Planters kick off in style

Hadleigh Utd 0, Norwich Utd 3The Planters opened the new season with an impressive three-goal victory at Hadleigh United. The game was decided in the opening 30 minutes as Paul Chick's side breezed into an emphatic lead.

Hadleigh Utd 0, Norwich Utd 3

The Planters opened the new season with an impressive three-goal victory at Hadleigh United.

The game was decided in the opening 30 minutes as Paul Chick's side breezed into an emphatic lead. Hadleigh improved after the break but never looked like getting back into the game and the Planters looked the more likely to score and comfortably held on to secure the three points.

Andrew Claydon gave the Planters a fourth-minute lead after Justin Fox's quick free kick released Ben Furlong wide on the left and his first-time cross was controlled by Claydon who then turned and struck a lovely crisp first-time shot past Arron Benstead into the corner of the net.


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Fox was looking in good form and he released Nathan Page whose shot was gathered only at the second attempt by Benstead.

The Hadleigh keeper was keeping his side in the game as twice more he saved first denying Jordan Blyth and then Page.

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Hadleigh almost took advantage of the reprieve as Ben Deacon headed narrowly over from Craig Payne's cross and the Norwich keeper Ben Nower had to tip over from Luke Read's dipping shot.

The Planters heeded the warning and they doubled their lead in the 23rd minute, Lee Hunter's excellent delivery from a left-wing corner was headed home at the near post by Steve Shipley's firm header.

Seven minutes later and it was 3-0, Claydon finding Fox wide on the right inside the penalty area and his sublime chip from an acute angle floated into the far corner of Benstead's net with Blyth poised to head home from close range.

The Planters were now in full control and Lee Hunter's free-kick was spilled by Benstead but cleared by the home defence and Page shot over after good work from Fox and Claydon.

After the break Hadleigh were more spirited but limited to long-range shots, Blyth shot wide after good build-up work from Gareth Simpson and Page. Claydon hit the bar with a strong shot but as the ball came back to him he hit his shot over the top.

Stewart Roach, making his debut after his midweek signing from Great Yarmouth, came on late in the game and almost got on the scoresheet in injury time but after a lovely ball in from Simpson he hit his shot just over the bar.

Hadleigh United: Benstead, Girling, Leys, Garnham, Powling, Rose, Canfor, Fleming (Munson 46), Payne (Joseph 63), Deacon, Read. Unused subs: Smith, Chinnery, Gleeson.

Norwich United: Nower, T Jeal, Furlong, Shipley, J Wilson, Fox, Hunter, Simpson, Claydon, Blyth (Roach 74), Page. Unused subs: D Tacon, Layton, Farrow.

Referee: J Pickford. Assistants: A Longsdon and N Morrison.

Attendance: 158.

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