender brought down the fast advancing Grant Bradfield, the Norwich Captain, in the penalty area. After brushing himself down the same player took the penalty shot but frustratingly for him hit his shot wide of the goal. As the ball came back to him from the back wall he tried to manoeuvre himself into a follow up position but found Anthony Williams in the Peterborough goal anticipating well and the ball was cleared to safety. This failure to capitalise on the penalty opportunity proved to be Norwich’s downfall. A sweeping move by Peterborough in the next minute unhinged Norwich’s opportunity to get a foothold in this game. Three Peterborough players were involved in the best goal of the match. Play developed quickly down the right hand side of Norwich’s defence where Luca Oakley was quickly faced with two Norwich defenders. He cleverly spun away from those two players and advanced behind the goal baseline and found Josh Aaltonen in space. Josh bided his time waiting for the fast arriving Harry Hillam and he hit a fine pass into Harry’s path. Harry confidently struck his slapshot into the roof of the Norwich goal. Norwich 2 Peterborough 5.
Peterborough continued to enjoy possession of the ball and from a tackle won by Josh Aaltonen in front of the Norwich goal the ball spun out to Harry Hillam and he hit a well placed flick shot into the roof of the Norwich net for his second goal of the match. Norwich 2 Peterborough 6.
The play slowed somewhat after this goal and it wasn’t until the final two minutes that Norwich secured their third goal. Paul Foster went on a diagonal run across the Peterborough defence and, unopposed, hit a fine slapshot past Anthony Williams into the top left hand corner of the net. Norwich 3 Peterborough 6.
Full Time:- Norwich 3 Peterborough 6.
Arthur Corr’s (Peterborough’s Coach) Man of the Match:- "Difficult choice this one. It goes between Josh Aaltonen, Harry Hillam and Luca Oakley – all of them had very good games”.
It was pleasing to see this young, inexperienced Peterborough Team handle the more determined second half approach from the experienced Norwich Team.
However, frustratingly for Peterborough, they gifted Norwich with their first two goals.
To finish on a more positive note Peterborough did hold possession of the ball for long periods and with their excellent passing moves this meant that the Norwich Team was continually having to chase their younger opponents to try and regain the ball.