Ridgeons League Premier round-up

Wroxham's fervent fans should lie back and savour these words. We can win this.That was the Yachtsmen's team boss Damian Hilton's spontaneous reaction when the third qualifying draw of the FA Cup tossed Wroxham and King's Lynn into a boiling cauldron of Norfolk rivalry.


Wroxham's fervent fans should lie back and savour these words. We can win this.

That was the Yachtsmen's team boss Damian Hilton's spontaneous reaction when the third qualifying draw of the FA Cup tossed Wroxham and King's Lynn into a boiling cauldron of Norfolk rivalry.

Hilton, who was still walking on cloud nine after his team's thrilling victory over Heybridge Swifts, remained upbeat about the forthcoming Trafford Park clash next Saturday against the Blue Square North Linnets, who play just one level below Conference status.

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“It was a marvellous result against the Swifts, I was proud of the team and now we have this absolutely thrilling draw which I believe is winnable.

“After Saturday's result I thought it would be rather nice to get the Linnets. It is going to be a mammoth task but we are at home.”

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He added: “The league is always the priority but our lads relish the FA Cup and the target is to go as far as we can. We have won a few thousand pounds already so we are in a no lose situation. If we win again we would see a bit more of it.”

Wroxham last came this far in the tournament in the season 2002/3 when they went out 3-2 at Aylesbury in a replay after a 1-1 draw at Trafford Park. Will they go further than that next Saturday in front of what is certain to be a record Trafford Park cup crowd, on par with the 1,100 fans who watched that famous promotion battle against Wisbech in the late 1980s? It is not the impossible dream.

Following negotiations with the Football Association, the local police and representatives of the King's Lynn Football Club it was decided the game would be all ticket with a limit set at 1,100.

The Linnets will have the lion's share of 700 tickets, with the Yachtsmen retaining 400.

Wroxham's head trustee and treasurer Kenny Cooke said: “We felt this was a fair way of allocating tickets and all were agreed. We have secured more than adequate car parking space and one of our main sponsors Optic through the night club manager Tom Webster will be providing the security personal in accordance with the requests of the police who have been most helpful in this matter. The King's Lynn officials who are more experienced in crowd control than we are have also been of great assistance.”

Tickets are priced at £10 for adults with concessions at £5 while children under 12 will be allowed in free of charge.

Tickets are on sale at the FA Vase game against Leiston and any remainder will be available from the Trafford Park clubhouse on Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 2pm. After normal working hours they may be obtained at the house of Wroxham committee man Geoff Skeet at 3 Park Road, Wroxham (opposite Skinners Lane).

Norwich daytime outlets will be Joe's Pets on the Norwich Market Place, Dolphin Autos in Swanton Road and Hazel's Butchers in Corbett Avenue.

Local fans are advised to arrive at the ground early to avoid traffic congestion when King's Lynn fans start arriving in large numbers.

As to last Saturday's game at Plantation Park which was kindly provided by Norwich United chairman John Hilditch, it was a real nail-biter from start to finish.

The Heybridge Swifts officials deserve nothing less than unbridled praise for ensuring the game went ahead without a hitch.

Their committee were duty bound to strive to get the game played at home to benefit their club and fans as soon as they were tipped off Trafford Park was not available. If the boot had been on the other foot Wroxham would have moved mountains to have the tie played on their home ground.

With so many walking wounded Damian Hilton still managed to put out a very capable squad and his team captain Graham Challen deserved a medal for valour, for he managed to spend the whole game playing through the pain barrier to produce an exemplary performance at the heart of the defence.

The Swifts went ahead in the first half when Luke Fisher snapped up a loose ball from a corner but Wroxham equalised in the 57th minute through Andy Key who then set up Danny White for the winner in the 68th minute.


FOUR days seemed a long while in football when, after the inspired second half display brought a 4-0 win over FA Cup heroes Wroxham, to the lows of Saturday's abandoned match at Harwich.

The club has issued a statement, but for many of the back room boys who have given their time and efforts to help get Kirkley where they are today, when incidents like that happen we have to ask ourselves the question - is it all worth it? To the Harwich people and our sponsors, we say sorry, as well as the contingent of fans who made the arduous journey by road.

The game was called to a halt by the referee Adam Crysell, who said his “safety had been compromised” after an incident with K&P striker Lee Gilman shortly after the Harwich equaliser.

Gilman was sent off for a second bookable offence, but then allegedly struck the referee, who promptly called the game to a halt.

Gilman has now had his contract terminated.

The Wroxham victory paled into insignificance, but Justin Fox enjoyed it with a couple against his old playing mates. The transfer business has been in full pelt this past week. Out went Lee Hunter back to his old club Gorleston; keeper Nathan Pauline joins Norwich United to link up with coach and Alan Arber who has left the club by mutual consent and joins Donny Pye who earlier vacated his position at the club. Into the squad comes the highly rated Allicon Blake aged 21, from Wivenhoe formerly with Woodbridge where he was spotted by Kirkley. It's cup time today at Yaxley and on Tuesday night, replay permitting, it's off for a best of three with Norwich United with Kirkley already two up with wins of 3-0 and 1-0. That leads on to goals conceded on their new surface so far in senior games. With a staggering 35 in six matches not one has entered the home net with the reserves banging in 21 in two matches; the latest, an 11-0 hammering of Gayton last week. In the reserves KO Cup next week it's off to East Bergholt Reserves.

In the Ridgeons League Knock Out Cup, there was a reunion with six players from both sides having played for both teams, Kirkley and Gorleston, resulted in a victory by a 4-1 margin. Chris Henderson, 2, Allicon Blake and Ian Dawson against a good Gorleston side, which saw Robert Woodcock in inspired form in the first half.


A much more promising week for the Planters and, but for a 94th minute Woodbridge equaliser last Saturday, it would have been two away wins to report.

Manager Gary Butcher made four changes from the home defeat to Dereham, the most notable being the inclusion of Kirkley & Pakefield goalkeeper Nathan Pauling, who almost single-handedly knocked the Planters out of the FA Vase just a week earlier. There were also recalls for Adam Ferguson, Shaun Bammant and Nathan Page with Steve Shipley, Keith Hetherington and Seb Muddel making way.

The Planters started strongly and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 10th minute, a good move being finished with a sweet strike from the impressive Bradley Hoffman. Hoffman's departure through injury in the 22nd minute led to Woodbridge coming into the game more and they equalised after 31 minutes Paul Hart lobbing Pauling. The Planters gained the ascendancy once more at the start of the second half, and six minutes after the break substitute Seb Muddel latched onto Lee Howlett's delightful through ball to net into the far corner and restore the Planters lead. With Woodbridge's Liam Scopes dismissed for a second yellow after 88 minutes it looked as though the Planters would record their first away victory of the season, but in the fourth minute of injury time they failed to clear their lines and Ben Miller was adjudged to have got the ball across the line.

The Planters didn't have to wait long for that elusive away win as Wednesday night's visit to The Walks in the Preliminary round of the Ridgeons League Cup saw them progress with a second half goal spree. The Planters included Shipley, Hetherington and Ben Garnham against a strengthened Linnets second string who included the four bench players from Saturday's FA Cup win over Worksop, including Danny Bloomfield and Andrew Fisk. The first half was an even contest with the Linnets' Dominic Dwyer coming closest to scoring when his header came back off the foot of the post. The second half was a different story however with the Planters opening the scoring within 20 seconds of the restart, Page's cross helped into his own net by Linnets keeper Rob Murray. The Planters took full advantage of this stroke of luck and six minutes later Howlett's cross headed home at the far post by Ben Welham. On 69 minutes it was three when Hetherington headed home at the near post from Shipley's cross, and Garnham capped a fine performance by releasing Page who jinked into the box before finishing past Murray in the 79th minute. There was still time for Elliott Fiddy to grab a consolation but the Planters will be pleased with an excellent performance which has been on the cards for some time now.

The Planters are due to entertain Kirkley & Pakefield on Tuesday evening at Plantation Park, kick-off 7.45pm, while next Saturday sees them travel to Needham Market.

The reserves returned from Downham reserves with a fine 4-0 victory, captain Lloyd Greening led the way with a fine performance and two goals, the other strikes coming from Lewis Greening and Nicolli Bosnik. Next Saturday they entertain Norwich CEYMS at Plantation Park, kick-off 2.30pm.

The Under-18s recorded their first league victory of the season on Thursday night with a 1-0 victory over Dereham Town. Jack Garrod capped a fine performance with the cross for the goal which Lewis Wallace netted from close range after 31 minutes.


The Magpies made it six wins in seven games last Saturday when they comfortably beat Haverhill Rovers 3-0 at Aldiss Park.

The impressive run has lifted them to third spot in the Ridgeons Premier table. With Adam Smith carrying a knock Matty Henman gave a debut to youth team midfielder Scott Roberts and youngster gave a good account of himself. Skipper Graham Barrett started at centre-back, but he once again showed what an influential member he is to the side by netting two of Dereham's goals. For the first half hour the game was played at a slow pace with neither keeper really troubled. We then began to raise the tempo and Barrett struck his first in the 38th minute following Ben Furlong's centre from the left. Shortly before the break the assistant referee noticed that Barrett had been pushed on the goal line by Haverhill defender Thomas, and after consulting his colleague the referee awarded a penalty which Danny Beaumont converted.

Within five minutes of the re-start Dereham virtually sealed the game when Bazza netted his second from 10-yards out following Craig Terrington's corner. The visitors then seemed to give up but Dereham could not add to their tally. Manager Henman was left with a dilemma with 10 minutes to go as the injured Sam Willis was forced to leave the field. Having already used two of his three substitutes his last named man was his assistant Neil Simmons, who gleefully vacated the dugout. Simmo was never renowned for his pace but it now appears that his eyesight has also started to desert him. After finding himself left with an open goal after a corner he promptly lifted the ball over the crossbar from two-yards out for a shocking miss. Please Matty, keep him on the bench in future!

The Dereham boss has signed another centre-half Daniel Buhleman from King's Lynn. He said after Saturday's match. “We did what we had to do. I thought that we played in fits and starts but were never really pushed. Scott Roberts came in and made a promising debut which was encouraging. We now face a tough October that will be a good test for the lads.”

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