AFC Wanderers hit back to increase lead at top

AFC Wanderers came from 2-1 down against Acle Rangers to increase their lead at the top of the Premier Division after eventually winning 3-2. As closest rivals Marlborough and The Grove were battling out a goalless draw on the next pitch in a dress rehearsal for the League Cup Final, AFC were made to work very hard to take the points.

Luke Tuttle gave the home side the lead on half an hour, but Acle replied eight minutes later through Ricky Forder. After the break AFC keeper Duane Smith produced a brilliant save from a Peter Nobbs penalty, but the visitors did eventually go in front from a powerful Julian Bussell header. The home side though showed a determination to get back into the game and were rewarded as Tuttle added his second of the match. That goal was soon followed by a Liam Blofield strike that settled the game. Dog House bounced back from their cup semi final defeat last week by beating Reepham Town 5-3.

Game of the day in 1A produced another dramatic twist at the top of the table as Vale Longo leapfrogged over Fiveways into second spot after beating them 2-1. Vale fell behind early on in the first half but goals from Gerry Archer and Steve Churchill in the second half and a superb point blank save from Mark Woods minutes from the end gave Vale the three points. Leaders Dussindale are on 40 points with one game to play and Vale are a point behind also with one game left, but Fiveways know that the title is in their own hands if they win their final two games. Windmill Wanderers will finish the season in fourth spot after scoring five without reply at Eaton FC and Norman Wanderers completed an up and down season with a 3-0 win at Horsford SC. At the bottom Aslacton made the long trip to North Walsham only to suffer a 2-0 defeat, but unless they suffer a disaster in their final game it will be The Otter that finish bottom of the table as they suffered a 2-1 reverse in their last game at The Castlegate.

Bayer FC clinched runners up spot in 1B after beating Prince of Denmark 4-1. They must now wait to see who they will face in the playoff final. St Faiths were also 4-1 (Jordan King 2, Carl Branson 2) winners as they overcame Haig FC, and the division’s bottom two both lost by 3-2 scorelines, Rose Tavern at Sprowston Wanderers and Spixworth Sunday at Earlham United.

Hockering missed the chance to take the Division 2A title as they suffered a surprise 3-0 home defeat to Norman Wanderers Reserves. They still need a point from their final game to make certain the trophy comes their way. If they don’t get that point, they will have to see if Sprowston Sunday, 7-0 winners over Stoke FC, can catch them. Deopham’s David Darkins grabbed a hat trick as his side beat Acle Wanderers 8-0. Further goals came from Lewis McKerell (2), Jonathan Oakley, John Parry and an own goal, whilst The Griffen were 7-2 winners at Green Man.

A point from their final game of the season will see Acle Rangers Reserves take the 2B title as they comfortably beat Sporting Farmhouse 8-1 to move level on points with leaders Moles Rest who have completed their season. Heartsease FC’s last game of the season saw them beat Poringland Reserves 8-1, but they may feel slightly disappointed at not being amongst the honours this year. Hethersett left it to the final game of the season to record their first victory as they beat Maid Marian 3-0.

There was late drama in 3A as Mad Moose grabbed a last minute winner to defeat Constable Crusaders 3-2, whilst Sporting Longdale demolished a dispirited Reindeer side 18-0. 3B champions One Love United recorded a single goal victory against Unicorns Reserves and third placed Bell Inn suffered defeat in their final game of the season as they went down 5-3 at home to Sloughbottom Revolution. Zach Howe (2), Sam Howe, Dan Davies and Edward Kettle all scored for the visitors. Taverham United continue to climb the table after a 3-1 home win against DEF FC.

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The runners up spot in 4A has gone down to the wire. As champions Bungay Town were beating Phoenix Felthorpe 8-1 second placed Brooke were being held to a 1-1 draw by a resurgent William Rovers. They are now joined on 42 points by Manor Park who had Paul Clarke scoring four times as they beat Earlham Colney 5-0. Both sides have one game left with Brooke having a better goal difference of eight. Temples Property finished a decent season by scoring five at Whiterose United. With two games left, Schoolhouse are the new leaders of 4B, but they were given a scare by Salhouse Reserves who went into the interval with a two-goal lead courtesy of Joe Russell and a decent Ryan Blyth effort. Schoolhouse got their act together after the break and pulled level midway through the second half before two late goals gave them three vital points. Jake Imrie, Josh Cullington (2) and Chris Hall scored for the home side. Chapelfield Rovers scored six (Abu Bakr Kolly, Hanif Whyte and 4 from Leon Campbell) as they beat Costessey Reserves and there was a 2-0 (Lucas Knight, Matthew Brighton) win for Windmill Elite at Spixworth Reserves.