Crawley crisis

RIDGEONS LEAGUE: TWO pieces of less good news to start with this week. Firstly, the Ridgeons senior team conceded their first goals and points midweek to end their 100 per cent record.

TWO pieces of less good news to start with this week.

Firstly, the Ridgeons senior team conceded their first goals and points midweek to end their 100 per cent record.

But more seriously, the news that Nick Crawley has landed a new job in the Channel Isles has rocked the club as it means he will no longer be available on a regular basis.

Good news for opposition defences maybe, but his loss to Yarmouth's team is incalculable.

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Paul Tong and Kevin Cruickshank are in no doubt that it is a big blow to their ambitions.

“He was an important part in our plans and he will be missed. However, he remains committed to the club and the management team and the entire playing staff wish him well for the future,” Cruickshanks said.

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On a more hopeful note, Crawley recently signed a new contract with the club who are retaining his registration as he may be able to get back for occasional games.

Also putting pen to paper were goalkeeper Elliot Pride and centre-back Gareth Palmer to further secure more of the club's valuable playing assets, and Kevin says there could be more to come as the club is serious about moving forward.

After last Saturday's superb 4-0 win at Ipswich Wanderers, where Stewart Roach notched a brace and Darren Lamb and Dominic Smith scored for the first times this season, Cruickshank remarked that both he and Tong were very pleased with the start to the season.

Unfortunately, the team fell short of their recent high standards at Thetford on Tuesday, allowing a 2-0 half-time lead to slip away to a 2-2 draw.

The scorer of the two goals, Scott Woodcock, had two further chances himself but one, a Beckham-like bendy free kick, hit the post while a straightforward-looking shot with only the keeper to beat ballooned over the bar.

Thetford, to their credit, were a team of fighters and the toughest opponents met so far.

It proved a real test of character for Yarmouth and possibly a reality check before today's big FA Cup meeting with Wroxham.

The last time the teams met at the Wellesley, September 14th, 2004, a 3-3 draw resulted though Yarmouth were leading 3-1 with just 10 minutes remaining.

The Youth U18s commenced their league programme this week with a sensational win at Crown Meadow where defeat in the final game of last season cost them the Eastern Division title.

A quickfire double in the 32nd and 34th minutes opened up the path to victory. Joe Bell notched a penalty for the first, and quick thinking from Jake Reed brought the second as he seized on an error by the Lowestoft keeper who dropped a Dominic Smith free-kick.

The Blues pulled one back in a further three minutes, but Yarmouth super-sub Lee Roscoe scored with his first touch after 71, and that was that.

The reserves, after a first success against Acle Reserves last week, came up against a tougher and older outfit then themselves in Oulton Broad & Notleys on Tuesday last, losing 3-1.

The Bloaters' goal came at 3-0 with just under 15 minutes remaining when Jose Vide cut in from the right and fired a thunderbolt past the home keeper from just outside the box.

Next week, the youth are at home to Norwich United on Wednesday (7.45), while the first team are at home to Long Melford on Saturday (3) and the reserves visit West Lynn SSC (2.30).

Should today's game have been drawn, the replay is on Tuesday.

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