Ridgeons League round-up
In a curtailed programme in the top flight, Norwich United were left kicking themselves for conceding an equaliser at Stanway Rovers in time added on.After the 2-2 result, Planters' manager Paul Chick was philosphical: “A great, workmanlike performance, but two defensive mistakes have cost us a win I felt we deserved.
In a curtailed programme in the top flight, Norwich United were left kicking themselves for conceding an equaliser at Stanway Rovers in time added on.
After the 2-2 result, Planters' manager Paul Chick was philosphical: “A great, workmanlike performance, but two defensive mistakes have cost us a win I felt we deserved.”
Lee Hunter and Michael Tacon were on the scoresheet as United led twice
The Planters were denied all three points when Liam Bailey netted in the second minute of time added on.
Hunter gave United the lead only for Sam Newson to equalise. Substitute Michael Tacon then put the Planters back in front with just nine minutes remaining.
With Justin Fox unavailable and knocks to Jordan Blyth and Ben Furlong, there were recalls for Jake McCabe, Danny Tacon and Paul Atkins as Chick continued to rotate his squad with Norfolk Senior Cup final places at Carrow Road next Monday a great incentive.
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An early spell of pressure from the Planters ended with Ricci Butler's shot being safely held by Stanway keeper Richard Robins.
Stanway were causing problems. The league's leading scorer Sam Newson saw his shot deflected wide for a corner, and Connor McCluskey shot wide from an acute angle with only Ben Nower to beat.
Good chances were few as both sides were defended well but the game came to life in the 25th minute with a chance at either end. Robins did well to deny Andrew Claydon reaching Atkins' cross from the left, Stanway broke quickly and Liam Coleman shot across the face of goal.
Ten minutes from half-time Steve Shipley's touch from a Lee Hunter corner was cleared by the home defence. Just before the break Robins was forced into an excellent save to deny Claydon as the striker's near-post header from Butler's strong run and cross from the left saw the keeper claw away from under his bar.
The Planters wasted no time in going in front after the break as within two minutes of the restart Claydon's strong running forced a corner and Hunter's flag kick curled straight in at the near post without anyone on the line able to get a touch.
Stanway equalised on the hour when a cross from the right wasn't cleared and Newson's shot at the far post went across Nower and inside the post.
The Planters' Coe headed over from a Hunter corner and then good work down the right by McCabe saw Hunter's shot blocked and his follow up deflected for a corner.
The Planters went ahead again in the 81st minute. Michael Tacon, who had only been on the pitch for six minutes, touching home Hunter's cross from the right at the near post.
But in injury time Nower's punch fell to Bailey who hit the ball home.
Mildenhall drew 1-1 at Wivenhoe while Dereham's match at Debenham LC was postponed because of an unfit pitch.
Today, Dereham entertain Haverhill, Wroxham visit Histon Reserves, Kirkley & Pakefield are at Leiston, Mildenhall entertain Ely while Wisbech visit Wivenhoe.
Wroxham face another match on Wednesday, at Walsham-le-Willows, as they make up a backlog of fixtures.
Great Yarmouth Town gained another three points in their quest for promotion with a 1-0 home win over Cornard, but manager Paul Tong admitted: “We are struggling to get over the line. We are still not scoring enough goals but we have the best defence in the league, that's down to the hard work of the defenders and an excellent goalkeeper, Michael Hilton.
“It's not about pretty football, it's about getting points, and we are still unbeaten at home in the league.”
Both teams were missing regular players. The Bloaters were five short, but stuttered to their 14th victory in 15 home games over a mostly youthful Cornard side who had a “goal” ruled out for offside after 16 minutes and were later denied a penalty shout.
But Yarmouth could point to a Jake Reed cross headed off the Cornard line before they took the lead five minutes from the interval with a rare move of real quality. Gavin Norman did well to get in a centre to Fernando Vide on the edge of the area and he bent a beautiful right-foot shot round the visitors' youth keeper Matt Walker.
With leaders Brantham losing at March, Yarmouth are two points off the top with a game in hand.
The Bloaters have two very difficult games in their remaining seven, this afternoon at Gorleston (ko 3) and on April 27 at home to FC Clacton who thrashed visitors Downham 9-0 on Saturday to strengthen their own claims to the title.
Diss won their fourth match in a row, 3-0 at home to Stowmarket, to avenge their poorest display of the season when they were beaten by the same margin at Greens Meadow in February.
Diss took the lead in the 12th minute when Andy Moody bundled the ball into the net from close range.
Luke Catchpole made it 2-0 in the 40th minute.
Diss had two “goals” ruled out for offside but three minutes into added time Stowmarket gave the ball away and Catchpole ran through to shoot past the advancing keeper.
Thetford had a good 3-1 win at Whitton but Swaffham went down 4-0 at home to Halstead.
The Pedlars failed to turn up for the first 25 minutes, gifting Halstead three goals from basic defensive errors. The goals came after three, 19 and 24 minutes.
When they finally switched on, efforts from Chris Sainty, Matthew Parkinson and Lewis Hemeter brought the best from the visiting keeper. Halstead's fourth came in the 72nd minute. Stephen Thompson, returning from injury for Swaffham, saw red for two yellow cards.
Fakenham and Gorleston had their matches postponed.