Point for K&P, three for Planters away

A round-up of all this weekend's action in the Ridgeons League Premier Division.

RIDGEONS LEAGUE PREMIER DIVSION

t Kirkley & Pakefield 1, Stanway Rovers 1

by Stuart Baker

Second-PLACED Kirkley's newly-laid pitch was in pristine condition for the visit of mid-Essex side Stanway Rovers this afternoon.


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Their place in the table was under no threat with Dereham five points behind in third place and not in league action anyway.

Stanway put early pressure on Kirkley with some swift raids down the right.

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Kirkley's Nathan Stone homed in with a sharp run which ended with a free-kick from Fox finding Drennan's head.

On five minutes, after James Cole had had a superb header cleared off the Stanway line by Angelo Harrop, Liam Harvey picked up the rebound and placed a shot that got a small deflection past keeper Dobson to give K&P the lead.

Stanway responded with Luke Callender shooting across the face of goal, then a reaction one-handed save by Robert Woodcock kept out a good Rovers' effort from Sam Newson.

Woodcock was sold short by a poor back pass but he reacted well and flung himself on the ground to deny Rob Thorn a scoring chance.

Stanway were producing some intelligent build-up play through Ross Norfolk and Rob Thorn but just lacked the finishing touch, while Woodcock looked on fine form.

Rovers' Al Drennan became the first player to be booked, stopping Stone in his tracks on 33 minutes, but keeper Dobson kept the ball out off the line from Blois' well-taken free kick.

Fox sent Dawson through with a pinpoint pass and his cross was hooked just over the upright by the advancing Robert Horton. Kirkley pressed as the half-time whistle approached with Fox pulling the strings in midfield, creating chances for Stone and the flying Henderson whose 18-yard shot clipped the outside of the post.

t Half-time: Kirkley and Pakefield 1, Stanway Rovers 0

Kirkley nearly had their slim lead eroded when Ross Thorne was clean through, but a fine interception by Cole saved the day.

But the goal that looked imminent came by way of Stanway on 48 minutes when AL DRENNAN rose at the far post to neatly head in Jermaine Harewood's cross from the left.

Kirkley keeper Woodcock was in action yet again with a reflex save to deny Harewood on 58 minutes.

As the game reached the final quarter, it was anyone's game with the visitors winning the corner account but unable to get the ball past Kirkley's on-form keeper Woodcock.

Kirkley and Pakefield: R Woodcock, R De-Coteau, L Blois, D Tacon, J Cole, I Dawson, R Horton, J Fox, N Stone, L Harvey-Cooper, C Henderson. Subs: L Catchpole, L Hammond, J Blyth, D Kareche, M Blowers.

Stanway Rovers: L Dobson, M Curtis, L Bailey, A Drennan, E Kerry, R Norfolk, R Thorn, A Harrop, S Newson, L Callender, J Harewood. Subs: L Norfolk, B Newson, D Cook, S Owen.

Referee: Mr Shon Meale, Norwich.

t HARWICH 0, NORWICH UTD 2

by Norman Bygrave

The Planters included new signing Gavin Frost, with Bradley Hoffman dropping to the bench and Josh Hull replacing the suspended Craig Roberts.

The Planters took the lead in the second minute when Adam Ferguson released Nathan Page down the left wing. As he ran into the area he was brought down by Martin Calver and KEITH HETHERINGTON tucked away the penalty to Nathan Munson's left.

Harwich had their first chance in the 16th minute with Matt Carmichael's cross headed goalward by Simon Head which brought a good diving save from Nathan Pauling.

In the 21st minute Howlett's shot from the edge of the area was comfortably saved by Munson. Bethell's 28th minute shot lacked power. Hetherington released Shaun Bammant into the area and his shot was deflected wide.

Two minutes later a cross was headed down by Head and Luke Randall's shot deflected wide. Randall again shot from the edge of the area but the ball floated wide. In the 42nd minute Frost's free-kick to the far post saw Munson come out to punch clear. Hetherington's shot on the turn went over Munson's bar.

t Half-time: Harwich and Parkeston 0, Norwich United 1

Three minutes after the break Adam Ferguson's ball into the area was played by Hetherington to Howlett, who shot over the bar. Two minutes later Hetherington's chip to the far post was hit narrowly wide by Page. In the 55th minute Howlett's cross from the left was headed over by Bammant.

Midway through the second half Shipley had to tackle well to deny Bethell. In the 75th minute a quick break saw Planters' substitute Hoffman find Bammant with a good cross-field ball and the striker's shot was well held by Munson.

In the 81st minute Harwich were reduced to 10 men when Hoffman released Bammant and Calver brought the striker down from behind and was shown a red card.

The Planters went further ahead in the 83rd minute when Shipley's cross from the right found Bammant who laid the ball off to substitute TOM JEAL who calmly slotted home.

Nathan Pauling was forced into another fine save when he punched away Matt Stace's volley from the edge of the area. Deep into time added on Harwich had another player sent off with Matt Carmichael being shown a red card for violent conduct.

Harwich: N Munson, M Calver, B Wake, B Warren, D Hewitt, M Stace, M Carmichael, M Fitzgibbon, S Head, D Bethell, L Randall. Subs: S Eldridge, A Cheeseworth, A Warren, J King, L Mahoney.

Norwich United: N Pauling, S Shipley, A Ferguson, W Preston, J Hull, L Howlett, G Frost, M Magee, S Bammant, K Hetherington, N Page. Subs: T Jeal, N Bugdale, R Haynes, B Welham, B Hoffman.

Ref: Mr C Reeve, Godmanchester.

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