Three horse race continues
In the quest for their first ever Premier Division title, AFC Wanderers kept their nearest challengers at bay with a 3-1 (Matty Elwin 2, OG) victory at Hellesdon Athletic.
Acle Rangers stayed two points behind them after a 2-1 win over Aylsham Sunday, whilst reigning champions Marlborough, who have a game in hand, beat Sprowston Rovers 6-1. A four goal win for Dog House saw them move away from the foot of the table, but Fiveways will be disappointed as Bayer FC put ten (Wayne Nelson 3, Steven Watmore 3, Ross Joy, Ross McGregor, Danny Nelson, Daniel Mace) past them without reply.
In 1A, leaders William Wanderers were inactive, meaning that Sprowston Sunday’s 2-1 home win over DCS Rapid closed the gap at the top to just a point. Norman Wanderers, who have three games in hand on the leaders, saw a Danny Wynne hat trick give them three points as they neat Horsford United 3-0. An outstanding performance by goalkeeper Graham Bird helped the rapidly improving Dussindale Rovers to a 4-2 home win over North Walsham. Rovers goals came from a Duncan Whitlam hat trick and a Paul Durrant penalty. A single Jutty Womack strike was enough for Vale Longo to take the points against Aslacton, whilst there were no goals in the game between Eaton FC and Castlegates FC.
With three games remaining, Prince of Denmark and St Faiths are neck and neck at the top of 1B. Denmark stay top after an 8-0 (Chris Holmes 3, Ben Morgan 2, Deejay Perry, Lee Metcalfe, Sonny Atherton) win at Unicorns, whilst St Faiths are a point behind after beating Spixworth Sunday 5-2, with goals coming from Carl Branson, Jody Peacher, Grant Sleight, Danny Tickle and an OG. After a good run, PL Rangers seem to be tailing off slightly after losing 4-1 at Earlham United. This now leaves them six points behind the leaders with only three games left. There was a hat trick of penalties for Jamie Daynes as Heartsease FC won 3-2 at Rose Tavern, and Sprowston Wanderers lifted themselves out of the bottom two with a 4-0 win at Moles Rest.
Mad Moose are three points clear at the top of 2A. Bram Goodwin-Wright scored five times and further goals came from Tom Swabey, Lee Wright and Fionn Goodwin-Wright as they beat Stoke FC 8-1. There was an important victory by the odd goal in seven for Norman Wanderers Reserves at New Buckenham and The Cottage scored seven without reply at home to Acle Wanderers. Liam Frost grabbed all five goals, as a delighted Constable Crusaders gained their second win of the season, beating Deopham 5-1.
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In 2B, Bell Inn, barring a disaster, ensured that they will be playing Senior football next season after beating Ribs Rovers 4-0. Goals came from Tom Brown, Dale Simpson, Reece Ashman and a great individual goal from Josh Farrow. With six regulars missing, Poringland Wanderers came from two down to grab a point at One Love United, goals coming from Lee Edwards and Jonny Causton, whilst third placed Briston Wanderers almost paid the price for taking their foot off the gas against DEF FC. After going five goals up through Chris Fuller (2), Lloyd Kidd, Jamie Snell and Richard Mallett, the visitors gave them a nervy finish as they pulled four goals back, but Briston held on for the points. SDC United were the big winners in the division, scoring nine without reply at Hillside OB.
In 3A, the game between Sporting Longdale and Bungay Town saw the Suffolk side take the initiative early on by scoring twice in two minutes early in the first half through Aiden Lowe and Tom York and from then on never looked back. Steven Thompson-Friend and an OG put Bungay four up before Jamie Platten fired home a late penalty for the home side. There was still time for Longdale keeper Tomasz Litwa to pull off a superb last minute penalty save from Lowe. This was a sporting game handled very well indeed by a young and enthusiastic Jordan Bulmer. In the division’s only other game, there was a welcome 5-2 victory for Temple Bar over Temples Property.
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3B leaders Angel Gardens recorded a 7-1 (Jordan Rocastle 4, Ben Furlong 3) victory over Hainford Howitzers. Schoolhouse moved up to second spot with Chris Hall scoring seven times as they beat Costessey Sports 10-1. Ian Garrod (2) and James Slater also scored. Simon Claxton, Ali Watling and Luke Pope were on target as Taverham United grabbed a point at Chapelfield Rovers, whilst there was a 4-0 (Jake Ward, Will Callow, Henry Lee-Warder, Ryan Gray) win for Salhouse Rovers Reserves over ten-man Hethersett Athletic.
In 4A, champions Costessey West End ran out 7-1 (Luke Dickerson 2, Liam O’Donnell 2, Tom Cushion, Shane Wright, Neil Willimott) winners at second placed Dilham Cross Keys. Micawbers Tavern missed the chance to close in on second spot as they lost by the only goal at Bungay Town Reserves and Hockering Reserves were winners of the basement battle, 3-0 at The Stores Reserves.
In 4B, Freemasons are just a win away from clinching the title as they won 5-0 at third placed Shipdham Rangers. This was a result that ensured that second placed Hethersett Reserves, 4-2 winners over AFC Oak, will finish in the top two. Locksley Athletic won by the odd goal in seven at Spixworth Reserves and Red Lion had a 2-1 home win over Mettingham FC.
• LEAGUE CUP DRAW
The draw for the next round of the Copy I.T. League Cup has been made and is as follows:
Bayer FC v Marlborough FC
AFC Wanderers v Rose Tavern
Norman Wanderers v Windmill Wanderers
PL Rangers v Acle Rangers
Games to be played on Sunday March 10