Dereham Town retain five-point lead
RIDGEONS PREMIER: Dereham Town stayed five points clear of Kirkley & Pakefield at the top of the Ridgeons Premier Division with three fewer games played after both sides won on Saturday.
Matt Henman’s mid-Norfolk outfit went ahead after 12 minutes. A cross from Gary Starling on the left was bundled forward by Kyle Downes, with defender Ed Cussons poking the ball towards his own net. It forced keeper Ben Vincent into a fine save, but he palmed the ball out to Roberts, who scored from close range.
The Debenham surface made it difficult for both teams, especially Dereham with their short-passing style. But on 36 minutes the leaders increased their lead. Roberts beat Vincent with a low, first-time shot from 10 yards following Ollie Willis’ ball into the box.
Dereham saw a goal-line clearance deny Danny Beaumont, Roberts hit the base of a post at the end of a weaving run and Beaumont shot over the bar with just the keeper to beat.
Kirkley & Pakefield returned to winning ways at Walmer Road, getting the better of a strong Wisbech side. A man-of-the-match performance from Bodie Carter and a great attacking display from Russell Stock swung the match in the KP Royals’ favour 2-1, despite a missed penalty.
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Kirkley started well with Ryan Crisp going close, but soon after the home team were stunned as Aaron Turner’s shot nestled in the far corner to put Wisbech 1-0 up.
The Fenmen had further chances to extend their lead in the first half through Lewis Thompson and Andy Furnell but Dave Attridge was equal to the danger in the Kirkley goal.
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As the outfield players looked to capitalise on the heroics from their goalkeeper, Stock combined brilliantly with Taz Grint only for Wisbech captain Paul Cousins to handle the ball as it flew towards goal. Ian Dawson saw his spot-kick fly well over goalkeeper Lea Jordan’s bar.
However, K&P were not thwarted by the setback, as eight minutes later they were level. Neat play from Stock found Robert Horton and he unleashed a thunderbolt into the top corner from just outside the area.
Just three minutes after the break, substitute Stuart Cobb, who had replaced captain Paul Cousins, fouled Grint in the box and this time the responsibility was given to Ali McKenna who made no mistake from the spot to put Kirkley 2-1 up.
K&P went on to dominate the second period as Crisp and Stock both tested Jordan in the Wisbech goal.
Wroxham are third following their 2-1 win at a CRC side now fourth in the table. They travelled without several key players due to injury but produced their best display of the season so far.
They took the game to CRC looking like a team wanting to win the league.
However, CRC’s first attack resulted in a corner in the seventh minute with Shaun Howes clearing off the line for Wroxham.
With Wroxham in control of the game, they forced three consecutive corners on the quarter-hour. Then two CRC corners saw Josh Carus and Danny Self clear off the line.
Wroxham continued to exert pressure and Ross Durrant, who was constantly in the thick of the action, scored the Yachtsmen’s opening goal on 28 minutes.
Wroxham continued to be the stronger team, playing with plenty of confidence but not able to add to their lead.
In the second half, CRC came out strongly and on the 54th minute Gavin Lemmon gave away a penalty. The taker sent Scott Howie the wrong way for 1-1.
Wroxham picked up the pace again to outclass CRC. The Yachstmen were awarded a free-kick just outside the penalty area from which Gav Lemmon struck a stunning shot which was stopped by an equally outstanding save.
In the 60 minute the visitors regained the lead when Durrant poked the ball past the keeper.
CRC struggled to keep in the game, but showed they were still a threat when they smashed the ball over Howie’s bar, and in the last five minutes, Matt Daniels almost gave them a lifeline hitting his own bar, but again Wroxham managed to get the ball clear, inflicting only the second defeat on the home side this season.
Unlucky Norwich United went down 1-0 at home to FC Clacton. The Planters lost centre-half Jamie Wilson in the pre-match warm up, and his partner Darren Coe had to be replaced after a collision with Ben Nower before half-time.
United suffered a run of missed chances, had a penalty appeal turned-down and saw the referee reluctant to send off Chris Ribchester for hauling down Ross King when he was in on goal. It was no surprise that Scott Yearling’s deflected shot was enough to take the points.
Furlong was causing problems down the left wing, twice getting behind the defence, and from the second occasion the Planters had claims for a penalty as Andrew Claydon appeared to be held.
King had a shot saved, then a rare Clacton attack saw an excellent Steve Shipley tackle deny Yearling the chance to open up the Planters’ defence.
In the second half, Nower saved well to deny the visitors’ skipper. The Planters then sprung into life, a James Dunkley tackle denied Hunter, Claydon had a shot blocked and a Justin Fox free-kick was held by the keeper. Fox played a delightful one-two with King but his shot went straight at Rutherford. Clacton scored when Yearling’s shot from the right deflected past Nower.
Great Yarmouth Town went down 2-0 at home to Stanway, while Mildenhall won 2-0 at home to Brantham.