Planters pay for crucial mistakes

RIDGEONS LEAGUE: Norwich United are still looking for their first win of the season after this week saw them return from visits to Tiptree United and Kirkley & Pakefield with just a point for their troubles.

Norwich United are still looking for their first win of the season after this week saw them return from visits to Tiptree United and Kirkley & Pakefield with just a point for their troubles.

Once again mistakes cost the Planters dear as they soon found themselves behind in both matches. At Tiptree it was the 13th minute when an uncharacteristic error by Steve Shipley allowed Mills in to score. The Planters did have the ball in the net before the break through Shaun Bammant only to have the effort chalked off for offside. Six minutes after the break and Tiptree doubled their lead when Warren Preston could only divert a speculative shot from Ward onto his own bar and English was on hand to net. Preston was to turn hero though, firstly heading home from a 74th minute Lee Howlett corner, the ball taking a deflection off Ben Goddard, and then with just five minutes left Bammant was fouled in the penalty area and Preston stepped up to equalise from the spot.

Wednesday evening saw a disappointing defeat at the hands of big spending Kirkley & Pakefield. The Planters started well with Nathan Page's cross cut out by Woodcock in the first 30 seconds, and Preston just failing to reach a driven cross, but with just nine minutes on the clock Stone found himself in acres of space and he drove into the area, skipped a challenge and calmly slotted past Matt Hill. The Planters had plenty of possession but K&P seemed happy to soak it up and hit on the break, Henderson and Highfield went close to extending the lead before the break. Six minutes after the break and the hosts extended their lead with a Fox free kick touched home at a crowded near post by Gilman. K&P completed a comfortable victory in the second minute of injury time with Fox's shot going in off the underside of the bar, although this gave the final scoreline a slightly flattering look.

Today the Planters entertained Felixstowe & Walton United, Tuesday sees them travel to Lowestoft Town, kick-off 7.45pm at Crown Meadow subject to Lowestoft having an FA Cup replay and next Saturday they are away to Wivenhoe Town, kick-off 3pm looking to avenge an opening day defeat.

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The reserves started their Anglain Combination campaign on Tuesday with an impressive 2-0 win against Acle United Reserves. Mark Brooks' young side grew in confidence as the game went on and took the lead in the 33rd minute when George Brooks' excellent through ball put Jack Deeley beyond the defence and the youngster calmly slotted home. Keeper Daniel Quantrill highlighted another assured performance with an important save half way through the second half and the Planters finally got a deserved second in injury time when Deeley raced away down the right and squared for Craig Beeden who netted into an open goal.

The reserves entertain Wortwell at Plantation Park next Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm.

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The under-18s started their league campaign on Thursday evening with a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Harford Tornadoes. The youngsters looked a little nervous with several debutants in the side but still did enough to suggest a possible win and Adam Blanche missed a late chance to steal the points. Once again Quantrill produced an assured performance to keep Harford at bay.

Next Wednesday sees the young Planters travel to Great Yarmouth Town, kick-off 7.45pm.

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