Felixstowe go out with a whimper

JEWSON SOCCER: All the latest from the top and bottom of the Jewson League Premier Division as the season draws to a close.


Felixstowe & Walton Utd 1 Dereham Town 2

THE final whistle, although not the last of the season, sounded the relegation toll for the Seasiders as it became mathematically impossible for them to catch the side immediately above them in the Premier Division table.

The abysmal home record that had seen just two league wins at Dellwood Avenue in the end proved to be the decisive factor in the Seasiders' season.

Having gained confidence following two victories on the road Felixstowe & Walton started brightly and gained the early goal they were desperately looking for, but having taken the advantage they failed to build on it and Dereham slowly worked their way back into the game to firstly equalise, and then grab a second-half winner.

The 13th-minute penalty was a strange affair as a Dereham defender clearly handled Berry's cross but only diverted it to Fuller, who rammed the ball into the roof of the net only for the referee to discount the goal and award a penalty instead. Barker kept his cool and sent West the wrong way with a low shot from the spot.

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The home side should have made more of their early possession but failed to find another opening and Dereham began to gain more possession putting the home side under increasing pressure and in the 26th minute they were on terms as the Felixstowe & Walton defence failed to cut out Adams' low cross and Lucas, at full stretch, stabbed the ball past Charters.

A glancing header from Fuller in the 33rd minute that was just off target was the nearest either side came to scoring again in the first period but from the restart Dereham looked the more positive side.

The subsequent winner came in the 57th minute when Barrett was allowed to turn on the edge of the area to send a looping header past Charters.

Fuller struck the outside of a post and Howard was inches off target as the home side looked to take something from the game, but in the end the Seasiders' failure to make home advantage pay proved so costly for them.

AFC Sudbury 4 Gorleston Town 0

League leaders AFC Sudbury maintained their hold on the top of the Jewson League with a comfortable victory over Gorleston on Saturday.

They got off to the best possible start with an opening goal in just four minutes. Gardiner's halfway-line pass gave Tracey the chance to send Rayner clear down the right and his cross was inch-perfect for Banya to head powerfully past Cooper.

Cooper then saved well from Banya and Betson but was then beaten by Claydon's lob shot that dropped agonisingly just past the far post.

The one-way traffic continued and brought a second goal, Owen's long throw-in being flicked on by Tracey with Hyde slamming home Claydon's laid-back pass.

Cooper then kept Gorleston in the game saving from Owen and then Claydon at the start of the second half. Nower made his first save of the match, beating out a stinging shot from Wooldridge. Sudbury returned to the attack, Gardiner again starting a move that ended with Banya heading home another accurate Rayner cross.

Lyndsay almost reduced the lead sending a free kick over the defensive wall only to see it hit a post before Owen's long throw-in proved decisive, with Rayner heading home from close range.

Woodbridge Town 2 Mildenhall 2

A LATE goal gave Woodbridge a point from a match which seemed for much of its duration to be heading Mildenhall's way. Two first-half goals gave the west Suffolk side a commanding advantage against a home side who only began to threaten as the opening period ended.

The visitors took the lead in the 24th minute after they broke quickly and Neil Pope threaded a pass through for Adam Salmons to loft a precise lob over Dean Garnham. Then, 10 minutes later, Salmons struck again, this time by blasting an unstoppable shot high into the net.

At this stage Woodbridge looked a forlorn side but twice in a space of a minute just before the break they were out of luck when two corners from Simon Gray were somehow kept out of the goal, one with the aid of the woodwork and the other scrambled clear by the visiting defenders

The home side reduced the deficit in the 52nd minute when Simon Head played in Andy Coote, who skipped past a defender and chipped neatly over Dan Kelly.

More bad fortune followed shortly afterwards for the Woodpeckers when a home defender headed a corner against his own bar and Ian Williams had his follow-up header cleared off the line.

Mildenhall looked dangerous on the break and Salmons fired just wide while Pope forced a good save from Garnham, before he then struck the bar from fully 30 yards.

As the game entered stoppage Coote pulled the ball back from the by-line, Kelly failed to collect the ball and Gray crashed in the equaliser through a crowd of players.

Deep into time added on Woodbridge almost stole all three points when Lee O'Neill shot inches wide but in the end the home side were relieved just to have finished on level terms.

Diss Town 3 Bury Town 1

A CONTROVERSIAL finish to a keenly-contested late season encounter left Bury manager Richard Wilkins fuming.

Bury were set back on their heels just two minutes after the start when a defensive misunderstanding left Key with the simple task of chipping into an empty net.

Bury settled and appealed in vain when Proctor, one of their extensive crop of teenagers, looked to have been held back as he tried to race into the penalty area and onto the end of a searching cross.

Bury continued to have their fair share of possession going forward and Stringfellow had a great chance to level matters, scooping his finish over the bar from close range. But the visitors were caught out again after 38 minutes when Nozedar drilled a powerful drive past Hill to increase the lead.

Bury then pressed on with considerable belief after the break and former Bury skipper Cornish had to head Eady's goalbound effort off the line.

Once Wilkins had released two more pacy teenagers in Evans and Harrison off the bench, life became noticeably more difficult for the Diss defence and, with 10 minutes left, the game erupted in controversy with Harrison at its epicentre.

He burst with speed through the home defence only to come to earth in the box. Harrison thought the tackle was late but referee Hambling judged otherwise and the youngster joined other frustrated colleagues in the book.

Stringfellow's paternal intervention on Harrison's behalf only brought a red card for himself and scarcely was he over the touchline before Diss surged forward from the free kick to seal Bury's fate.

Hill punched out the ensuing corner and Diss's man-of-the-match Gilman, blasted home the clearance from well outside the box.

Harrison's earlier experience did not discourage him from testing out the Diss defence for speed once again in the dying moments and this time there was no disputing his clinical finish past Paulling for a late Bury consolation.

Soham Town Rangers 1 Clacton Town 0

THE Seasiders had a wonderful chance to draw first blood, when Jimmy Clewley broke free, only to see his shot sliced and off to safety.

With the midfield battling it out, and the hosts simply hitting the long ball at every opportunity, the first chance on goal for Soham came on the half hour. Neil Docking's header from a cross forced Stanbridge to save.

Five minutes later, the hosts nearly took the lead, but Read's header was easily collected by the visiting keeper. It was a fairly subdued first half with neither side testing each others' keeper, and although the visitors had the better chances, each goal attempt was nearer the clouds than the goal.

Soham came out in the second half, looking the more determined side, closing the visitors down at every opportunity. Their efforts were rewarded on 59th minute when leading goal scorer Docking played some neat one-two passes before dispatching a low shot past Stanbridge.

With the Seasiders still trying to regroup, the hosts nearly doubled their lead two minutes later when Read drew forced another fine save.

Soham were now looking dangerous on every attack, and for the first time this season, Clacton were looking tired. The visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure in the last 15 minutes, and had a least five or six chances on goal, but again the shots were no where near the target, and Soham deservedly took all three points. Clacton will hope to pick themselves up for tomorrow's match away at AFC Sudbury.

Wroxham 4 Maldon Town 0

TITLE-chasers Wroxham also racked up four goals without reply, and got off to a dream start when Damion Hilton headed in a corner from five yards.

The game never got above a scrappy level but the Norfolk side added a second just before half time when Karl Houghton lobbed the goalkeeper. If Maldon had any ideas about a second-half rally these were dashed within three minutes of the restart when Darren Gill's lob went in with a little help from the wind, which confused the goalkeeper.

Shaun Howes then added the icing on the cake with a spectacular 35-yard effort with 17 minutes left.

Tiptree United 1 Ipswich Wanderers 2

IPSWICH Wanderers all but guaranteed that they will still be playing Premier Division football next year as these three points lifted them well away from the relegation zone.

With Felixstowe already relegated, bottom club Swaffham would need to win all five of their remaining games to have any chance of surviving.

The win did not come as a great surprise as Tiptree's recent league form had been poor, despite their FA Vase exploits and Wanderers took full advantage of their hosts lethargy.

With defences well on top during the first 25 minutes, there was little for supporters to cheer as the players struggled to deal with the hard ground.

However, Wanderers took the lead on 26 minutes after the referee ruled that Dave Streetley had committed a foul on the right hand edge of the area. With both sides scratching their heads at the award of the free kick, Baker swung the ball into the danger area where an unmarked Hetherington tapped it into the net at the far post.

Wanderers could have grabbed a second just before half-time when Head delivered a perfect cross for Howell, but his header was tipped over the bar.

Despite this, the visitors did double their lead 10 minutes into the second half when a cross from Head saw Lowe run through a static Tiptree defence to plant a header past Haygreen.

Tiptree pulled a goal back from the penalty spot when Dave Barefield was tripped and Dave MacKrory stepped up to score his 16th goal of the season.

In the end, a fairly drab game came to a deservedly drab conclusion but the jubilation from the Wanderers players showed that was of little consequence.