Anglian Combination Division Five

Match reports.


Necton kicked off the new season with a home match against Watton Utd Reserves and recorded a 2-1 win. Necton were dealt a massive blow before the game with the news that keeper Gavin Bowcock had been playing with a broken bone in his foot pre-season and was now in plaster for few weeks, so midfielder Ewan Button had to play in goal. Necton started brightly and should have scored in the first few minutes but new signing Ricki Summer missed. Necton took the lead after 10 minutes when player/manager Gavin Norman turned his marker in the box to fire in a left foot shot which was parried by the Watton keeper only for Summer to chest over the line. Necton scored their second minutes later when a fluffed clearance by the Watton keeper went straight to Matthew Harman who shot past the keeper into the net. This should have then been the signal for the floodgates to open but unfortunately they sat back and allowed Watton to press forward and they pulled a goal back before half-time when the Watton keeper redeemed himself. A long clearance eluded the Necton defence and bounced over Ewan Button and into the net.

Watton started the second half strongly and should have been level within minutes when awarded a penalty, but Button made a brilliant save to keep Necton in front. Watton bombarded the Necton goal but could not breech the Necton defence as they held on for the victory. Referee Dave Smith controlled the game well.


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Necton entertained local rivals Mundford Reserves for their second game and had new signing James Butters in goal making his debut but were without player/manager Gavin Norman with a calf strain. Necton should have been in front early on but several chances went begging. Mundford gradually got going and started to create chances for themselves as the game went from end to end, and it was Mundford who broke the deadlock on the half hour mark when a mix-up in the Necton defence allowed a Mundford forward past and he coolly finished with a fierce shot past Butters.

A half-time roasting paid dividends shortly after the restart when Ricki Summer equalised. Necton now looked strong, and when Mundford failed to clear a corner Matthew Harman was allowed to prod the ball over the line for a 2-1 lead. Now the game opened up as Mundford pressed for an equaliser and Necton for their third to try and kill the game off, and it was the home side who got it when substitute Chris Land cut inside the full back and shot past the keeper to give Necton a 3-1 win. For the second match running full marks to the referee, this time Richard Gostling. Necton's next match, September 6, home to Sprowston Wanderers Reserves ko 2,30pm.

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Stalham started their campaign in style with a home win over Norwich CEYMS. Stalham were fielding a young side under the guidance of Gary Holmes, last season's A team manager and Chris Evans who last season was in charge of Fakenham Town's first XI. Stalham went one up when Blackie burst through with pace before rounding the keeper. CEYMS levelled. Stalham's inspirational skipper Carl Bailey curled home a superb free kick from 35 yards. Stalham took a 3-1 lead into the break when skilful midfielder Shane Kay volleyed home in some style at the far post to round of a great half.

In the second half Stalham looked in control for 35 minutes and played some good football at times and extended their lead with another Bailey strike. With 10 minutes to go CEYMS pulled one back. Stalham had taken their foot off the pedal at 4-1, this led to a mini-comeback towards the end. Captain Carl Bailey eased the home fans' worries with an 87th minute strike to seal the points in front of a large home crowd. Manager Gary Holmes was very pleased with the win. Chris Evans said the team are young and willing to learn and was pleased with the start.

MoM: Carl Bailey.

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