Ridgeons League Premier round-up

Dereham produced one of their best performances in recent years on Tuesday night at Stamford in their FA Cup extra preliminary round replay.


Dereham produced one of their best performances in recent years on Tuesday night at Stamford in their FA Cup extra preliminary round replay.

However, they still lost the match following defender Scott Taylor's late 91st minute winner.

This was the first time that the Lincolnshire side had been in front in 188 minutes of action over the two ties.

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In a pulsating game play flowed freely from end-to-end on Stamford's narrow Wothorpe Road ground.

There were several chances and half chances at both ends throughout the match but fine goalkeeping from Dereham's John Higgs and Stamford's Martin Davies kept the scoreline blank until Taylor's late strike.

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Matty Henman had to shuffle his side with defender Dean Miller likely to be out for several weeks after obtaining a knee injury in Saturday's match and striker Simon Mowbray was unavailable.

Young Jay Eastoe-Smith came in at the back and produced an excellent display with Nicky Howell partnering Danny Beaumont upfront.

In the first half we created the better chances but in the second there was little between the sides and one goal looked like being enough.

Every player on the pitch gave 100 per cent in what was an outstanding cup tie. Stamford now travel just down the road to Sleaford for the next round with £3,000 up for grabs.

Last Saturday's match was a tough encounter with the Magpies twice in front.

Dean Miller took advantage of some indecision from Stamford keeper Ian Pledger to win the ball and slot home from close range in the third minute. Stamford equalised just before the break through defender Shaun Pearson.

Craig Terrington restored Dereham's lead with a fine volley in the 62nd minute before poor defending gifted Chris Gray with the goal that set up the replay in the 77th minute.

Dereham boss Matty Henman was disappointed with the defeat but happy with his side's performances.

He said: “Every player can take a lot of credit from both games. We matched a higher league opposition side in every department.

“It would have been easy to think that we had done well just to have earned the reply but we went there on Tuesday night with belief that we could get a result. I thought that over the two games we had the slightly better chances. I couldn't fault any of the players' commitment or desire.”

After today's game against Tiptree Dereham play Mildenhall at Aldiss Park next Saturday ko 3pm.

The Reserves had their second win of the season when they beat Felixstowe and Walton away 5-1 with Scott Roberts (2), Scott Woodgate (2) and Nick Riches on target. The A side struggled to raise a team at home to Gressenhall and lost 5-0 before drawing 2-2 with Yaxham on Tuesday night.


After tossing the game away at the Wellesley where never-say-die Bloaters came back from two goals down to force Tuesday night's replay, Wroxham made the next round of the FA Cup qualifying round at Grantham next Saturday.

In the first game the Yachtsmen went two up through Damian Hilton and Alex Notman but the Bloaters cashed in on the visitors' indecision in their own penalty area and hit two equalising goals before the break.

It was a different story at Trafford Park on Tuesday night.

And beyond doubt it was Wroxham striker Paul Cook's night with the two highlights headed goals of top quality.

And with Steve Harley hammering home Wroxham's third goal via a defender Paul Tong's willing workers had to give best, beaten but far from disgraced.

Now to Grantham. It is difficult to compare their Northern Premier League Division One with the Ridgeons League, but the Gingerbreads as they are known, put out Woodbridge in the previous round and play at the Kesteven Sports Stadium known as The Meers.

Nonetheless, Wroxham should be warned they have one or two of their top players returning from injury, so away from home Damian Hilton's men cannot take victory for granted especially as the cash prize for victory is £3,000

Unfortunately the Yachtsmen will be without the services of Andy Key and Hilton, both suspended following a fracas against Kirkley.

But with Cook and indeed Gavin Crane in such devastating goal scoring mood, the Wroxham manager may well decide to start those two as a twin strike force.

Robert Thornton, the brother of assistant manager Ian, has come in as an emergency keeper following the three months lay-off Duncan McNally requires.

Thornton, turned in an excellent performance against the Bloaters, twice saving his side by snatching the ball from the feet of the lethal Stuart Roach.

It would have been fitting had Cook chalked up his hat-trick from a flashing header that was finger-tipped for a corner by Yarmouth's keeper Pride while in defence Josh Carus, still nursing a nasty bump where stitches had been inserted in his head wound a couple of weeks earlier, proved his worth with some splendid covering.

This week the Yachtsmen were away to formidable Needham Market then on Tuesday it's a home league game to Lowestoft Town who beat the Yachtsmen by the odd goal of five earlier this season.

A supporters' coach is being laid on for the visit to Grantham leaving from the Holiday Inn on the Ipswich Road. The fare is £10 payable in advance at the club house next Tuesday night when the time of departure will be confirmed.

On the downside condolences go out to the wife and family of Wroxham's former manager Keith Martin who passed away last Monday following a long, debilitating illness.

Wroxham Reserves have not got off to a thrilling start. After beating Brandon in their opener they lost 2-0 to Sprowston Athletic in the league and were then dumped out of the Anglian Combination Senior KO Cup 5-2 by Horsford.


Manager Gary Butcher rang the changes before Saturday's visit from Felixstowe & Walton United with Duane Eastall, Craig Vincent and Ben Soanes all returning to the starting line up, and a debut in goal for the promising youth team keeper Daniel Quantrill.

Ben Goddard and Martin Goulder dropped to the bench while there was no place in the squad for Matt Hill, Tom Jeal and Paul Atkins, Seb Muddel returned to the bench after holiday and there were also two new faces alongside him in Craig Beedon and George Brooks.

The Planters went ahead after 19 minutes when Lee Howlett dispossessed a Felixstowe defender and took the ball to the edge of the area where he drove the ball past Crump. Quantrill had to save from Claydon to keep the Planters deservedly ahead at the break.

Nathan Page doubled the advantage six minutes after the break when he turned Eastall's cross home at the near post. Page, Eastall and Criag Roberts were all denied before Muddel volleyed home in injury time to give the Planters their third.

Butcher is still looking to strengthen his squad though and this week made two further signings, former Norwich City Academy goalkeeper Shane Herbert, who also featured Cambridge United and Cambridge City among his former clubs, and centre forward Keith Hetherington joins from Felixstowe. Hetherington scored eight goals from 34 appearances last season but has found himself on the bench this season after last season's signing of Andrew Claydon.

The Planters travelled to Wivenhoe today, next Saturday's game at home to Leiston has been changed due to Leiston's progress in the FA Cup and we will now be playing King's Lynn Reserves at Plantation Park, kick-off 3pm.

The reserves continued their Anglian Combination campaign today when Wortwell were the visitors to Plantation Park, their next game is away to Great Yarmouth Town Reserves at the Wellesley on Tuesday 16 September, 7.30pm KO.

The Under 18 team visited the Wellesley on Wednesday evening with a young side, only one player is ineligible next season, and having weathered the early Yarmouth pressure seemed to be getting on top just before the break, although they did have to survive a goalmouth melee two minutes before the interval.

Yarmouth took the lead a little against the run of play in the 71st minute Marcus Godbold netting at the far post after Quantrill had saved a near post header. Eight minutes later and Adam Blanche ran at the heart of the Bloaters defence, rode two challenges and calmly hit the ball past the home keeper.

Just five minutes later though and Godbold bagged his second and the Yarmouth winner when he rose unmarked to head home a free kick.

The Planters will still be looking for their first win when they travel to Gorleston on Wednesday evening.

The Planters have also arranged a friendly against Yarmouth at Plantation Park on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45pm.


Lowestoft displayed all their flair, character and spirit allied to fitness over the two excellent FA Cup ties with AFC Sudbury to earn their passage into the first qualifying round and an away match against Cambridge City.

The Lilywhites were demoted into the British Gas Southern League Premier Division during the close season due to technicalities over ground gradings but still compete two levels higher than the Blues.

In the first Sudbury game, the Blues showed all their flair and ability as they outplayed their hosts for most of the game and were disappointed to come away with a draw at the end. In the replay though it was Sudbury who held the upper hand for a long period of the game but the Town's character, resilience and never say die spirit won through as they clawed back a two goal deficit to level the scores and then win through on penalties at the end of extra time.

It was the Cockrill brothers to the fore in the cup ties with Dale netting the goal at Sudbury and Darren getting them both in the replay. Both brothers also converted spot kicks in the penalty shoot out with Russell Stock and Neil Plaskett scoring the others.

Today Town entertained King's Lynn Reserves in the league and there is more Ridgeons League action on Tuesday evening when the Blues travel to Wroxham looking to complete a double over the Yachtsmen having won 3-2 at the Meadow earlier in August, with Jamie Godbold, Dale Cockrill and Richard Woodrow on the mark on that occasion.

The Reserves have maintained a 100pc league record after the opening three games of the season.


Without a game last Saturday due to the FA Cup exit at Wroxham, Kirkley had to kick their heels until Tuesday night's friendly at Carrow Road, which proved a great exercise with a narrow 2-1 defeat.

Kirkley sent out a strong starting line-up with the only change being Pauling in goal for the suspended Woodcock.

In fact, they held the lead for 50 minutes through a neat Lee Gilman with a tremendous volley over keeper Nelson's head.

Norwich fought back and had a powerful front line-up including Chadwick, Eagle, Renton and Paris St Germain, trialist Greg Akcelrod

As the second half wore on, numerous changes interrupted the flow and Renton and Hawkin found some space to net, but at the end a flourish of chances with Michael Tacon and Stone going close; a good night out with 450 watching.

The reserves scraped through in their Mummery Cup tie by a 2-1 margin at Long Stratton with goals for Michael Tacon and Liam Harvey to set up a mouth-watering tie in the next round at home to Corton, who provided the upset of the day by beating Hempnall. A totally revamped youth team had a brilliant start with a 5-0 demolition job on Bungay Youth last week, but next week face Bury in the FA Youth Cup.

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