The rain had ravaged the Essex countryside all night, but five minutes before kick-off, the showers stopped, clouds parted and rays of sunshine bathed the Mile End pitch. Dedham Athletic lined up against a team two divisions higher them.
This Charles Hewitt Memorial League Cup match saw Newtown Rovers kick off with only nine men. A fact the Dedham seized upon straight away, forcing the home team back into their own half.
For thirty-five minutes, Newtown Rover defended their penalty area stoically, making challenge after challenge in order to keep Dedham at bay.
The Aaron skilfully beat two defenders in the box. He was then brought down by a third by means of what can only be described as an “agricultural” tackle. The ball came out to a Dedham attacker who tried to cross the ball back in, but the pass was stopped by the illegal use of a defender’s arm.
The ref awarded a penalty, which captain Paddi duly converted.
Just after the penalty, Newtown had another player arrive, who the Ref allowed to join the game.
Newtown continued to dig in until half time.
After Dedham kicked of the second half, it became clear that Newtown were buoyed by their tenth man. They now started to match Dedham at time for possession, even having a couple of counter attacks.
Slowly Dedham reasserted themselves on their opponents, and in the fifty second minute were reward with a second goal after Kier took a corner which Paddi met, unleashing a ferocious shot which the keeper saved but could not hold. Alfie was on hand to tap in the rebound.
Soon after, Dedham scored again when Keir crossed the ball, which four defenders managed to miss, allowing Dylan to slot it home to make it three nil.
Newtown Rovers then scored totally against the run of play after they counter attack with two quick players, resulting in the ball being expertly driven home leaving the Dedham keeper worth no chance.
This served as a warning to Dedham, who now really upped their game. Paddi scored another goal on eighty minutes, capitalising on Newtown not clearing the penalty box, he smashed the ball home from close range.
This was followed by Aaron, who was desperate to score. After missing countless earlier chances, he very skilfully received the ball with his back to goal, and turned and beat the defender behind him before calmly dispatching the ball passed the Newtown Rover keeper to make the final score Newtown Rover one, Dedham Athletic Five.