Anglian Combination round-up
CROMER'S first away game of the season saw them travel to Dussindale to face AFC Norwich. Changes again had to be made to the side.
AFC NORWICH 0, CROMER TOWN 2
CROMER'S first away game of the season saw them travel to Dussindale to face AFC Norwich. Changes again had to be made to the side. Horton moved into centre midfield for the absent Marsh. Carey returned to left back and Bradshaw made his first start of the season, writes Richard Cox.
On a very narrow pitch neither side threatened too often. Norwich had an opportunity when James Denmark nicked the ball from Harwood, but Denmark's shot was saved by Osborne at the near post. Cromer took the lead on 30 minutes when David Harwood fired into the bottom corner from a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. In time added on in the first half Neil Bugdale's free kick was tipped on to the bar by Daniel Lloyd.
The second half was as uneventful as the first. Both goalkeepers were basically spectators but around the hour mark Cromer had a perfectly good goal disallowed. After some good, sharp passing around the box the ball was played behind the Norwich defence and Horton ran through and finished well. But the linesman had his flag up although Horton was well onside.
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A few minutes later the Crabs scored their second. Bugdale's corner went to Harwood in the six yard box and he volleyed home for his second of the game. Cromer almost added a third from a Horton corner, but somehow Lloyd managed to get in the way of Liam Davies' header from close range. Norwich had a chance to grab a consolation goal but Osborne stretched to keep out Richardson's free kick.
Another 2-0 victory for Cromer who remain on top spot with 100 per cent record. This Saturday sees Hempnall come to Cabbell Park.
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The reserves lost 5-4 at home to Sprowston Athletic Reserves. Simon Robinson got a hat-trick and Ben Sharman scored the other. Their next game is on Saturday at Thorpe Rovers.
The under-18 entertained Kirkley in their first home game. They lost 5-0 which was not a true reflection on the performance as the young Cromer team are already showing great improvement. Next Thursday they travel to Gorleston in the cup.
t HEMPNALL 3, BRANDON TOWN 2
Brandon were denied a point their performance warranted when the home side converted a penalty in injury time.
Town made a bright start and had much the better of the first half creating some excellent chances, Waites and Poile both going close. It was Hempnall that went in front against the run of play after 20 minutes. Brandon were soon level as Bellingham drove through the home side to set up Waites. Town continued to press and Sobiechowski hit the post from distance. Town took the lead when Waites grabbed his second and minutes later had a chance to complete his hat-trick but was denied.
The second half saw Town again press early but the key moment came five minutes in when Bellingham received a nasty head wound as he looked to give Town a two goal cushion. The home side then took up the attacking mantle and drew level with 20 minutes left.
The game was heading for an honourable draw when in the dying minutes Brandon were denied a good penalty shout only to see the hosts awarded one minutes later, a good effort from Dyer could not keep the ball out and Hempnall took the points.
Town will feel aggrieved not to have taken something from the game but their performance was encouraging.
Elsewhere the Reserves went down 2-0 at home to AFC Norwich Reserves as the visitors scored twice in the last 10 minutes.
HEMPNALL felt some what fortunate to take all three points.
A new formation settled in well and for 30 minutes they looked to be in control although Brandon always looked dangerous. Hempnall's defence looked a little shaky as the normally reliable Downs struggled to find his normal composure and rhythm.
The opening goal arrived as Flint produced some individual magic to slip the Brandon defence on the halfway line and race though before calmly slipping the ball past the keeper.
Brandon then came back into the game striking the post and finding gaps in the home defence. Two goals followed in a 10 minute spell as Hempnall's composure and discipline started to slide.
The half-time whistle couldn't come quick enough to get things back into perspective and tweak the first half findings on the new formation.
Play continued to be fairly even but the tide started to turn on two factors. The influential Bellingham for the visitors picked up a head injury after a brave diving header which might have sealed the points had it gone in and had to leave the pitch. Plus the longer the game went on our extra fitness started to play a part.
Seventeen-year-old youth system produced Ben Upton entered the fray and it was he who engineered the equaliser. A nice touch and side step of a defender gave him the space to deliver a perfectly composed cross to Sam Wenham on the far post and the mercurial winger volleyed home giving the keeper no chance.
A draw looked to be the most likely outcome but again it was a substitute, this time Matt Cawston who engineered the winner. He burst into the box and the out rushing keeper brought him down.
Paul Franklin calmly drilled the ball home to nudge Hempnall back into the lead.
The game took another twist when Tom Halliwell pulled a hamstring and Dave Norman hurt his knee. With only one sub remaining Hempnall had to shuffle the pack again to hold out for all three points, leaving an unfortunate and hard working Brandon side very disappointed.
Thanks goes to Wrighty and the boys for coming back to the pub for another good social occasion.
Steve Barnes secured the man of the match award after a hard working display.
On a day when the clubs resources were stretched to the limit it was good to see all three teams achieved a positive result as the Reserves won 2-0 at Caistor and the A team obtained a 1-1 draw at Freethorpe.
t HINDRINGHAM 2, BECCLES TOWN 3
On Saturday Beccles made the long journey up to the north Norfolk coast to take on Hindringham. In a dramatic match, Beccles left it very late to snatch a 3-2 victory, which has taken Mick Broxup's men to third in the Premier Division.
Beccles received a massive blow Friday night as captain Sam Barham couldn't shake of a sickness bug and was forced to withdraw from the squad. Manager Broxup was forced into two changes from the team that beat St Andrews last week. Cable kept his place in goal with the returning Fiske slotted into the vacated centre back role alongside Payne, Mayhew and Mcmorran. The industrious Day replaced Lees alongside the impressive of late Craig Peters with Waterman and Woods operating the flanks. Hurren partnered the free-scoring Remblance up front.
Hurren threatened early on and Remblance failed to make the most of a free-kick. Day and Peters started to pull the strings in midfield with both Waterman and Woods asking questions of the home fullbacks.
On the half-hour mark and seemingly against the run of play, Hindringham took the lead when a counter-attack proved costly.
Beccles pressed for a breakthrough. Remblance to hit a rasping shot that the keeper could only parry, but as Hurren rushed in, he gathered at the second attempt.
Beccles made no changes at the start of the second half and lined up to attack down the hill with the wind behind them.
For the first 10 minutes Hindringham caused problems with their pace in attack and forced Cable into making two very smart saves. Beccles started the second half very poorly but this changed on 65 minutes as Town equalised and really turned the game.
Peters found a small amount of space in the middle of the park and found Remblance with his back to goal. He turned and advanced on goal leaving two players in his wake and struck a shot from 18 yards. It took a small deflection of the leg of a defender and flew into the bottom corner leaving the keeper stranded to make the score 1-1.
Broxup made a change, Lees came on to replace the not fully match-fit Day. Waterman took up his usual place alongside Peters with Lees wide right.
Remblance, Hurren and Waterman all had half chances. Hindringham continued to frustrate and soaked up all the constant pressure Town were putting on them.
On 70 minutes Beccles were dealt another blow as the home side took the lead again. Cable saved well in a one-on-one but unfortunately for him the ball fell kindly for the striker and he stroked the ball home at the second attempt.
This seemed to spur Town into action, Waterman and Peters started to get a hold of the game and Lees was finding more space on the right.
The game's pivotal moment came on 80 minutes when a Hindringham midfielder was sent off for a second yellow card.
Beccles were now able to fully take the game to Hindringham, Remblance and Hurren continued to threaten with Waterman also coming close with a long-range effort.
In the 87th minute Beccles finally made the extra man count and levelled the game for the second time. Fiske volleyed towards goal and forced the keeper into an unbelievable save, but the ball fell back to the feet of the big man and he bundled the ball over the line for 2-2.
Beccles threw every thing at the home side in the closing stages, and then deep inside injury time Remblance grabbed the headlines with one of the best goals witnessed in a Beccles Shirt.
Hindringham cleared their lines only as far as Mayhew in the left back position who in turn found Hurren wide on the left. Hurren looked up and spotted Remblance peeling off to the back post, he sent a deep cross to his intended target. Unbelievably, he smashed the ball first time on the volley into the far corner of the net to stun Hindringham and everybody in the ground.
The new Broxup era has started very well, Beccles are looking good in the league and undefeated now in three games.
Hindringham saw a lack of discipline and control cost them the game after they received five needless bookings.
Hindringham had Chilvers unavailable, but Darren Mattless returned from injury and they welcomed Clipston back on the bench after injury.
Hindringham started well and worked well as a unit, not allowing Beccles any time or space to get their passing game going.
The Villagers continued to press the Beccles defence in the early stages, but the ref did not seem to like any contact being made in tackles, so the game was being stopped for fouls which spoiled the flow.
Good work from Jason West, who linked well with Thomas East, ended with a pass into the box for Scott Gray to beat his man and pull the ball back for captain West to back-heel Hindringham into a deserved lead.
Hindringham then controlled the match for the rest of the first period with Coslett in the midfield winning the battle and allowing West and Gray to cause problems up front for the Beccles defence.
Hindringham did not come out for the start of the second half and allowed Beccles too much time and space to pick their passes. It was only a matter of time before they scored.
At 1-1 the game looked to be Beccles for the taking, but Hindringham dug deep and Scott Gray had two great chances. From the second one, West followed up and blasted Hindringham back into the lead.
Then came 10 minutes of madness, which saw Coslett receive his marching orders and Hindringham went to pieces, allowing Beccles to score two late goals to win the match 3-2.
t LODDON UNITED 4, ACLE UNITED 1
ACLE saw Loddon continue their impressive start to their return to Premier football by clinically defeating a below-par side who comfortably won the first half on points although at the break they found themselves 2-1 down despite taking the lead and playing well within themselves.
Saddler's two goals made sure Loddon remain unbeaten as they swept past a listless Acle side.
After 18 minutes Ben Morgan sent a pinpoint corner onto the head of Ricky Hodds who saw his effort rebound out to Acle's Captain Warren Nicholls who made no mistake putting his header into the corner of Collins' goal to put the visitors ahead. Ben Morgan hit the bar with a tremendous effort as the visitors went for the jugular but to no avail as Browne's shot was saved by Scott Foreman but Sadler was quickest to the rebound and score.
After 41 minutes Acle went behind when a “hit and hope” effort from Wright went through Foreman's hands to put the hosts ahead at the break.
It took Loddon 37 minutes to carve out their first meaningful opportunity but after the half-time interval they were inspired to a comfortable win as the disappointing visitors gave the ball away too often and the hosts capitalised on their good fortune as Sadler scored his second of the game after Foreman had took the ball out of his keeper's hands. Sloppy defending then allowed Hancock to score the hosts fourth with Acle in a sad looking situation which sees them now perilously sitting in the bottom half of the table. Manager Ward was a disappointed man at the final whistle.
t BUNGAY TOWN 2, ST ANDREWS 1
A superb late goal from midfielder Paul Hunter clinched Bungay's first Anglian Combination Division One win of the season at the Maltings Meadow on Tuesday evening.
As the game entered injury time the Black Dogs won a free-kick five-yards outside the area, and Hunter curled the kick around the wall and into the top corner off the net off the far post in Beckhamesque style.
It was a goal worthy of winning any game. The Saints may feel a little disgruntled at not getting anything from an even game, especially as they looked the more likely side in the first half, but Bungay battled well and created chances themselves.
Bungay created the first chance after 13 minutes as Luke Field played in a low corner and Danny Wilby slotted in an effort that was cleared off the line by a defender.
Another good move down the right created a chance for Hunter and his 20-yard side-footed effort grazed the outside of a post. Later, from yet another right wing move, Neil Renaut crossed low and the keeper, wrong-footed, somehow kept out Tom Amis's first time effort.
But St Andrews broke quickly in the 23rd minute to take the lead against the run of play, as they carved open the home defence for Matthew Pilgrim to side-step Jimmy Bligh to score.
The Saints keeper was soon called on to turn a dangerous cross form Joe MacFarlane over the bar and from the corner MacFarlane, unmarked should have converted an eight-yard header which just cleared the bar.
Saints were more in the game towards half-time and Bligh had to make a flying one-handed save to keep out one effort before another came back to safety off a post.
But Bungay deserved their 40th minute equaliser, well created as Amis and Renaut combined for the latter to pull the ball back for Field to coolly beat the keeper from eight yards.
Amis brought a diving save from the keeper early in the second half and at the other end Bligh did well to save a snap shot at the second attempt. Saints had marginally the better of the second half without creating clear-cut chances, and when Bungay won a free-kick on the edge of the area with eight minutes left, Wilby's effort was blocked by the wall.
But there was no such reprieve for the Saints in the 91st minute as Hunter struck his stunning winner.
Bungay Reserves had a good first win 6-0 over CNSOBU, with Ainsley Baynes coming off the bench to score a second-half hat-trick, the other goals coming from Gavin Webb, Ash Ling and Jusrin Doughty.
Bungay A were undone by some defensive errors in their first game after promotion - Steve Brown was unlucky to hit four goals and still finish on the losing side in a 6-4 defeat by Oulton Broad Reserves.
Bungay Sunday first ream, followed up last week's opening league win with this County Cup victory, the goals coming from Kev Talbot and Ash Ling.
t NORTH WALSHAM TOWN 2, WROXHAM RESERVES 2
North Walsham Town returned to league action and welcomed reigning champions Wroxham Reserves to Greens Road and were left to rue a series of missed chances as their opponents battled to a 2-2 draw.
The Town line-up, who stepped out sporting their new strip sponsored by Security Solutions Yes, was showing two changes with Wilton replacing Skipper and Drake stepping in for injured captain Cullington, who joined fellow centre back Lown in the treatment room. New signing Ramsbottom was also in attendance but did not feature in the 14.
The opening exchanges were fairly tepid as both sides battled for midfield supremacy, whilst keepers Kellett and Jackson were virtual spectators. The game exploded into life on the half-hour mark when Wroxham took the lead. Latimer surged forward and his shot from long range took a major deflection off Davies to leave Kellett completely wrong-footed.
The Angels responded immediately, however, as they equalised within 60 seconds. David Hinton found space and fed Lee Clarke, who controlled the ball, swivelled and drilled the ball past Jackson.
Wroxham went close to regaining the lead when an in-swinging free-kick deflected off Davies and bounced against Kellett's upright and away to safety. Town then took control of the game and had a great chance to take a half-time lead when Wilton was upended in the box by keeper Jackson. David Hinton stepped up confidently but saw his tamely-hit penalty easily saved by Jackson. Then, on the stroke of half-time, Clarke broke clear but saw his effort blocked by a brave Jackson.
The second half continued as the first half ended with Walsham dominating proceedings but due to wasteful finishing and brave defending, frustration began to creep into the display.
However, just as it appeared that Town would regret their talents in front of goal, they grabbed a deserved lead. Knowles reached the byline and his low cross was thumped home by Dale Wilton. Soon after the goal, Skipper replaced the ineffective Hinton and Town continued to create chances but couldn't grab the killer third goal.
On 80 minutes, the Angels paid the ultimate price for their lack of goals when a free-kick from Taylor sailed into the corner of the net beating both the wall and Kellett. Walsham tried to regain the lead but it was all in vain as the game ended with spoils shared.
This was a frustrating 90 minutes for manager Musgrove as he watched his side carve open the champions on numerous occasions without taking the three points they craved.
t SHERINGHAM 1, BLOFIELD UNITED 4
This turned out to be an enthralling, incident packed contest between two highly competitive sides watched by a good crowd, most of whom sheltered in Sheringham's impressive new stand.
A game of two halves, the saying goes and appropriate here. Both sides had key players missing; Bevis and new signing Holmes from Acle for the Shannocks, and the Beavers having Dean Fitzgerald, Stu Rushbrook and Chris O'Brien absent, the last two getting married.
Blofield were attacking the 'Splash' end with the questionable advantage of a strong wind. Evergreen Simon Blowers was showing up well on the left flank fully justifying his recall. After 10 minutes, Carver was adjudged to have handled and Danny Brown tucked away the resulting penalty.
After 22 minutes, Sizz was hurt after a strong tackle from Magee and played no further part being replaced by Peter Williams.
The Beavers were dominating proceedings with at this stage little seen of the Sheringham attack, but after 32 minutes, Ollie King was adjudged to have been fouled by Darren Cox and it was his turn to score from the spot.
Returning to the attack, the Sheringham goal was still in danger with some clever and persistent work from Ross Durrant from mid-field. Danny Brown was also in fine form wide on the right.
Shortly before the interval, Simon found space through the middle and approached Stu Palmer in a one-on-one situation. He circled him on his favoured left but was pulled down with the goal at his mercy. Palmer received a red card, manager Mags taking the jersey, but Danny slotted away his second penalty: 2-1 to the visitors.
Shortly before the interval, Sheringham did breach the Blofield defence but the goal was controversially disallowed for off-side.
Mags introduced midfielder Andy Eastaugh in goal for the second half, and as is often the case with 10 men, stepped up their level of play and put the Beavers on the back foot for most of the half.
However, they could not penetrate the Blofield rearguard in which Lee Skoyles was outstanding alongside Darren, Luke and Harte with Ian Stones secure at the back, with a little luck going his way.
Sheringham early on were wasting much of their approach by mis-judging the strong wind with wasted balls on the way to Splash.
After 55 minutes, Blofield went 3-1 ahead when another fine through ball from Ross found Lee Knell who coolly beat Eastaugh. The Sheringham forwards of King, Fox and Gleave were still looking dangerous but could not penetrate . Ricky Knell and Pete Williams however continued to bite away in mid-field, both receiving yellows for over-exuberance.
Gareth Downs and Scott Mackenzie were brought on to rest Ricky and Lee but the game was still in the balance particularly had the Shannocks scored a second. But on 84 minutes, these remaining doubts were put to rest when a fine Williams, Mackenzie, Durrant move saw the latter clinically score our fourth to settle the game.
Blofield appreciated the kind hospitality from our hosts after the game
The Reserves won an exciting game against Foulsham 5-4 after being 3-0 down at the interval. Jordan Morley (2), James Basey-Fisher, Dan Wynne and Karl Mills were on target.
The A team went down 1-6 in their first fixture at Mousehold.
t BLOFIELD 4, WELLS 1
Omitted from last week's report was my comment about the state of our pitch at Yarmouth Road which has received many comments of approval from players and officials alike, testimony to the care and attention of Paddy Murphy throughout the summer.
Wells are always welcome visitors to the club. They started well and surprised the Beavers with an opening goal after five minutes in their first attack. Blofield were soon back on terms, Ross Durrant hitting the target three minutes later. Sizz was resting a groin injury and Ricky Knell started in mid-field; Stu Rushbrook was also resting with stitches from Tuesday's game. Chris O'Brien was also injured.
After the early goal flourish, Blofield maintained an ascendancy with Lee Knell, Kris Harte and Danny Brown all going close.
But after 33 minutes, Durrant left the keeper helpless with an excellent free kick from just outside the area. The score remained at 2-1 to the interval.
Blofield maintained a momentum into the second half, but needed to take care as Wells were dangerous in isolated instancese.
Jordan Morley replaced Neil Maguire up front, who had worked hard in the humid conditions. A Lee Scoyles header tested the woodwork, and Ross fired just over. After 75 minutes, a Jordan though ball found Lee Knell who deservedly scored his first for the club with a fine finish. David Appleton came on for Luke Adcock on right-side of defence and young James Elliott, aka Frankie, came on and showed up well in mid-field.
On 80 minutes, a measured long ball from Deano out on the left was clinically headed into Ross's path by Danny Brown and his excellent finish produced his hat-trick-his early form is looking good.
Blofield have drawn Holt United in the next round at home on November 1.
Danny McKail is wished well on his move to Diss. Rob Taylor has been tracking him for some time, but again, as with Woodie, he was made an offer he could not refuse. Danny has been a fine club man and will be welcomed back any time.
t MATTISHALL 0, ATTLEBOROUGH TOWN 2
After last week's no show against Loddon, we welcomed back holiday makers King and Ramsbottom, also Clarke and Sharpe returned to the fold.
Our game plan was set out, after playing Mattishall two weeks earlier we knew how they would play. We set out with four at the back, five in midfield and Olly up front on his own. The idea was to stop Mattishall's style of play by keeping the ball on the ground and to Borough's credit this worked.
We managed to play some decent football at times with Tom Clarke and David Greenwood finding themselves with plenty of the ball.
The midfield three of Suggit, Cunningham and a tanned-up King were superb, they worked hard to get forward but made sure they got back to help out in defence.
Andy Cunningham was rewarded with a goal, storming in at the far post with a header to make it 1-0. Olly also had some good chances in the first half, managing to time his run to perfection, but was denied by the keeper.
Barry Wells, not having a good pre-season due to a cricket injury, totally justified his selection in the team with some outstanding saves.
Mattishall had several chances, but we were more concerned with what was happening at the other end. Olly had a couple more chances which were squandered.
Dave Greenwood hit a rocket shot which rebound off the post, with Tom Clarke the provider. Greeney made amends just minutes later with an excellent chip over the keeper to make it 2-0.
Olly and Kingy came off to be replaced by Glen Sharpe and Nathan Lake, with Nathan almost making it three with a long range shot just going wide.
Another pleasing point was to see young Louis Makeral making his senior debut, slotting in at left back and playing extremely well.
However, after receiving a nasty knock to his ankle he was replaced by new signing Daniel Appleton who will be a great asset to the club. Thanks go to Blofield for a speedy transfer.
Summing up the day, we defended very well with Suggy in the middle of midfield. What he does goes unnoticed but for the whole 90 minutes he constantly breaks up play, passes simply and still manages to get forward to help the attack.
Tom Clarke and Dave Greenwood worked tirelessly up and down all game. But the man-of-the-match has to go to Barry Wells with a handful of top quality saves.
t FAKENHAM TOWN RESERVES 4, ANGLIAN WINDOWS 4
THE Ghosts came away with a valuable point from their first home Anglian Combination Division Two game of the season, but knew they should have came away with three points especially after being 3-1 up in the first half.
Again Fakenham started the match with a different team. Adam Shearing made his first start in goal and the team welcomed additional strength from Fenwick and Delicata from the first team. Also the team welcomed new signings Chris Broughton and Tom Blazer.
The management team of Saunders and Huggins decided to change the team formation to test the strength of the team. Within 25 minutes the score was 3-1 to Fakenham.
Anglian Windows opened the scoring by cutting through the midfield and defence but Fakenham soon equalised from skipper Scott Saunders who headed into the top corner from a Stockdale corner.
A fine individual Delicata goal and then an own-goal made the score 3-1, but in between each side could have scored more goals. Again sloppy mistakes allowed Anglian Windows to pull back to 3-3.
At half-time the team changed back to a 4-4-2 and Tom Blazer came on for Ricky Frary. Immediately Fakenham created more attacking chances and it was Tom Blazer who sneaked the ball in after great work down the left side. Kieran Bacon had two golden chances but failed to score. Then Anglian Windows equalised to make the final score 4-4. As players now start to fight for places managers Saunders and Huggins know it will take time for players to settle.
Dean Futter will be supporting the management team this season and ran the line on Saturday.