With County Cup games taking place this weekend, there was a slightly reduced league programme. On a damp and misty morning, The Grove took the opportunity to move seven points clear of Marlborough by winning 4-1 (Gary Bee, Dale Wilcox, Arran James, Sam Mallett) at Aylsham Sunday, whilst Norwich Busmen had a 3-0 home win over bottom side Unicorns.

In 1A, Vale Longo drew 3-3 at home to Windmill Wanderers and North Walsham were 5-2 winners at Norman Wanderers. Horsford SC had a good 2-1 win over inform Castlegate, whilst it’s well done to The Otter who gained their first win of the season, 4-2 at fellow strugglers Aslacton & Gt Moulton.

With 1B leaders Bayer FC in cup action, I watched the game between the morning’s second-placed side Sprowston Rovers and third-placed Prince of Denmark. Sprowston started brightly and took the lead after five minutes when a Denmark defender headed into his own net. Two minutes later Ben Sawyer added a second with a cracking drive from the edge of the box. The home side fought back though and with Chris Holmes proving a constant menace upfront reduced the arrears when Jody Peacher scored with a low drive after 25 minutes. From then on Denmark looked the better side but were unable to level the scores before the break.

The second half saw the home side continue to press but the Sprowston defence stood firm despite a few scares and on a break into the Denmark area, they managed to increase their lead when Craig Cutting scored from close range. That completed the scoring in a good competitive game well handled by referee Steve Boddy. In the division’s other games, Catton FC had a good 6-0 win at Sprowston Wanderers, whilst Haig won 4-2 at home to St Faiths.

In 2A, goals by Jamie Brister, Peter Tilbrook, Ryan Flint and man of the match Chris Freeman helped Acle Wanderers to a 4-0 victory at Norman Wanderers, and well done to Stoke FC who finally have a point on the board after a 5-5 (Justin Cameron 2, Thomas Cullum 2, Daniel Smith) draw with The Stores.

In 2B, Hillside OB pulled off a bit of a surprise as they won 2-1 at Maid Marian, a result that sees the home side drop to fourth spot after PL Rangers continued their good recent form with a 6-2 win over Hethersett Athletic to move up to second place. Ribs Rovers travelled to Hingham and came back with three points and a 4-1 victory.

New Buckenham moved back to the top of 3A as they beat Newsman Celtic 5-3 and now lead Riverside Rovers, who were in cup action, on goal difference. Dancing Farmers scored six without reply at Caseys Cosmos and there were thirteen goals in the game between Norman Wanderers A and The Reindeer, with Normans scoring nine.

In 3B, Bell Inn and Unicorns Reserves drew 1-1, whilst there was a 2-1 victory for Aylsham Reserves against DEF FC.

4A leaders Bungay Town march on after what they described as a strange game, beating Eaton Young Boys 7-5. Brooke are second after a 2-1 win at Hockering Reserves, whilst Phoenix Felthorpe were held to a 3-3 draw by Temple Bar. Whiterose United got back to winning ways by beating Manor Park 4-2 and Earlham Colney won 3-1 at William Rovers. The day wouldn’t be complete without a high-scoring game involving Temples Property. This time they overcame Sporting Longdale Reserves 6-4.

4B leaders Drayton won a very well contested game of football against Windmill Elite. Drayton raced into a two goal lead with goals from Tom Frost and a first in senior football from Billy Draper, before the visitors reduced the arrears in the second half. Drayton also praised the performance of referee Fusheng Qiao. The two clubs closest to Drayton, William Wanderers and Schoolhouse FC both had very big wins. Wanderers won 14-2 at Wendene Wanderers whilst Schoolhouse scored twelve as they beat Spixworth Reserves. Dilham Cross Keys lost ground as they threw away a 4-2 lead to lose 5-4 against Salhouse Reserves and Hethersett Reserves and Chapelfield Rovers shared eight goals and they points in a 4-4 draw.

In the County Cups, there were wins in the Senior for AFC Wanderers, Bayer FC, Acle Rangers and Hellesdon Athletic, whilst the Norfolk CCSC v Marlborough game was abandoned due to injury. There were Intermediate Cup wins for Mad Moose, Riverside Rovers, Sporting Longdale, Sprowston Sunday, One Love United, Taverham United, Sporting Farmhouse and The Griffen.