East Men’s League round-up: Skinner leads the way as Norwich City maintain their bright start
- Credit: Submitted - Broadland District Council
Norwich City's excellent start to the new season continued on Saturday when they recorded a third straight win.
In the second meeting with Long Sutton in the space of seven days they came away with an impressive 6-3 success and are now one of three teams in Premier B to boast a 100pc record, the others being Spalding, Saffron Walden and Letchworth.
City failed to produce the flowing hockey they showed in last week's EH Cup match but did find themselves 1-0 up after 15 minutes through a deflected shot from Dave Skinner.
Dan Cheesman doubled the lead soon after, crashing home from close range. The hosts then pulled one back before Skinner added to his tally from the middle of the circle before having another shot deflected in by a Long Sutton player.
The second half was a much more open affair, with both teams scoring twice, player of the match Rees Leonard ensuring it wasn't more with some fine saves while Skinner bagged his fourth of the match after good work from Chris Wardale.
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Sam Paterson scored his second in consecutive games, and sealed the win, when his powerful flick beat the home keeper. City will take heart from the fact that they managed to fight their way to victory without showing their best hockey.
While City are going well Harleston Magpies II are propping up the table after a third straight defeat. They were beaten 6-2 at home by Spalding and have now conceded 17 goals in their three fixtures.
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Dereham's midfield shone again as Norfolk's only representatives in Premier A ground out an important away 4-3 win at Havering.
Hill slotted his first from a short corner during a frenetic first few minutes. After a period of consolidation, Edwards then scythed through the Havering defence before hammering home into the bottom corner.
The game then became increasingly fragmented and Havering soon got a goal back. Dereham though made good use of their set-piece opportunities and restored the two-goal lead as Hill cleared up the scraps from his saved drag flick.
After the break Hill stepped up once again to put the ball in the roof of the net following a saved drag flick to make it 4-1. But Dereham then wobbled, conceding two soft goals, one a own goal from Lawrence. At 3-4 with 10 minutes to go the game became scrappy, with chances at bothends, but there were no more goals. One last moment of drama saw Dereham's Ward escape serious injury as a wayward clearance from team-mate Lafar rifled into his midriff.
A season can be decided on winning ugly, and this was a victory Dereham certainly fought hard to earn, with a committed performance from all involved.
Pelicans had another tough day in Division One, sliding to their second defeat in three matches when they lost 6-1 at City of Peterborough III.
Dereham II are leading the Norfolk challenge in Division 2NE after moving up to fourth position with a 2-1 victory over St Ives.
Norwich City II are one place and three points behind them following their first defeat of the season against City of Peterborough IV. City were beaten 2-1 by the visitors, with Sam Tomlinson scoring what proved to a consolation goal.
Norwich Dragons' struggles continued when they suffered a third straight defeat, with UEA coming away with a hard-fought 1-0 success.
Norwich Dragons II had to be content with a 1-1 draw against Felixstowe II in Division 3NE.
The game started well, with Dragons beginning to play a more composed game of possession hockey after the early weeks of the season. Glenn Masterson and Mike Farrow provided plenty of confidence at the back, but the Felixstowe high press made it hard for Dragons to turn possession into continued pressure.
The deadlock was broken when Alex Browne converted a penalty corner. But Felixstowe hit back just before half-time in one of their relatively few attacks and that was the way it stayed.
Norwich City III's bright start to the season continued when they won 5-4 at Pelicans II with Ben Cushion scoring twice and Paul Gallop, Josh Bailey and Matthew Brine also on target.
City IV welcomed league leaders Newmarket and in what proved to be a very tight affair were beaten 4-3. Chris Perry, Ady Marr and Jon Kidner got the goals while man-of-the -match was James Hughes.
Geoff Roberts put in a good performance up front for Norwich Dragons III but they drew a blank as visitors North Norfolk won 4-0. Norwich City V won 2-0 at Newmarket II (Declan Ordish, Rob Goldsmith) while Norwich Exiles beat Bury St Edmunds III 3-1 (Robbie Whiting 2, Arthur Carey).