Dixon the hero as Melton lift the cup
TWO penalty saves by Glyn Dixon enabled Melton St Audry's to win their first senior trophy at Woodbridge Town's ground last night.It was Crane Sports who held the upper hand for much of the match, but it took an 87th minute leveller from their striker Gavin Paul to send the game into extra-time.
By Elvin King
TWO penalty saves by Glyn Dixon enabled Melton St Audry's to win their first senior trophy at Woodbridge Town's ground last night.
It was Crane Sports who held the upper hand for much of the match, but it took an 87th minute leveller from their striker Gavin Paul to send the game into extra-time.
With the scores level after a hard-fought contest containing a host of bookings, the outcome of the Metaltec SIL's major cup competition was decided by penalties.
While the Saints converted all of theirs - with substitute Matty Payne confidently placing the fifth and crucial kick into the net - Shaun Watson had his kick, Cranes' fourth, saved by a diving Dixon.
In the 19th minute Dixon made an even better save when he dived full length to his left to save a penalty from Paul Clennell after the number 10 had been fouled by Nat Ashton.
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Clennell went close on a couple of other occasions and he was Crane's danger man. For Melton it was the lively Marc Wilson and it was the number nine who gave Saints the lead in the 47th minute.
It was one of the few opportunities that came their way and helped by some hesitant defending, Wilson ran through the defence to score at the near post off the keeper after his initial shot had been blocked.
Dixon somehow tipped over a powerful close-range header from Dean Hammond and Richard O'Brien struck the bar with a 30-yard free-kick.
Paul, playing in his third consecutive final after helping Cranes to a win in 2005, blazed an 83rd minute shot into the adjoining gardens before heading an equaliser high into the net off the groping fingers of Dixon.
In extra-time, O'Brien set up Watson, who somehow missed from four yards and as players tired penalties became inevitable.
Thanks to Dixon it was the Saints who went marching in, having lost to Grundisburgh in their previous final in 1991.
Wilson, Joe Fairbrother, Michael Crowfoot, Simon Fryatt and Payne converted the St Audry's kicks, while Justin Middlemiss, O'Brien, Melvyn Clarke and Daniel Buck took responsibility and were successful for Crane.
Crane Sports: Burn, Deller, G Mortimer (L Mortimer 85), Middlemiss, Hammond, Allen, Bridger, Clarke, Paul (Buck 105), Clennell (Watson 78), O'Brien. Unused subs: Sadler, Roper.
Melton St Audry's: Dixon, Crowfoot, Stokes, Gray (Payne 86), Garnham, Ashton, Kelly, Goldsmith (Fairbrother 73), Wilson, Churchyard (Fryatt 97), Oxborough. Unused sub: Bradbrook.
Referee: Mr S Hammersley (Lowestoft).