Catfield 4 Mundford 1
Mundford captain Richard Williams was left to rue missing out on getting his hands on the Norfolk Junior Cup after a devastating defeat to Catfield.
With Ben Coe putting Mick Rumsey’s Stags ahead in the 27th minute of the showpiece final at Norwich City’s Carrow Road, it looked ever likely that the cup would be heading back to Mundford in an opening 45 minutes completely dominated by the Anglian Combination Division Two side.
However, they left were to rue missed opportunities as an Adam Thompson leveller deep into first-half injury time proved the catalyst for Catfield as a devastating second-half display reaped a further goal from Thompson, before a brace from Chad Pillar saw the tie snatched away from Mundford.
The Glebe-based outfit’s evening was compounded as Coe completed his transition from likely hero to villain as he was dismissed for a second booking deep into injury time, leaving Williams to reflect on what could have been.
“I think in the first half we were definitely the better side, but the second half was very disappointing and I think their equaliser right on half-time killed us,” he said.
“It is obviously disappointing for us because we would have loved to have lifted the trophy to go with our promotion, but we achieved one of our aims and that is something positive.
“Most of us won’t ever get the chance to play here again, to have that opportunity of a big occasion was amazing and we should feel proud, but we just fell short unfortunately.
“However, we have senior football from next season and so that is something to look forward to and focus on.”
Mundford started brightly and could have arguably been out of sight in the opening 25 minutes as Williams, Mason Thorogood and Coe all saw clear chances go begging before the latter finally broke the deadlock in the 27th minute.
Picking up the ball on the left, the lively winger drifted past Daniel Goodrum before drilling an angled drive across Jamie Guest and into the bottom right corner.
Catfield finally began to get a foothold in the tie with Aaron Bowers rashly firing over from the edge of the area after 35 minutes, before Thompson narrowly volleyed wide following a smart flick-on by Pillar just two minutes later.
With Coe in full flow down the left, chances continued to come and go for the Stags, as he first lashed high and wide when well placed, before spurning a golden chance after seizing on a defensive mix-up, firing into the chest of Guest, who came out on top in the one-on-one situation with just moments of the half remaining.
It proved a vital stop as Thompson bundled home an equaliser past Joseph Clements with Catfield’s first attempt on target, sending the sides in level at the break.
That appeared to give Catfield the incentive who snatched the lead two minutes after the re-start, Thompson grabbing his second with a neat volley into the bottom left corner.
The momentum had fully swung in Catfield’s favour and after Thompson and Pillar had both seen chances go begging, the latter struck a third with 18 minutes remaining, rounding Clements to coolly slot home after beating Neil Suckling to a decisive tackle.
With Mundford piling forward in search of way back into the tie, Catfield put the result beyond doubt as Pillar raced on to Thompson’s flick before unleashing an unstoppable volley into the bottom left corner, sealing the cup for Peter Self’s side.
There was just enough time for Coe to cap off a disappointing evening for Catfield, picking up a second yellow card to receive his marching orders in the dying moments.