Clacton victorious in Seasiders battle

JEWSON SOCCER: The latest local football news from the Jewson League and the Suffolk Senior Cup semi-finals.

Jewson League Premier Division

Felixstowe & Walton 1 Clacton Town 3

A GLORIOUS afternoon welcomed a healthy crowd for the clash of the seaside teams from Suffolk and Essex.

With Mick Potter resting Bobby Mayes, and Shane Bailey missing out due to suspension, the visitors were certainly not at full strength.

But with Felixstowe currently staring relegation in the face, and players jumping ship, Clacton were confident of coming away with all three points.

Within just two minutes of play, Jimmy Clewley had struck the upright with a stinging 20 yard shot, and he continued to be a thorn in the home side's defence, as he was shooting at will.

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Clacton then stepped up another gear as they imposed themselves on the hosts goal forcing a number of corners.

However, the Suffolk Seasiders defended well, preventing the visitors from causing any problems.

Then that man again, Jimmy Clewley struck a 30-yard curling shot which struck the outside of the post, before his brother Jason headed against the bar.

It only looked a matter of time before the goals would come, and sure enough, the hard working Sean Hillier latched onto a long ball and outran his marker, to bravely challenge the ensuing Felixstowe keeper, nodding the ball over Charters and into the net on 39 minutes.

However, the two players collided and Hillier had to leave the field for treatment, returning 10 minutes later.

Just before half time, Paul Hillier (who was causing all sorts of problems down the right wing) took the ball past the last defender, cut inside and into the box, where he was clearly hauled down when clear through on goal.

The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Gary Hudson stepped up to coolly put the ball past Charters.

The second half saw Felixstowe make a better impression on the game, forcing a number of corners that came to nothing.

The infamous Clacton defence reduced the hosts to just a few long-range shots that were not even on target.

The visitors then regained their composure and began dominating proceedings once again, so much so that manager Mick Potter was screaming at Stanbridge to return to his goal, as he stepped up to take a free kick on the half-way line.

On the hour, Clacton scored their third goal as Glyn Roberts headed in from a corner.

Felixstowe had one or two half chances, but were unable to turn these into goals, until two minutes from time, when the home side were awarded a penalty, which they duly converted to deny Clacton another clean-sheet.

It was another solid all-round performance from the Essex side, especially Paul Hillier and Glyn Roberts.

Bury Town 0 Maldon Town 1

AFTER a sparkling performance at Ram Meadow the week before, inconsistent Bury confounded their supporters with a lacklustre display against visiting Maldon.

In the main both defences looked more than capable of holding firm against rare threats to their goal.

Missing Crawford, Bury lacked options on the right. It meant hardly any chances were created up front for Stringfellow and Newman. They frequently had to leave the box to forage for themselves.

Maldon did little better despite the persistent promptings of the classy Owers in midfield.

A first-half tiff between Prudance and North caused a ripple of excitement and resulted in yellow cards for each. The encounter looked like moving towards an impasse.

The mishap which decided the game occurred in the Bury goalmouth after 75 minutes. Keeper Hill was probably unsighted as he tried to gather an awkward ball at the near post. He spilled the low cross.

The dependable Eady cleared off the line but the ball hit his colleague Crown and the flew into the net. In a desperate bid to salvage something Bury manager Richard Wilkins threw on all three substitutes and pushed Eady up front. Apart from his late headed attempt which bounced down and then up and over the bar, it was all to no avail.

AFC Sudbury 1 Wroxham 2

AFC SUDBURY'S 13-match 100 per cent home record came to an end on Saturday. Their changed game-plan failed to stop fellow title challengers Wroxham's recent run of victories.

Without the attacking flair of Rayner, playing an unusual defensive role and an ineffective midfield, Wroxham took full advantage to put the home defence under pressure for most of the game although they had to come from behind before deservedly earning the three points to keep their title hopes alive.

With Lewis and Neale causing problems down the flanks, there were early chances for Carus and Stock, both finishing just wide, before Nower made the save of the match, brilliantly turning aside a close-range shot from Stock. A stinging shot from Fox rattled the post as the home side struggled to stem the attacks. A brief respite saw Cheetham shoot inches wide but Wroxham came back, Nower fingertipping over a free kick from Gill and shortly after, Howes went close with a free kick.

A series of second half corners should have brought Wroxham the lead but three times Hartle missed guilt-edged opportunities.

Against the run of play, AFC went ahead, Claydon touching on a cross from Rayner to Cheetham who drove a first time shot past Fowler.

Shortly after, the lead should have extended, Claydon being put through only to place his shot too close to Fowler, who dropped to his left to save and Pauling blocked a Howlett header on the line.

Wroxham equalised when Lewis was allowed to run 40 yards unchallenged with the unmarked Stock easily beating Nower from the cross. Wroxham, sensing victory, took full advantage of a careless ball from Day, Gill sweeping the ball forward to Hilton who was allowed to get past two defenders to cross for Terrington to sweep the ball past Nower five minutes from time.

Newmarket 3 Stowmarket 2

NEWMARKET came from behind to ease their relegation worries but the visitors only have themselves to blame for failing to extend their recent good run of results.

It was the Jockeys who dominated the early exchanges as Stowmarket took time to settle on a bumpy surface. Stowmarket's new-look defence with Steve Nunn and Carl Ratcliffe replacing Darren Scoulding and Stewart Knowles, was under pressure from the first whistle and it took a brilliant save from keeper Simon Nunn, to keep his side on terms. A poor clearance was collected by home striker Shaw, but Nunn just managed to tip his effort over the crossbar as Stowmarket weathered the early storm.

The hosts, after failing to make their early dominance pay off, were punished when in their first attack of note, Stowmarket scored. There was almost half an hour on the clock when Newmarket keeper Oxborough could only half clear the danger to the edge of the penalty area and Stuart Jopling's goalbound shot was turned in by Colin Yeomans.

Soon after, a brilliant Yeomans effort doubled the visitors' advantage when the Stowmarket striker took possession on the edge of the area, and despite the presence of two Newmarket defenders, Yeomans curled the ball into the top corner for his 17th goal of the season.

After the break, Stowmarket's poor first-half performance did not improve and Rhodes gave his side hope when he shot under Nunn in the 55th minute. With 15 minutes remaining, a Newmarket substitution paid dividends when substitute Stokes was in exactly the right place to plant a header into the Stowmarket net from a cross from Sobiechowski. There now seemed only one winner and so it proved with Rhodes earning the man of the match accolade when he shrugged aside the challenge of Kevin Barker, and this time his shot went through the legs of Nunn to complete Newmarket's comeback.

In a tense finish, Matt Proctor struck the Jockeys' crossbar and Newmarket safely negotiated the remaining minutes of injury time to record a vital victory.

Fakenham 2 Ipswich Wanderers 0

WANDERERS are still not out of trouble in the relegation area of the Premier Division after another defeat on Saturday.

Dickerson put the home side ahead just before the break and Delicata lobbed Evans for Fakenham's second. Indeed the Ghosts could have added more to their score and the Suffolk side returned home pointless.

Mildenhall 2 Gorleston 0

MILDENHALL belied their lowly position in the league with a commanding win over Gorleston in a match littered with errors on Saturday.

Stuart Ogilvie and Neil Pope were on target for the west Suffolk side in a match that was not one of the best with numerous stoppages.

Jewson League Division One

Halstead Town 1 Whitton United 1

HALSTEAD picked up a welcome Jewson League point following their horrendous result last week, fighting back from a deficit against a useful Whitton side, both matches this season ending with honours even.

The first half was rather a drab affair with neither side putting much together in terms of danger. Consequently the respective keepers had very little to do despite the home side running up several corners.

The home side welcomed back John Chinnery, but were without the injured Steff Kendall, Ian Taylor and Andy Gooderham, thus the experienced Tony French dropped back to the heart of the defence, and even found time to carve out the equaliser.

The was a bonus too, with another debut making local lad, Rickie Williamson, coming off the subs' bench to give a good account of himself over the last quarter of an hour.

Unfortunately Whitton lost defender Cunningham in the first five minutes with a leg injury, which later needed hospital treatment. Sadler took over, but the first chance fell to Halstead only for Lynton Everson to fire straight at keeper Dunnett.

End-to-end play followed for long spells, but neither side had anyone to put his authority on the game and it was no surprise when the interval arrived with no score, although there were bookings for Matt and Danny Chinnery, while Callaghan, Wright and Hurd for the visitors also went into the book.

The game followed a similar pattern in the second half, while a variety of free kicks for both sides produced little menace and a goalless draw looked likely. However, on 77 minutes Whitton grabbed the lead when a Halstead move, one of many breaking down through poor distribution, saw the ball fine Layton, who in turn put Hurd away to open the scoring.

Immediately Halstead brought on Williamson and Ian Webber, for Gary Byrne and Grant Strong, and they were soon on terms, French surging down the left and his cross found Everson to bundle home the equaliser.

However, it was Whitton who finished the stronger but keeper Lloyd Pentney twice came to the rescue to earn Halstead a point.

Norwich United 1 Stanway Rovers 0

STANWAY missed the opportunity to put real pressure at the top of the Division One table, going down by two goals at leaders Norwich United.

Stanway went close to taking an early lead when Lee Abrehart shot just wide but then United forced a succession of corners.

Jordan Blyth slotted the ball home from 12 yards on the half-hour to put the home side ahead and then the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Lee Abrehart was sent off for swearing.

The second half proved very uninspiring and it wasn't until two minutes from time Jamie Hunton sealed the game for the Norfolk side, crashing the ball home after good work from Morais. Stanway were reduced to nine men when Steve Ball was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Needham Market 5 March Town 0

NEEDHAM Market gained another valuable victory against the league's basement team.

The visitors came out of the blocks and very nearly took the lead with two efforts in the opening minutes, Matt Fenn making a good save and Graham Pooley clearing off the line after Matt Fenn had mishandled. But after eight minutes Needham took the lead, Carl Sandilands scoring with a neat finish.

The lead was soon doubled when Marc Wake put the finishing touch to another good move. In midfield Neil Cole, Robbie Hill and Ben Woolnough were taking control and the wing-backs Scot Bennett and Carl Sandilands were delivering some good balls in for the strikers.

Just before half time Carl Sandilands scored a third with another confident finish. To be fair to March Town United they kept at their task but looked a side that lacked confidence more than anything else.

In the second period both sides made changes and Needham substitute David Pitt weighed in with two goals to put the game well beyond March's reach. It was never a classic but for the home side it was an all-round team performance with everyone playing their part. This league win was Needham's ninth in a row.

Suffolk Senior Cup Semi-final

Kirkley 5 AFC Sudbury Reserves 0

THE scoreline reflected the amount of chances created by the holders against a Sudbury side that had more than a fair share of possession but failed to fashion any clear-cut openings throughout the game.

The nearest was when ex-Ipswich Town centre back Ellis went dangerously close with a header after Kirkley had taken a 16th-minute lead. The result could have hinged on an accidental clash after just seven minutes when Kirkley keeper Barber, in attempting to head clear from the oncoming Dixon outside his penalty area, collided heavily with the Sudbury striker and both players laid motionless for some time.

After a 10-minute delay Dixon resumed but Barber was carried off. The incident seemed to spur Kirkley to greater efforts with reserves keeper Oldman looking a capable deputy and the Anglian Combination side went ahead when West flicked on for Highfield who beat keeper Boon from a narrow angle after a weaving run. Flannigan missed a good cross from Patrick and Dixon was crowded out as Sudbury replied but they had to survive a late spell of pressure with Boon making diving saves from West and Twomlow. In the 11th minute of added time Danny Stokeld chested down a ball from midfield and held off his marker before finishing with a shot past Boon's right hand into the bottom corner.

Sudbury were forced in to half-time changes, losing Ellis with a knee injury and Dixon who had been flown back from his college in America by the Essex and Suffolk Border League side, joined Barber in hospital suffering from his previous shoulder injury.

West had an early chance for Kirkley and Highfield drove wide as they looked to increase their lead. Ex-Ipswich Town midfielder Greaves had a fierce shot charged down as Sudbury tried to get back into the game but the ball was played long to Stokeld who played in West to finish clinically in the 62nd minute.

Sudbury still had plenty of possession but found it hard going against Harewood, Holmes and Larter who hardly put a foot wrong at the back and Kirkley continually hit Sudbury who were caught forward.

Ward made it 4-0 after missing two chances in the 75th minute and Coleman completed a nap hand after good work by Highfield three minutes from time to set up a final date with Haverhill on April 9 at Portman Road.

Haverhill 3 Leiston 2

HAVERHILL won their way through to a Portman Road final as a late strike by Mark Brandt finally ended the challenge of a Leiston side who had battled back splendidly to draw level after being 2-0 down.

Rovers went ahead after five minutes when Jenkin headed a superb goal following a free kick. An equaliser looked likely as Fryer broke through but the flag was up for a narrow offside decision.

A second goal came in the 36th minute as Cogger tried his luck from near the right-hand corner flag and the ball flew just under the crossbar as goalkeeper Hinnels was challenged by Brandt. The goalkeeper required treatment but the goal was allowed to stand.

Leiston got back into the game on the stroke of half-time when Trevor Chenery out-jumped the defence to head home.

This set the scene for a thrilling second period as Leiston took the game to Haverhill in the early stages of the half.

The equaliser eventually came in the 63rd minute with Carl Chenery scoring with yet another cracking header. Almost at once, Jenkin was tripped by Challis in the area but Hinnels smothered the spot kick, which was a tame effort by Jenkin.

Leiston had Dineen sent off for a second bookable offence in the 83rd minute and then came Haverhill's winner three minutes later.

Brandt reacted quickest in a crowded penalty area to squeeze the ball wide of Hinnels and after that, there was no way back for Leiston's 10 men.

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