Anglian Combination round-up

After a good pre-season preparations Cromer's league campaign got under way. Seven players were unavailable but the game saw new signings Matthew Eves and Tom Parker make their league debuts.


AFTER a good pre-season preparations Cromer's league campaign got under way. Seven players were unavailable but the game saw new signings Matthew Eves and Tom Parker make their league debuts.

In the 59th minute Cromer took the lead. The ball flicked of the defender and into the run of Eves who closed in on goal and coolly slotted past Scott Foreman. Five minutes later the Crabs scored a second. David Harwood, from just inside the Acle half, sent a high, looping ball towards the Acle goal and it dropped just underneath the bar.


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THE second league match of the season saw Cromer entertain Hindringham at Cabbell Park. Karl Horton and Jamie Furlong came into the squad, but on the bench as the same 11 started that beat Acle.

The Crabs finally scored in first half added time. Eves played the ball inside the Hindringham left back and Parker used his pace to close on goal before squaring to Durrant for the simplest of finishes.

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Cromer scored again immediately after the re-start. Horton came on for Eves who had a hamstring injury and Horton was involved in the goal. It was his corner from which Liam Davies scored with a header from close range after Osler failed to hold on to the ball. The reserves picked up their first win with a 5-1 win at home to Martham. Paul Winterbone grabbed four and Ryan Walsh got the other.

The U18s also kicked off their Ridgeons Youth League with a trip to Gorleston. Although they were beaten 3-0 there were several positives from their first ever league game.


Martham started this Anglian Combination Division Three game with an air of complacency following their rampant victory over Caister in their first game.

However, any signs that Cromer, who had a heavy defeat in their opening fixture, were going to be a pushover were soon blown away as they eased to a 3-0 lead in the first 20 minutes. Martham slowly got into gear and for the last 10 minutes of the first half and first 20 minutes of the second they were at least competing with Cromer. But any chance of a comeback was destroyed when Cromer scored again on the break.

Martham then pulled one back following good work from Adam Betts and Greg Evans. Cromer bagged a fifth to put the final nail in the coffin and complete a well-earned victory.


This was a great result for new manager Richard Codling after numerous late call offs. Beccles went ahead after 10 minutes when young depute Lewis Wright at only 16 years of age pulled the ball back in the area for Ant Martin to slot home. One minute later Beccles doubled their lead when A Martin was bought down in the box for Alan Barnard to slot the resulting penalty passed the keeper. Just before half-time Martham pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 at half-time.

At the start of the second half the Beccles back five of J Ellis, A Greengrass, P George, C Payne and M Bickers had to be at their best to hold out an onslaught from the Martham front three. The engine room of Beccles then kicked in and both Dave Larter and Ricky Wilson were producing some awesome play from midfield. A Martin scored another two goals for his hat-trick and both were set up by young Lewis Wright. The goal of the day was yet to come and after some good play from Adam Woods who crossed deep for Sam Butcher who had previously missed two clear chances juggled the ball on the edge of the box and beat the keeper with an exquisite overhead kick to make it 5-1.


LODDON UNITED RESERVES manager Simon Key put out a solid looking line up following last week's 6-2 defeat. Loddon got off to a great start when Steven Wise scrambled the ball home from close range after just five minutes. Thorpe hit back when a striker dribbled through the home defence only for keeper Grice to save the effort on the line. Neil Ford's left foot drive went just wide of the post on 15 minutes. Thorpe player Paul Allcock blasted wide when left unmarked. Home player Adrian Battisson stabbed wide from 10 yards. Visiting striker Ramsey Gashut almost levelled but his drive came back off the bar. With 70 minutes gone the visitors levelled when a header flew past Grice and two Loddon defenders into the net. Substitute Matt Parkin, who had come on as a late replacement for Neil Ford, sealed all three points for Loddon when he knocked the ball home following a goalmouth scramble.


After an impressive pre-season Freethorpe have experienced a very mixed start to their first season in Division Four. After getting off to a great start with a 2-0 home win over a hard working Blofield Reserves Freethorpe were quickly brought back down to earth losing 5-0 away to an impressive Harleston Town. Freethorpe then entertained Mattishall Reserves at home and earned a 1-1 draw, with Danny Lawton getting on the scoresheet with an excellent solo run. Mattishall Reserves were quickly on level terms after an unfortunate error by the Freethorpe keeper. Freethorpe seemed to have a reprieve in the last minute when they were awarded a penalty only for the Mattishall keeper to make a top class save from the unlucky Rix. Injuries are taking their toll a little but Freethorpe must continue to work hard and play with belief and the results will follow. Next match away to Marlingford with 2.30pm kick-off.


HINDRINGHAM broke the deadlock when the Seasiders failed to clear a loose ball. Wells equalised straight after the break when Matty Somerton forced the ball home when the keeper could only parry a good shot.

Hindringham went ahead again after Wells' defence failed to clear. Within minutes off coming off the bench Finch blasted home the equaliser from an acute angle.


SHERINGHAM RESERVES travelled to fellow promotion hopefuls Hoveton Wherrymen expecting an early season test. This was very much the case, Hoveton playing a direct style of football attacked from the off, closing down the young Shannocks passing game, making any sort of controlled possession difficult.

It was a momentary lapse of concentration that allowed Hoveton to take the lead, a free header from a corner was flicked to the far post for the waiting forward to dispatch powerfully.

This new look Shannock side had no intention of allowing Hoveton to build on their lead though, both Chris Long and Lee Edwards both went close as Sheringham finished the half the stronger.

The second half saw Sheringham push Hoveton further and further back, good chances came and went, the linesman's flag proving the biggest obstacle. Both sides where then reduced to 10 men when Andy Hubbard was shown a straight red card for dissent. This inspired the young reserves for one last push and it paid dividends. With just a minute remaining, in near darkness, Chris Long latched onto a hopeful through ball and confidently lobbed the keeper into the top right hand corner, sparking rapturous celebration, it was no less than the young Shannocks deserved, this new found never-say-die attitude will take them a long way this year. Lee Fish and Phillip Durham continued their good early form with strong performances. Michael Bacon rolled back the years with a typically head strong linesman display.


HOVETON entertained Sheringham in mid week in what Jon Powley knew would be a clash of two of the eventual top four.

Sheringham started brightly winning the early tackles and creating the early chances. It took 20 minutes for Hoveton to get started and it was not long before Dave Sizer scored a great volley to give the Wherrymen the lead. Hoveton continued to press and create chances, all of which went begging.

The Wherrymen had the majority of possession in the second half and it looked like they were there when Sheringham were reduced to 10 men. At 75 minutes it got very dark and perhaps the game should have been stopped. Five minutes from the end Sheringham grabbed a late equaliser from a well taken finish.

Tomset was sent off for foul language, a disappointing end to what should have been three points for the Wherrymen.


Despite having 10 players out, Hoveton bounced back from the midweek draw to demolish Attleborough in some style.

The first half was fairly poor with Hoveton going in at 1-1. As soon as the second half kicked off the Wherrymen increased the tempo and played some tantalising football, the goals soon came along.

Adam Bunton scored three, Gary Curtis scored four and new signing Ben Moore got one on his debut.

With a scratch side this was a very good result for Hoveton to take them back to the top of the table.


The Saints travelled last Tuesday night to Reepham for their second league game of the season. Manager G Howes had the same squad which secured a 2-0 win at CEYMS. Reepham came racing out of the blocks and put the Saints under early pressure with the direct aerial ball to their tall strike force but the Saints weathered the early storm and began to play some good football stemming from the hardworking M Ratcher and fullbacks S Howard and L Mcglure. M Ratcher midway through the half sent a very good ball to G Carr who was clean through on the keeper but after strong attentions from a home defender Carr missed his shot.

To the Saints' astonishment the referee gave the offending player only a yellow card! and M Ratcher had to leave the game after a nasty ankle injury from the ball laid through, F Deeba replaced him. Reepham took advantage of the situation and went 1-0 up just before the break. The Saints came out for the second half looking to get back into the game and after some good play L Tuttle equalised with a looping header over the home keeper and despite some promising football the end product ended up with the home linesman calling offside at least six times. Reepham took the lead after an offside flag was overruled by the referee and increased their lead from a deflected shot.

The Saints finished the game well and reduced the arrears from the spot (A Kay) after a deliberate handball in the box. On Saturday the Saints were on their travels again visiting CNSOB in the first round of the league cup. Manager G Howes was without captain S Howard and G Carr but welcomed back C Fewtrall and T Barrett. The Saints started the game very sluggish (probably due to the poor warm up) and struggled to come up with the final killer ball. This gave the home team the confidence to play a little which caused some anxious moments. M Owen rattled the crossbar from 40 yards but this was as close as the Saints got until 40 minutes when L Tuttle placed the ball home in the box. Manager G Howes read the riot act at half-time resulting in a quite the opposite second half performance. The Saints went on to play some scintillating pass and move attacking football which resulted in a further 10 goals being scored and one conceded. F Deeba led the way with eight second half goals and L Tuttle with his second C Fewtrall scored his first goal for the club in three seasons. Thanks go to CNSOB for a sporting game and after match hospitality and ref R Owen who had a good game with the whistle.


THE Ghosts travelled last Tuesday without S Saunders (holiday) and Cole and Neal, who were with the first team.

In a game of few chances, West Lynn took the lead when goalkeeper Cracknell was unable to gather the ball from a corner and a player found the back of the net. Bacon equalised before half-time with an excellent overhead volley but Fenwick gave away a penalty for 2-1. In the second half Bacon hit the bar and Stockdale had a glorious chance to equalise but mis-hit his shot.


BRADENHAM Wanderers' busy close season saw the signings of Nathen Ferguson, Gareth King and Mark Culyer from Dereham Town, Chris Gibbons return from a spell at Thetford Town and Chris Miller also returning after a season playing local football.

They joined all of last season's players with the exception of Steve Cox who has had to retire on the advice of the doctors after his serious knee injury.

A typical first game saw two second-half goals from Karl Sexton and substitute Nathen Ferguson wrap up the first points of the season for the Bulldogs.


CHANGES had to be made to the side for the second midweek fixture, losing the holidaying John Alison and Nathen Ferguson to injury was a big blow. Up against a tall, physical Mundford side the young Bulldogs were always going to be second best in the aerial contests. It looked pretty grim at half-time with the score 2-0 to the home side.

Manager Read gave one of his morale-boosting team talks and a marked improvement was noticed at the start of the half.

It was thought experience was required with Jamie Craig and Les Tufts being brought into the fold coupled with a change of system which brought almost instant success.

Tufts got to the by-line and crossed to Forder, who was tripped from behind to give a penalty which was confidently put away by Gizzy King.

Rick Forder got behind the home defence to lob the keeper for the equaliser. Tired legs set into the home ranks and the Bulldogs sensed victory.

Again Forder found room in the box and crashed home the winner. A final few minutes of Mundford pressure saw them pumping high balls into the box which were dealt with superbly by keeper Archie Harding, backed by resolute defending.


BOTH teams were looking to protect their unbeaten starts last Tuesday. The game turned into a midfield battle with clear-cut chances very scarce although Mattishall probably just shaded an evenly-contested first half.

In the second half the visitors had a gilt-edged chance which was wasted. Substitute Simon Wooden then grabbed Mattishall's goal following a corner with only 10 minutes remaining. Mattishall defended in numbers as the visitors pressed for an equaliser in gathering gloom.


Away to Dersingham Holt made the worst possible start falling behind after only five minutes.

Putting this behind them they soon drew level when Kevin Moore shot home from eight yards out.

But a lack of concentration cost Holt again as Dersingham went back in front for a second time.

A great individual goal got Holt back into the game. Their Polish star, Dan Peczowski, broke clear, beat his marker, then rounded the keeper to slot the ball into an empty net to see the teams go into the break on level terms.

Fifteen minutes into the second half Moore was replaced by David Thompson. Five minutes later Holt went in front for the first time. After an excellent move, Alan Gravenor crossed for Matthew Sanders to score with a rare header.

Holt replaced Stephen Thompson with debutant James Wright. The visitors increased their lead when Peczowski went clear again, this time he played in Colm McGilway, who calmly lobbed the keeper.

Holt's third sub Matthew Hudson came on for Peczowski. With two minutes remaining the home team pulled a goal back, but it came to late to deny Holt a first and very well deserved win.

Great team performance with keeper Finbar O'Brian once again impressing despite three goals against him.

Next game, Wednesday, September 10, when Dersingham are the visitors in Holt's first home game. Kick off 7.30.


HARLESTON are just one of three teams who have a 100 percent record in Division Four, thanks to a thumping victory over highly-rated Freethorpe.

Harleston were soon ahead when Mark Pearce managed to cleverly nod home a low corner from five yards. A defensive mix-up presented Ben Green with a chance which he netted.

In the second half Freethorpe tested the back four but Kent, Bliss, London and Burrett were immense. A Kieran Passey free-kick found the net. Pearce bagged his second with his head after a well-timed run. Matty Goreham forced a save but the ball was palmed to Passey, who dinked it over the keeper.


In a midweek game reduced to 80 minutes by the referee worried about the light, a young and inexperienced Boaters Reserves side were out-muscled by a hungrier and stronger Oulton Broad team.

From the off Yarmouth failed to find their normal fluent passing game on a small and bumpy pitch.

Oulton Broad continually harried and pressed the Bloaters into making silly errors in dangerous places.

“When we found our rhythm and played football on the floor chances were created,” said manager Eden Rudling. “But poor finishing meant we had nothing to show for it.”

Oulton Broad worked tirelessly, closing down the midfield, and after about 20 minutes got their reward when Lewis Popham was caught on the ball in the middle of his own half and from the break Broad found a way past Hilton in goal to take the lead.

Yarmouth looked dejected, and despite a slight change in the formation to a more orthodox 4-4-2, never really got to grips with the more physical side of the game.

It wasn't long before another error gifted Oulton Broad with the ball mid-way in the Yarmouth half. A quick counter-attack saw the ball played out to Broad's right flank and a pin-point cross to the far post was to produce an exquisite volley by the home side's No 6 which left Hilton with no chance.

The management team of Rudling and Harrison resisted the temptation to make changes at half-time but left the players in no doubt that they needed to up their game if they wanted to take anything out of the match.

The half-time team talk appeared to have worked, as the first 10 minutes of the second period were played almost entirely in the opponents' half.

A few half-chances went begging before Oulton Broad's physical game began to take hold again. Yarmouth returned to their first-half tactic of high balls and too many touches before a needlessly-conceded corner led to the killer third goal.

A good delivery from their left found a player completely unmarked and unopposed eight yards out to power his header past the again-helpless Hilton.

Changes were made and Yarmouth finally began to use their superior ability and pace to good effect.

More chances were created but a series of poor finishing and bad luck meant no reward.

Oulton Broad began to look tired and their only chances came from the long ball out of the keeper's hands. With Yarmouth applying more pressure and taking more risks at the back, the game became stretched.

The Bloaters looked to exploit the gaps and with just under 15 minutes remaining Jose Vide cut in from the right and fired a thunderbolt past the home keeper from just outside the box.

When the final whistle went Yarmouth's young boys could have no argument about the score but will know on another night, with more belief in their own capabilities, they can get results from tough games like this one.


HEMPNALL A team had the pleasure of playing under the floodlights at Bungay last Friday. Managers Stuart and Matthew Oakley have assembled a very good squad of very young players plus a couple of 'old heads'. They won the game 2-0 which it must be said was played in a very sporting manner throughout. Both sides playing some very entertaining football and both camps were able to use several substitutes. Ben Upton and Sam Page scored the goals.

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