Anglian Combination Division Two
t HELLESDON 3, ANGLIAN WINDOWS 0
Hellesdon opened their new campaign with a convincing win over local rivals Anglian Windows.
They started well with Danny Shafiyan putting them in front with a header and a terrific shot into the top corner from 25 yards by Ryan Woods stretched their lead.
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A header by Simon Prichard completed the scoring on an evening when the home side always looked the better side and, although sterner tests will await them, there is a belief that the team can make a mark this season following promotion.
Keith Tilney and Mark Hornagold remain at the helm and have added midfielder Matt Dawson from Norwich United and keeper Mark Gosling to an otherwise largely unchanged squad from last season.
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The next fixture is not until August 30 when we play host to League newcomers Hemsby in the Cyril Ballyn Trophy.
t WORTWELL 0, PORINGLAND 3
PORINGLAND: For our first game of the 2008-09 season we travelled to Wortwell last Tuesday. Several players were unavailable due to holidays, work commitments and injuries; among those missing were young Philip Bugg, Luke Casey, Jonno and 'the head'.
Early exchanges saw very little goal mouth action at either end with both defences well on top. Wortwell were happy to play the more direct football but with Chris, Jon, Tom and Nathan looking strong and comfortable 'keeper' Larkins wasn't called on to make any kind of save. However Wortwell's long ball tactics were rubbing off on us and our four midfield players, Tom, Scott, Matt and Josh weren't seeing too much of the ball. Up front we had two willing workers in Vaughan and Mark but even they were getting frustrated always chasing hopeful balls to no avail.
As mentioned above both defences were well on top but 15 minutes in we took the lead through Josh Farrow who, after good work by Mark Jones, fired home from eight yards. Play continued to be scrappy and neither side could create another clear cut chance. Half time 1-0 to Poringland.
Poringland were asked to play through midfield and to get both wide men involved more. Jon and Josh were certainly more involved on the flanks and central midfield pair Scott and Matty started to dictate the game. Poringland began to gain territorial advantage with more possession visible. We went 2-0 up within five minutes of the restart when Stevenson set off like the proverbial rocket from just inside Wortwell's half; his pace carried him past two defenders before he became de-railed inside the box. Up stepped the lithe Jon Causton to dispatch clinically the resulting penalty.
Stevenson then went close with a delicate lob from 25 yards which just missed. Chris Talford replaced John Cogman, the latter having his first run out after injury and it was Talford who nearly added to the tally when his header from eight yards came back off the bar. Poringland were still well in command with keeper Larkin and his back four seldom called upon and when they were, they dealt admirably.
The introduction of 'road runner' Wortley for young Jones brought fear and uncertainty not only to Wortwell's defence but to our management and supporters alike. Wortley's pace certainly had the home rearguard 'dizzy' and it wasn't long before he got on the score sheet, hitting a terrific shot from 18 yards which beat the home keeper clinically. Talford also was unlucky not to get on the end of a good cross.
Chris was given a rest allowing Richard Glen to have 20 minutes in defence. The 'road runner's' pace allowed him once again to break free the home defence, however with the goal at his mercy he somehow blasted wide from 15 yards. Poringland's second half performance deserved the result they achieved. All round they were superior, the back four hardly put a foot wrong, keeper Larkins never having a telling shot to save while the midfield, with Scott back at his best, held the upper hand and made the whole team tick.
One slight note of concern; we lost Josh Farrow to a head injury resulting in slight concussion with 15 minutes remaining. I understand he is up and about with no lasting effects. (£1 fine incurred by Mark Jones).
MoM: Scott Casey.