Scole find a new hero as Manning scores priceless late winner

Scole United saved their senior status for another season when 17-year-old super sub Kieran Manning scored a superb winner in the 93rd minute of a nervous match.

Going into the home game against already-relegated Holt United, Scole knew if they didn’t secure the three points required for safety they would face a tricky winner-takes-all relegation thriller away at fellow strugglers Dersingham on Saturday.

Buoyed by a couple of good but fruitless performances in the week Scole took to the pitch in confident mood. Holt hadn’t read the script though and although they had nothing to play for they were in a defiant and resilient mood.

Scole dominated possession and created several chances but faced the familiar season-long problem of being unable to find the back of the net.

The home side thought they were going to take the lead in the 30th minute when Harry Browne was taken out and a spot-kick was awarded by former Football League official Richard Beevor. Following a dispute with a spectator standing behind the goal the penalty was delayed and this seemed to affect the usually prolific Will Goulding and sure enough he blasted his effort wide.

Although Scole were fully on top, Holt were defending resolutely and the Yellows couldn’t break the deadlock.The returning Jordan McCue and youngster Manning were introduced to try and affect the game with their pace but time was ticking by and Scole were getting more and more nervous.

Tom Green and Lawrence Browne both had good headed efforts somehow saved by the Holt keeper. As the game entered injury-time, tensions in the technical area were at fever pitch when, out of nowhere, Dave Coleman played a through ball into Manning’s path and the rookie striker hit a shot just inside the near post out of the despairing keeper’s reach, sending the entire Scole contingent into raptures.

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A massive relief came at the final whistle moments later and Scole United Football Club had a new hero to salute.

Player-manager Ben Cussons deserves a big pat on the back for guiding the team through a tough season and maintaining senior status alongside assistants Alan Boulter and James Wilby as does reserve team manager Paul Head for all his assistance.