Anglian Combination Premier Division
PUBLISHED: 07:30 30 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:44 10 September 2010
ACLE UNITED 4, NORTH WALSHAM 0
For a game of excitement this match will take some beating. It had everything and could quite easily have finished up with a score-line of 8-8. The game started and finished with excellent goals scored by Holdsworth and in between further goals by Crane and Lewis Holdsworth who registered his first hat-trick for the Bridewell Lane club.
The visitors arrived fresh on the back of defeating the Sterry Cup favourites and proved they will be no pushovers this season following their opening victory against the much-fancied Shannocks.
North Walsham will feel they deserved at least a point out of the game such was their contribution but as the cliché goes “its goals that count” and despite all the neat approach play the final ball and shot on goal saw no clinical finish.
Walsham's manager Musgrove was left shaking his head as the hosts showed a clinical side to their game in the last quarter of the pitch and with the solid pairing of Foreman and Wright at the heart of Acle's defence there seemed no way through the home rearguard and when they did young Scot Foreman in goal covered himself in glory with some excellent saves.
The scoring started in the eighth minute when the impressive Hodds sent a long centre across field to find Holdsworth coming in off the right wing to send a thunderous header into the far corner giving the visitors' keeper no chance as he put the hosts ahead.
After 16 minutes Acle doubled their scoring after a neat build-up between Rathbone Lacey and Nicholls sent Crane racing through on goal to chip the keeper and increase the hosts' tally.
Hodds repeated his action of the eighth minute when he centred for Holdsworth to score Acle's number three of the night after 21 minutes.
Just before half-time Crane and Morgan set up Holdsworth who cheekily got his hat-trick with a clever back heel.
Although the hosts registered four goals in this game they know the traffic was not all one way and the visitors will take plenty of points from teams this season to not be worried with relegation. Acle's Ricky Hodds blotted his copy book in the closing minutes when he was rightly shown the red card for kicking out at an opponent after the ball was gone.
t BECCLES TOWN 1, HEMPNALL 0
Hempnall travelled to Beccles with Steven Barnes Gavin Brown and Ben Cussons. On a perfect evening for football the game started at a very fast pace and Hempnall looked capable of gaining something from the early exchanges but Beccles had other ideas and were making it very difficult for the Hempnall strikers to get too close to their goal. A couple of half-chances went begging and a Rob Browne header was cleared when it looked on its way into the net. Beccles were at times the quicker of the two sides but were not threatening Cudden's goal to any extent. The game did develop into a midfield battle for short periods from which a few cautions were issued. Beccles went ahead 62 minutes into the game with a well placed free-kick from some distance. On chances Hempnall won the day but for some reason just could not find the net. Possibly Shaun Flint was a little unfortunate to receive a caution when he won the ball cleanly. All in all the game was of two equal sides, but from Hempnall's point of view they should have won the game.
t BLOFIELD UNITED 3, LODDON UNITED 3
There were just two starting line-up changes from last week, Ian Stones replacing Woodie in goal and Ross Durrant also making his debut in midfield in place of Deano, unavailable because of work commitments. Loddon arrived with encouraging support in numbers, obviously relishing their return to the Premier.
Blofield started strongly and assumed command of midfield, as they did at Hempnall last week. Ross Durrant went just over with a strong shot and, following a strong Danny Brown run on the right, Kris Harte's drive was well saved by the keeper. We continued to create half-chances which were not put away, and on the half hour, we fell behind when a free-kick was needlessly conceded on the left and a glancing header by Simon Oliver gave Ian no chance. Stung by this reverse, the Beavers intensified their activity driven by Sizz and Lee Skoyles and this brought dividends. Following a left-wing corner, Stu Rushbrook drove in an unstoppable drive high into the visitors' goal.
Straight from the interval re-start, we moved into the lead when Chris O'Brien headed his first goal of the season from a Danny Brown cross. Danny had been good value in the first half making several runs and crosses from the right which we had not been able to cotton onto. Blofield were still in the ascendancy and Harte had another shot well saved from a Skoyles assist. But Loddon could still be dangerous and a timely Luke Adcock tackle preserved our lead on the hour. Durrant, again showing his potential, had a good effort well saved. Ricky Knell replaced Sizz after 65 minutes and immediately made his mark in midfield with strong interventions.
A bizarre spell at the three-quarter stage saw the Beavers surrender what appeared to be a comfortable situation. Indecision on the right near the corner flag (images of last season), when no danger threatened, donated possession to the opposition and Loddon equalised. Further naivety in defence caused Ian Stones to vacate his area and handle the ball in no-man's land, with the inevitable end result - red card. Stu Rushbrook, who had earlier sustained a nasty gash on the head, went in goal with Skoyles dropping back alongside Darren Cox. Jordan Morley replaced Lee Knell up-front.
With 10 men, Blofield had not given up the idea of three points and on 83 minutes Ross Durrant scored his first for the club with a fine goal from a Harte assist to make it 3-2 - game over we thought! But two minutes from the end Harte annulled all his good work by presenting gift-wrapped the ball to Loddon when no danger existed, and our visitors were delighted to achieve a further point, with us surrendering another two.
On Wednesday, the Reserves went down by the odd goal of three in an entertaining game against an experienced North Walsham side. They played some excellent football in the first half but could not get on terms with our visitors once they went ahead in the second half. David Titchiner scored for Blofield.
t BRANDON TOWN 2, WATTON UNITED 2
BRANDON began their home fixtures with an evening game against newly promoted Watton United. The visitors went away with a point after a contentious free-kick resulted in a stoppage time equaliser.
Brandon made a lively start. Soanes looked a good acquisition and his link-up with Waites bodes well for the rest of the season. Brown troubled the Watton defence down the right though too often his crosses did not attract attackers in numbers. Town took the lead after 19 minutes as Waites duly finished after an assist by Soanes.
A reckless but non-malicious challenge saw a lengthy delay as one of the visitors required attention, though his injuries were not as severe as first feared. Play resumed in a subdued manner, although the home side were still calling the shots. The lead was doubled when Brown headed home from close-range and the half ended with the Town defence largely untroubled.
The second half was in some contrast to the first with the visitors getting forward in numbers and stretching the Town defence. Watton created a number of openings but Brandon failed to heed the warnings and on the hour mark the visitors grabbed a lifeline as Astbury headed home. The game ebbed and flowed with both sides looking for the next goal. Watton hit the bar and Brandon had a good penalty claim turned down. As darkness took over Watton were awarded a free-kick just outside the box amid respectful protests from the home side. The set piece was well-executed and Watton drew level.