Ridgeons League Division One round-up

The main news this week is of the very sad loss of Yarmouth committee-man and hard-worker Chris Musk who will be sorely missed after his untimely death this week.

BLOATERS MOURNING CLUB STALWART CHRIS

The main news this week is of the very sad loss of Yarmouth committee-man and hard-worker Chris Musk who will be sorely missed after his untimely death this week.

Chris, 53, died suddenly on Sunday while in hospital to undergo tests relating to an acute illness.

Chris, only 53, has been a tireless worker for the club for many years and regular supporters will know him well from his position on match days at the main gate where he would try and sell spectators a programme or a Golden Goal ticket. But behind the scenes he did much more, including looking after the club's waste-paper collecting, running the club shop, organising boot-sales and generally helping to keep the ground looking a bit tidy: he could turn his hand to most practical things.


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Club secretary Brian Smith said: “We're going to miss him. He was my right-hand man on match days apart from everything else he did. He will be irreplaceable but I'd like to thank everyone who rallied round on Tuesday to help out at the match with Fakenham.” Chris was honoured with a first-ever minute's applause at the Wellesley before Tuesday's game. Any further news will appear on the website.

The loss, however, brings into focus the club's great need for more help on match days. With things now looking good on the pitch and with fund-raising, the club's greatest need right now is for more bodies on the ground.

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These appeals usually fall on deaf ears but with the ambitions the club now harbours, help of this sort is more vital than ever - unless more help is forthcoming the club will be in a serious situation on match days. The contrast with St Neots, who we recently visited in the FA Vase, was stark - the Saints had, for example, stewards in abundance.

Anyone who is able and willing to offer help can contact Brian on 01493 656099.

Back to the football now. Two wins for the first team have pushed them up to third spot. Saturday's game at Debenham was dramatic, and a triumph for Gareth Palmer. He not only scored the only goal of the game but then went in goal and kept a clean sheet. Gareth's custodian duties arose because of a freak injury to Elliot Pride who was forced off after 58 minutes. Although he has been in goal in minor games, as far as I know Gareth has not done so in any senior games, certainly not in his five seasons with Yarmouth where he has been since a Youth player. But you would not have known from this performance. Very accomplished, it was, in the teeth of some concerted attacking by the home side. But the whole team pulled together and achieved a first-ever win for Yarmouth - and Paul Tong - at Debenham.

Gareth was at it again on Tuesday - scoring that is, not goalkeeping. No, Elliot had recovered and resumed between the sticks, but Gareth struck again with the winning goal early in the second half.

The game against Fakenham was also successful for Stewart Roach who scored his 150th first team goal for the Bloaters in the sixth minute; and that in only 225 games. He pledged 40 goals last summer, and so far has nine in 11 games.

The Ghosts equalised before half time through the deadly Karl Pask - he who notched a hat-trick at the Wellesley with Thetford last season. Fakenham impressed with their fighting qualities and on Tuesday's performance it is a mystery why they are bottom of the Division.

The Reserves disappointed with a home defeat, against a very good, it was said, Norwich St Johns, going down 4-1 (Toby Gorbould).

Ian and Stuart's Under 18s pulled off a great win at Emerald Park on Wednesday. The young Greens went ahead on 12 minutes through a penalty but the young Bloaters created plenty of chances before Lee Roscoe headed the equaliser from a corner. The second half saw plenty more chances for Yarmouth but towards the end Gorleston also went very close on a couple of occasions. With the game in added time, substitute Kieran Bartley struck with a sensational goal from some 30 yards, the ball looping up and then dipping perfectly under the bar with, I suspect, everyone expecting it to drop just over. Remarkable! And it maintained the 100pc record so far this season.

t TANGERINES CHEERED BY VALUABLE AWAY WIN

Diss Town gained a valuable three points with a 3-0 win away at Long Melford last Saturday.

Diss failed to break through in the first half despite having most of the pressure. Luke Catchpole opened the scoring with a superb 25 yard shot in the 62nd minute. The second goal came ten minutes from time when goalkeeper Floyd Croll pushed a shot by Osiris Gomes from an acute angle over his own goal line. In added time Danny Partridge scored from a penalty after Catchpole was fouled.

On Tuesday Diss travelled to Crown Meadow to take on The Ridgeons Premier Division leaders Lowestoft Town in The Ridgeons League Cup Preliminary Round. Lowestoft won 4-1 although there was a spell when Diss seemed to have a real advantage. Ben Deacon equalised on his birthday after 50 minutes, but ten-man Lowestoft scored three more goals.

There will be a good test of the 'green green fields' of home in the next week. Diss play cup ties against two teams who have already visited Brewers Green Lane this season for league matches. The Norfolk Senior Cup 3rd round tie against Downham Town will be played next Saturday (kick off 3pm). On Tuesday Diss entertain Great Yarmouth Town in the Ridgeons Division One Cup Preliminary Round (kick off 7.45pm). However, if there is a replay required against Mildenhall in the FA Carlsberg Vase that would take priority.

Diss Reserves made it four games without a defeat when they beat Whitton United Reserves 4-0 at Brewers Green Lane last Saturday. Diss Reserves will be away at Ipswich Wanderers Reserves next Saturday (kick off 3pm) in The Ridgeons Reserve League North. Diss Reserves have been drawn away at Cromer Reserves in the Norfolk Junior Cup 2nd Round.

Diss Under-18s won their first match of the season when they beat Framlingham Under-18s 6-1 at Brewers Green Lane last Thursday.

On Wednesday the Under-18s got off to the worst possible start at Debenham, and ended up losing 5-2. Diss Under-18s travel to Ipswich Wanderers Under-18s for a Ridgeons Youth League Central Division match on Thursday (kick off 7.45pm).

Diss Under-9s lost 10-0 to a very good Watton Under-9s team last Sunday and have no league game this week. They will play a home friendly match against Wymondham on Sunday 9kick off 2pm).

The next Diss Town F C prize bingo will be on Monday, October 20 (doors open at 7.15pm for eyes down at 8pm) and the next Barry H evening is next Saturday (from 8pm with hot food available for purchase).

Entry is free to club members with a charge of £2 levied to all others. The Diss Town Football Club House is available for hire for various parties - birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, engagements, school reunions, etc. Contact the club on 01379 651223 for details.

Any clubs/teams wishing to use the club house facilities, which include a darts board and pool table, should contact this number for details. Diss Town F C is currently recruiting bar staff (for further details ring 01379 651223 on weekday evenings).

t PASK ENDS THE GOAL DROUGHT

Saturday's home Ridgeons One 4-0 defeat to Saffron Walden stretched the Ghost's goalless run to five games.

They finished the day detached at the foot of the table after this basement battle ended in a four-goal flourish in the last quarter hour.

On Saturday Fakenham are in Norfolk Senior Cup action at home to Stalham Town (3pm) with increasingly frustrated fans expecting a win in a competition the Ghosts have won seven times.

The result against Saffron Walden would have been so different had any one of a hatful of chances been taken by Fakenham.

Martin Fenwick found the keeper's arms from distance early on. Ben Darby headed wide from Adam Woodhouse's free-kick then Darby and Julian Delicata combined to set up Mark Betts for a shot saved at full-stretch.

The match looked set to end in a goalless draw until the 77th minute when a long ball found the visitors' Kevin Vallis in space to head home. A minute later, Vallis made it 2-0 on the counter attack. Strikes from substitutes Joseph Anderson and Bradley Green in the final two minutes completed home fans' frustrations.

Yarmouth 2, Fakenham 1

Karl Pask, in his first game for the Ghosts since his return to the club, ended their goal drought on Tuesday night.

His first half equaliser at the Wellesley was the side's first success on goal after five blank games. But the league points went to the Bloaters with a second half decider.

Earlier, news that Pask was back in action for the reserves was tempered by the fact that the side lost 7-1 at Beccles Caxton.

The A team won 1-0 against West Lynn Riverside in the first round of the Norfolk Primary Cup. With Ben Drew taking up a new job, Fakenham are looking for a first team physio. Applications to Mark King 01328 855843 or Stuart Woodhouse 01328 851736.

There will be a quiz night at the clubhouse on October 10 for teams of four, entry £5, starting at 7.30pm.

t PLAYERS MUST GIVE A BIT MORE

It's a funny old game! That was certainly the case on Saturday when for 75 minutes Thetford were well in the game and had two golden opportunities to take the lead from Kam Senior but on both occasions the chance went begging.

Then within five minutes Town were 3-0 down with Lee Devlin being caught out of position and two penalties. Up until that point Godmanchester would have been happy with a point.

A lot of people are saying that the wheels have come off. Thetford are the same team that did so well in pre season and are the same team that will still do well this season. Town need to get a settled side and start enjoying it again.

The Thetford players need to get their heads down start working hard and the results will follow.

Godmanchester were lucky, but they made their own luck because they worked very hard and the opportunities came their way.

Players are being asked to step up to the challenge and do more than train just one night a week. To play at this level you need to do something at least every two days. If you want more you have to give more, and that means players training in their own time so that when they get together the team can work on tactics instead of fitness.

Godmanchester did not have one player in their team who stood out but they worked hard as a team and kept pushing until they got rewarded.

Subsequently Thetford did not have one player who stood out either and to be fair they worked very hard until they got to the final third of the pitch and then they ran out of ideas.

This week Town embark on their chance of playing at Carrow Road, home of Norwich City in the Norfolk Senior Cup with an away visit to Swaffham, whom Thetford beat 7-1 in the league. Swaffham will certainly be out for revenge and Town are going to have to battle harder than them.

Manager Mick Money wants the players to go out and enjoy themselves without the pressure of a league match.

It would be great to have a good run in the Norfolk Senior Cup but a top 10 finish is still the club's priority.

The Reserves' up and down season continued with an 8-1 defeat at Tiptree.

The Under-18s won again and remain second in their league behind King's Lynn with a hard fought 2-1 victory at Watton United. Tymal Mills was again on target but pride of place goes to 15-year-old Mikey Jordan who got the winner with the last kick of the game. His free kick was too hot to handle for the Watton keeper.

This week manager Mick Money has further strengthened the squad by signing Danny Tante from Fakenham Town. Thetford would like to thank Fakenham manager Mark King for his help with the transfer and wish him and his club all the best for the rest of the season.

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