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Underdogs March Town beat Norwich Utd 2-1 in Emirates FA Cup with goals from Craig Gillies and Jack Friend

Brett Whaley's underdog March Town troops scratched a seven-year itch by beating visitors Norwich United 2-1 in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The Hares made their first Emirates FA Cup appearance for seven years worthwhile with goals from strike partners Craig Gillies and Jack Friend in the extra preliminary round.

March, from Thurlow Nunn Division One North, knocked out the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division leaders in gusty GER conditions.

March v Fakenham Football. (14888257)
March v Fakenham Football. (14888257)

Hares manager Whaley said: "It was a really good win.

"Conditions weren't great because it was windy. It gusted in different directions, then died down, then came on again, so it wasn't the prettiest game.

"It was difficult to play any sort of football, but both sides tried to.

"But the concentration shown was excellent.

"In the end we probably deserved it."

Friend set up Gillies to score with just six minutes gone.

Craig Bussens levelled on 25 minutes and March forward Toby Allen was sent off for a high boot after half-time.

But minutes later Jack Rawson threaded a pass to Friend who lobbed away goalkeeper Luke Pearson for the winner.

March, who picked up £2,250 for the win, entertain either Wellingborough Town or Eynesbury Rovers in the Preliminary Round, whose winners bag £2,890.

Whaley added: "I said before the game we want stay in the competition for as much as we can."

March will have Allen and Casey Logan suspended for next Saturday's Thurlow Nunn League D1N home game with new side Sheringham.

March: Charlie Congreve; Jamie Short, Scott Callaghan, Max Mattless, Drew Barker, Adam Rothery, Jack Rawson (Gavin Cooke 88), Tarren Moxon (Casey Logan 68), Allen, Friend, Gillies (Mo Hamza 73). Subs not used: Charlie Pocklington, Dylan Kilford, Lewis Gibson, Flo Tsaguim. Sent off: Allen 48.

Attendance: 130.

On Friday, in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, Wisbech St Mary host Lakenheath.

Saints lost 8-1 at home to AFC Sudbury Res at the weekend at the ABC Meats Stadium .

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