No.26 - Sat 10th January 2015; Norfolk Prinary Cup Quarter-Final; 1.30pm at Lyng Village Hall; Richmond Place; Lyng; Dereham; Norfolk; NR9 5RF
Matchday images (49) https://picasaweb.google.com/footballgroundsinfocus/LyngFC
Lyng (1) 2 Narborough (0) 1
'The agony and ecstasy of hopping''
Today is Norfolk County Cup day and Iím on the road bright and early to take in a game in the Primary Cup, one of my favourite local competitions. My destination is the tiny village of Lyng situated on the River Wensum, some six miles to the north east of East Dereham and 12 miles north-west of the city of Norwich.
St. Margaret's Church and The Fox (local public house) are located closer to the river with the shop located centrally in the village. Sports enthusiasts might be interested to learn that Lyng also has a Motocross track which holds the British Motocross Championship annually. The track is located to the south of the village.
Founded originally in 1933 the club plays its games at Richmond Place found off The Street in the centre of the village. Despite folding for a short time (due to difficulties in attracting players) they were reinstated a couple of years ago in the North East Norfolk League's bottom division and have thankfully grown from strength since then.
Facilities here are quite dated. The players currently change in the former village hall, a dilapidated old brick building shared with the local play group - it clearly has seen better days. A short walk leads the players to the tree-lined main playing field and un-roped pitch behind. Three sides of the rec are bordered by a combination of local housing and open fields with a floodlit all weather multi-use games area behind the goal at the near end.
Todayís visitors are Narborough (members of the Central and South Norfolk League) who have made the relatively short trip from neighbouring Dereham. I saw them last time out when they travelled to beat Snettisham Maroons by a comfortable and impressive 6-2 score. Hosts Lyng incidentally the only side from the North East Norfolk League still left in the competition beat Ellingham on penalties after extra time to reach this stage, the quarter-final.
My hop turns out to be quite a roller coaster of a ride and not one for the faint-hearted. With 62 minutes gone on the clock (and with Lyng comfortably leading 2-0) play was suspended after home player Jack Abbot received a nasty leg break to both his tibia and fibula.
After successfully contacting the emergency services (in an area with poor mobile signal quality) an ambulance was called out from Norwich. Immediate efforts were made to keep the casualty warm by wrapping him in coats whilst he lay on the pitch and the players were encouraged to go back into the changing rooms to get out of the cold wind. Almost thirty minutes had passed and still there were no signs of paramedics. After seeking medical advice it was decided that the player should be carefully lifted indoors (on a folding table) to prevent the risks and complications from hypothermia. Within the hour an ambulance thankfully arrived to administer much needed first-aid to Jack*, much to the relief of everyone present.
During the lengthy stoppage in play referee Kevin Batty had sought help from the Norfolk FA as to whether the game should be called off. He was asked to take into account the amount of time left and the light available. With the possibility of not completing the game should extra time (and maybe penalties) be required he thought it was best at this point to abandon the match (the correct thing to do in my opinion). However the home committee and players collectively asked the referee to re-consider this and change his mind suggesting that if the game ended level at full-time he should then abandon it. He mulled this over and after some deliberation (and another call to the county FA!) finally gave the thumbs up for play to resume. I couldn't believe it! The match re-started almost an hour later!
Although visitors Narborough pulled a goal back and tried hard to find an equaliser (even with ten minutes stoppage time added on for good measure) Lyng managed to hang on to win and book their place in the semi-finals to be played next month. It really was a long eventful afternoon bearing in mind that I arrived at 1pm and didn't get away until 4.15pm! Phew!!
The game played in mostly dull and cold conditions attracted just over fifty spectators many adding their voices to the intense atrmosphere. As expected neither programmes or refreshments were made available.
A visit to this friendly club comes with my warmest recommendation. May they continue to prosper in the future in the NENL. For more details about the club, the league and the Norfolk County FA check out the site links below.
* Note: I have found out from club secretary Andrew Stevenson that Jack had his leg pinned and is making a steady recovery at home...click on the following link from the Lyng-On-Line site for more about the events from this eventful Saturday: http://www.lyngonline.org.uk/. This is an excellent resource and provides plenty of historical information about the club.
FGIF Match Stats
Scorers: (H) Ayre (10), Abbot (pen 52) and (A) Coe (pen 90+2)
Attendance: 51; Admission: Free; Programme: None; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 3/5.
edited on 11/01/15