Whitton hold on to sneak through
LOCAL SOCCER: Whitton Utd 2 Soham Town 1. Steve Gayfer made a stoppage time save of which Gordon Banks would have been proud.Not bad for a midfield player forced to play in goal for the final 25 minutes after Darren Holden dislocated two fingers, and with no deputy keeper on the bench.
By Elvin King
JEWSON LEAGUE CUP
Whitton Utd 2 Soham Town 1
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STEVE Gayfer made a stoppage time save of which Gordon Banks would have been proud.
Not bad for a midfield player forced to play in goal for the final 25 minutes after Darren Holden dislocated two fingers, and with no deputy keeper on the bench.
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Gayfer somehow managed to turn a close-range Ossie Foster thunderbolt over the bar to see Whitton progress to the next round of the Jewson League Cup.
There was no denying First Division Whitton deserved their success after they enjoyed another great night at King George V Field.
Soham are the second Premier side dispatched in this competition after Tiptree, and Gayfer deserves much of the credit.
His neat and tidy midfield play was a perfect foil to the rather frenetic long-passing game of his team-mates. And when asked to take over the jersey he came up trumps with that magnificent save.
But he must take the lion's share of the blame for Soham's goal in the 73rd minute.
No doubt rusty on the rules of goalkeeping he made a straightforward save from a downward header, put the ball on the ground and kicked it a couple of yards – but then picked it up again.
From the resultant indirect free-kick Andrew Chatters scored off the foot of the post, and then the back of Danny Eaton's calf.
"Steve Gayfer typifies all that is good about football," added Crane. "He has a perfect attitude and is a big asset to any team."
Whitton were presented with their first goal when Mark Atkins' 39th minute backpass put Ben Webster in difficulties and his intended clearance struck David Grimwood, who then just had to walk the ball into the net.
AFC Sudbury manager Keith Martin was present to watch Saturday opponents Soham, and no doubt rising Whitton star Rene Swann as well.
Swann has so much pace a greyhound would do well to beat him over 30 yards, and Whitton's tactics often centred around a long ball for him to chase.
He had a shot blocked by Webster when clean through early and a couple of chances in the second period, but it was Jorrell Hurd who supplied the second goal after 61 minutes. He twisted and turned into space before rifling a shot into the top corner.
Foster had shot over from virtually under the bar in the 50th minute.
Substitute James Horsfall was denied by Webster when in a one-on-one situation before that marvellous Gayfer save sent Whitton's growing band of followers home happy.
Whitton: Holden (sub Eaton 63 mins), Layton, Sadler, Wright (Horsfall 80), Callaghan, Francis, Gayfer, Wiggins (Porter 58), Swann, Grimwood, Hurd. Subs: Everett, Godfrey. Star man: Francis.
Soham: Webster, Willis, Jordan, Rettallick (Pullen 14), Atkins, Simpson, Rutter, Lockhart, Bugg, Foster, Chatters. Subs: Read, Gardiner.