Heartache for Capel

PAUL Smith completed a full set of meaningful medals as Walsham-le-Willows broke the hearts of Capel Plough at a noisy Portman Road last night.

By Elvin King

PAUL Smith completed a full set of meaningful medals as Walsham-le-Willows broke the hearts of Capel Plough at a noisy Portman Road last night.

One of the best non-league footballers the county has produced, Walsham player-manager Smith, 45, deserves to add the Alliance Outsourcing Suffolk Senior Cup to the many other honours he accrued in a distinguished career that reached its pinnacle with Sudbury Town.

Smith was an unused substitute as Walsham's last-gasp victory - after fighting back from two goals down - keeps the recent run of Ridgeons League victories in this competition going.

But plucky Capel from mid-table in the Senior Division of the Metaltec SIL ran them close in an absorbing game.

Referee Kevin Theobald was a central figure giving three penalties and changing his mind after originally giving a fourth.

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Both teams scored once each from the spot with Walsham having a kick saved.

Capel were aggrieved at both decisions against them, while Walsham had the ball in the net before being called back to miss from the spot!

Capel made the more purposeful start, and must have felt it was going to be their night when three obvious throw-ins to Walsham were given to them.

And it was no great surprise when the underdogs took the lead in the 21st minute.

Nigel Bradford made a rapid dash inside the box and went flying when confronted by

Neil Gooderham.

The referee had no doubts and after a couple of seconds thought pointed to the spot.

Robbie Fuller sent Kevin Bugg the wrong with his crisply struck right-foot penalty tucked low to the keeper's left.

Bradford lurked quietly on the left flank for Capel, but when he got into gear he created menace, and in the 26th minute he flew beyond two defenders and brought a good save out of Bugg.

From the corner, Plough player manager Pat Tynan volleyed over the top from close in.

Nick Hunt punched away a header from Dean Folkard before Capel had their fans on their feet with a stunning second goal in the 40th minute.

Bradford played a brilliant long ball that released Mark Jorgenson down the right wing.

Bugg was unable to deal with the cross, and when the ball ran loose, it was Bradford who was alive to the situation to smash an unstoppable shot high into the net off the far post.

Walsham were on their knees, but they had a lifeline a minute later when Miles Donovan and Folkard competed for a free-kick as the ball went over the by-line.

The referee adjudged that Folkard had been pushed, although if similar 'offences' were punished in the Premiership there would be a dozen penalties per match.

Gooderham made up for conceding an earlier penalty by converting this one with a confident shot low to Hunt's right.

Within a minute of the re-start Tynan lobbed an effort on to the top of the bar, but his side had more good fortune when Marc Wake 'netted' in the 50th minute.

Players from both sides stood in puzzlement for several seconds before it became clear that a third penalty had been awarded - this time for hand ball.

Gooderham tried to beat Hunt to the keeper's left this time but a weak shot was comfortably beaten away.

Alan Ross got the faintest of touches with his head to a free-kick from near the half-way line by Gooderham to level the scores in the 62nd minute.

When Marc Wake ended up on the floor in the 66th minute the referee pointed to the fourth penalty.

But within a couple of seconds had changed his mind and gave a free-kick just outside the area.

Hunt pulled off a couple of terrific save from substitute Paul Nozedar as Walsham lasted the 90 minutes the stronger although both sides had players going down with cramp.

In the eighth minute of extra-time, Capel re-took the lead after Christopher Pollard had mis-kicked.

A composed Tynan found the impressive Ricky Thurlow and he drilled his shot across Bugg and into the net to light up the Ploughmen again in Tractor Boy territory.

Tynan limped off amid loud applause, but Capel were breached in the 104th minute.

Carl Deeks found Wake who side-stepped his marker and smashed a 20-yard shot into the top corner of the net to bring the scores level again.

In the 111th minute Walsham went into the lead for the first time when David Bloomfield made a fine run to the right by-line, and his perfect cross was headed in at the far post by Nozedar.

Capel Plough: Hunt, Vince, Horsfall, Bradford, Stevens, M Donovan, K Donovan

(Ellul 81), Fuller, P Tynan (Godbold 99), Thurlow, Jorgenson (Mayhew 67).

Subs: S Tynan, Percy.

Walsham-le-Willows: Bugg, Pollard, Crown, Gooderham (Partridge 90), Folkard

(Nozedar 63), Crawford, Bloomfield, Newman (Deeks 99), Wake, Ross, Sim.

Subs: Mustoe, Smith.

Referee: Mr K Theobald.

Attendance: 804.

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