Norfolk U18 v Cambridgeshire U18 at FDC, Norwich

7.30pm  11 February 2015

East Anglian Counties Trophy
Norfolk U18 2 Cambridgeshire U18 0 (att 74) at Norwich Football Development Centre

This game was a good opportunity to make my first visit to the Norfolk Football Association's home, the FDC (Football Development Centre) in Norwich.

It's a lively and busy venue, with a steady flow of amateur footballers and children using an array of small-sided pitches, all accessed through the main building which includes a bar.

The one full-sized grass pitch is officially called the "Field of Dreams". Not sure how many Norwich youngsters dream of playing at a sports centre in Bowthorpe on the outskirts of the city, but the facilities are good, and the organisation for this fixture was first class.

The ground is effectively three sided, with no spectators access to the far side where the dugouts are. The near side has a seated stand, refreshment hut, toilets and a turnstyle entrance. A PA system was used to good effect, announcing the teams, substitutions and even the night's official attendance.

It was a decent game as well, Norfolk edged it thanks to a goal in each half, which keeps them top of the six county round robin tournament, although they have played more games than the rest.

Cambridgeshire deserved at least a goal for their efforts, but on this evidence both counties have promising young players. Certainly Dereham Town and Histon do, according to the match programme, 11 of the home squad were from Dereham, while 10 Cambridgeshire players were from Histon.

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