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Basingstoke footballer Scott Rendell makes FA Cup history
BASINGSTOKE footballer Scott Rendell wrote his name into the FA Cup history books by scoring the only goal of the game as non-league Luton Town won away at Premier League Norwich City on Saturday.
The former Crawley, Cam-bridge United, Peterborough and Wycombe striker, who grew up in Basingstoke, started the fourth-round tie on the bench and was brought on as a sub with 20 minutes to go.
He had an immediate impact, robbing a Norwich defender and playing in Alex Lawless. His effort went narrowly wide – but Rendell’s big moment arrived in the 80th minute.
Stuart Fleetwood released JJ O’Donnell down the left and he pulled the ball back towards Rendell at the near post. The 26-year-old beat his marker to the ball and smashed an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net.
Luton rode their luck at times. Norwich went close to taking the lead, when Leon Barnett first hit the post and then saw his effort on the rebound cleared off the line, while Lathaniel Rowe-Turner was fortunate not to concede a late penalty for handball.
However, it was the Blue Square Bet Premier side who won the game, becoming the first non-league outfit to knock a top-flight team out of the FA Cup since 1989.
Rendell said: “It’s fantastic to be part of history. We were aware of it. It’s been a fantastic day for everyone.
“It’s unbelievable to score the winner in a cup tie like this. It’s an unbelievable feeling to come to a Premiership club like Norwich and turn them over.
“Coming here and starting on the bench is never ideal but the boys did a fantastic job for 70 minutes. I just had to give my all for 20 minutes and if I got that one chance then I needed to put it away.
“It was just lucky that it ended up in the back of the net. It was a fantastic feeling. I heard a huge roar and then everyone went mad. It was just one of those moments.
“You can make the runs and get in the positions but if everyone else doesn’t do their job, if they don’t put the ball there for you, you can’t score.”