Cup holders fall at first hurdle

The majority of the league programme was taken up by the third round of the Ben Smith Memorial Cup, the league’s premier cup competition with the First Division clubs joining the fray at this stage.

Overall, it was not a particularly good day for Division One clubs with eight of them falling by the wayside at the first time of asking. Two notable casualties were the holders, Dereham Town A, who went down to the only goal of the game in their home tie with Feltwell United while the previous season’s winners, Northwold S&SC, were beaten 2-1 at home by Second Division Yaxham.

Rockland United suffered a similar fate going down to a heavy 7-2 at the hands of Nostro while Sporle also accounted for Division One opposition, beating near neighbours Swaffham Town A 6-3. Narborough also made an early exit, being beaten by the odd goal of five by Division Three leaders, Scarning United.

In all-First Division ties, Morley Village beat Tacolneston by the odd goal of three, Shropham United won 5-1 at Gressenhall and Thetford Rovers Reserves, who played for the vast majority of the match with 10 men, secured a 2-1 victory at Shipdham.

Bridgham United were the only Division One side to beat a team from outside the top flight after a 2-1 home win over Castle Acre Swifts. There were three other wins from teams from lower divisions than their opponents. Bawdeswell won 4-1 at North Elmham while Mulbarton Wanderers Reserves beat Breckland Wanderers by the odd goal of five. Litcham kept the Division Four flag flying, winning 3-1 at Splitz United. Necton squeezed by Colkirk 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw and West End were leading Tugas United 4-3 when their match was abandoned.

There were two matches in Division Two and bottom team Cockers secured their first points of the season with a 1-0 home win over Thurton & Ashby, a result which lifts them off the foot of the table. In the other match, honours were even with Methwold Rovers and Gressenhall Reserves sharing the spoils from a 4-4 draw.

In Division Three, the biggest surprise of the day was at second-placed Mattishall A who went down to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of lowly Rockland United Reserves. Marham Wanderers were held to a 1-1 draw at Hingham Athletic Reserves, Stoke Ferry won 4-0 at Great Cressingham and Rampant Horse beat Wendling with the only goal of the game.

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Yaxham Reserves are the new leaders in Division Four following their 2-1 win at Methwold United. North Elmham Reserves stay third after beating Weasenham Wanderers 2-0 and Shropham United Reserves remain fourth after their 7-1 win at Castle Acre Swifts Reserves.

Walsingham United are up to fifth after beating bottom team Shipdham Reserves 4-1. Nostro Reserves beat Dereham Cockers United by the same score and Tacolneston Reserves ran out 6-2 home winners over Beetley United.