Vase hopes on a high

RIDGEONS LEAGUE: Dereham Town and Lowestoft Town both gave themselves a hefty lift ahead of this weekend's FAVase fifth round. The Magpies warmed up for their visit to fellow Ridgeons Leaguers Needham Market by winning 5-2 at Wivenhoe.

Dereham Town and Lowestoft Town both gave themselves a hefty lift ahead of this weekend's FAVase fifth round.

The Magpies warmed up for their visit to fellow Ridgeons Leaguers Needham Market by winning 5-2 at Wivenhoe.

And the table-topping Trawler Boys greatly improved their Premier Division title hopes by beating fifth-placed Tiptree 2-0 - while Leiston, their most realstic championship challengers, were suffering a shock 3-1 defeat at home to CRC. Leiston still have seven games in hand, but now have to win all of them to catch Lowestoft, who had to wait for the second half for both of their goals.

It wasn't plain sailing for Lowestoft as Tiptree hit the woodwork three times.


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Jamie Godbold, who had missed a good opportunity in the first half, made no mistake on 63 minutes to put the Blues in front. But it was only in injury time, after Tiptree had had substitute Darren Scudder sent off with 15 minutes to go, that Godbold set up Ali McKenna to double their advantage.

Dereham gave keeper Nathan Baker his debut in place of the injured John Higgs. And any nerves he may have had must have been eased by early goals from Olly Willis and Paul Atkins - who went on to complete his hat-trick before the break.

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Ronaldo Wright struck twice for Wivenhoe in the second half, but Graham Barrett completed the Magpies nap hand.

Further encouragement for Dereham was the news that Needham Market had lost 2-1 at home in an explosive encounter with Kirkley and Pakefield.

There were three first half red cards, including Kirkley manager Nick Shorten, who was ejected from the bench after Justin Fox followed Needham's Mark Bailey to the dressing room.

By that time Kirkley were two up with a penalty by keeper Robert Woodcock - after Bailey had brought down Fox to earn his dismissal - and Allicon Blake.

Thrower scored in the second half to give Kirkley some moments of jitters before hanging on to the three points which kept them five points ahead of Dereham in second place.

Danny White's goal helped Wroxham move above Leiston into the top five with a 1-0 win at Walsham-le-Willows.

Keith Hethringon scored in each half as Norwich United put some space between themselves and the bottom two with a 2-1 win at Mildenhall - who had been unbeaten in their previous seven games.

Wisbech are among the clubs just above them who cannot rest easily after going down 5-3 at Felixstowe. And King's Lynn Reserves lost another high-scoring thriller, 4-2 at Harwich. The young Linnets were ahead at the interval through Rory Harper but a Bethell hat-trick turned the game round, Kyle Nicholls hitting Lynn's second.

In Division One Fakenham's topsy-turvey January ended with a 3-0 defeat at Diss - whose goals came from Andy Moody, Danny Partridge and Ben Soanes.

In a way it was a relatively straight-forward day for the Ghosts after following a 9-2 defeat with a 6-3 win in their previous two matches.

Thetford took the derby honours against Downham, two second half goals from Rob Browne sealing a 3-0 lead after Sam Bryant had put them in front.

Swaffham shared the points in a 2-2 draw at Clacton while Gorleston won 3-2 at March.

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