Peckers pair save the day

NON-LEAGUE SOCCER: All the news and views from the Jewson League plus the latest on Sudbury's progress in the FA Cup.


Woodbridge Town 3 Lowestoft Town 2

A TERRIFIC afternoon's entertainment at Notcutts Park ended happily for Woodbridge who struck with a late winner to secure their first victory of the season.

The game was a personal triumph for both Adam Wilson, who gave his best display so far in goal for the Woodpeckers, and for Steve Dearsley, who completed his first full game in 18 months and celebrated by scoring two goals, including Woodbridge's winner.

Wilson was outstanding and made a series of fine saves to frustrate Lowestoft.

For a large part of the second half, Woodbridge were pinned back in their own half and when Gary McGee scored twice in six minutes to bring the Blues level, the smart money was on the visitors to go on to clinch all three points. Woodbridge had other ideas, however, and two minutes into stoppage time, Jamie Scales broke down the left and after his cross was deflected, Dearsley was perfectly placed to power a volley into the net for the winner.

Most Read

The home side had earlier taken the lead for the first time four minutes before the end of an open and fast-flowing first half. Shaun Curtis headed the ball on just inside the visitors' half and Rick Deasy ran through on goal before sliding a low shot past Mark Hitcham for his first goal for the Woodpeckers. Deasy had two further opportunities to add to his tally before the half-time whistle blew, but on both occasions, Hitcham came off best.

In stoppage time, Wilson pulled off his finest save by leaping to turn over a header from Marcus Saunders and Woodbridge capitalised by extending their lead in the 51st minute. Curtis broke down the right before crossing to the far post where Dearsley arrived to shoot home. From then on, Lowestoft steadily piled on the pressure. They pulled a goal back in the 69th minute when a weak defensive header fell to McGee, no more than two yards out, and the same player struck again in the 75th minute.

As time ran out, Deasy again came off second best in a one-on-one with Hitcham and Wilson and Gary Jay combined in a frantic goalmouth melee to somehow deny Lowestoft before Dearsley's defining moment settled a memorable contest in Woodbridge's favour.

Harwich & Parkeston 0 Dereham Town 1

HARWICH & Parkeston's miserable start to the season continued with a defeat at home to Dereham.

The first half was a lively affair that saw a couple of early misses for Dereham. Mathew Henman and Niall McCallum both saw their efforts miss the mark as the visitors pressed for an early goal.

For their part, Harwich hit back on the break and actually had the ball in the Dereham net after 13 minutes but Duncan Jackson's header was disallowed for off-side. The home side clawed their way into the game and stretched the Dereham defence with a fine run from John Kemp that ended with a cross that was scrambled away. Kemp then turned to fire in a shot that was well held by Jon West in the Dereham goal.

The visitors missed a golden opportunity to take the lead after 33 minutes when Graham Barratt ballooned the ball over the Harwich goal from close range. Neil Maguire's goal-bound effort was then blocked by a tangle of Harwich legs as the Norfolk side pushed up. Despite all this, it was Harwich who carved out the best scoring opportunity of the half when West stretched to palm away a fierce John Kemp effort.

After the break, Dereham took control of the proceedings. Henman, Barratt and Adams were all guilty of missed opportunities but controversy reared its head following a rare Harwich attack. Gareth Heath burst into the Dereham area only to be hauled down as he shaped to shoot. Harwich appealed for a penalty but the referee waved away their protests and allowed play to continue. The visitors scored the winner on 82 minutes; a well-flighted free kick caught the Harwich defence napping and substitute Jason Parr was on hand to head home.

Tiptree United 2 Fakenham Town 1

TIPTREE continued their impressive league form with a narrow home victory against Fakenham Town with a goal in the opening and closing five minutes.

Little more than 90 seconds into the game, Neil Cogger used his pace which would turn out to be a constant thorn in the side of the Fakenham defence all game, to break down the left wing. His deep cross was met by Steve Wareham with an accurate volley across the visitors' goal and into the corner of the net. Tiptree then created chances seemingly at will but failed to capitalise on them. Again Wareham and Cogger were the protagonists, with the latter volleying the best chance just a foot over the bar from a defender's unwitting flick-on.

However, with such a slender lead, Tiptree were always vulnerable to a Fakenham fightback and the Norfolk side gradually worked their way back into the game as the first half progressed.

Reeve was guilty of a few missed chances although in truth, none of them were straightforward opportunities before Mortimer flicked the ball into the air and from 25 yards out, hit an unstoppable drive past Michael Bavester. This came just a few minutes before half time and after the break, it was the visitors who looked the more likely to score again.

Wareham was denied from close range by Lewis and Steve Daly hit a first-time shot just over the bar but it was Bavester who was the busier of the two goalkeepers, on one occasion being glad to see a free kick from Gilmore curl just wide of his post.

With the game looking destined to end in a draw, Cogger picked the ball up in the midfield area and on his first sight of goal, cracked a left-footed strike that just sneaked past Lewis to put Tiptree into the lead again with five minutes left. Fakenham had to contend with the dismissal of Ramm for a second bookable offence but still pushed forward in search of an equaliser.


Long Melford 0 Cambridge City Res 0

MELFORD were given a torrid time in the opening 15 minutes by City's fine flowing attacking football that threatened to end their unbeaten four-match sequence.

However, they recovered well, producing a fine display with plenty of character and resolve. In a thoroughly exciting match Melford earned a well-deserved point and denied City their fifth consecutive league win.

Cambridge's dominant start saw Steve Thacker and Ryan Jenner go close but following a cross from Danny Brind, it was Melford's Tony French who brought a great save from keeper Matt Nurse who tipped over a powerful volley.

Melford keeper Jason Haygreen then made two brilliant point blank saves from Jenner and Mark Button following a fine run by Thacker. The home side recovered their composure and Andy Smith should have netted from six yards before the break.

Melford substitute Trevor Irvine had a strong influence on their second-half performance. He drove narrowly wide himself and subsequently released Smith whose shot was straight at the keeper. The home side were fortunate to twice scramble the ball away in their six-yard box whilst at the other end a five-man inter-passing move put Smith in again, but the shot went just wide of the goal.

In the closing minutes both sides continued to be positive but ultimately the draw was a fair result.

Haverhill 4 Needham Market 1

Haverhill moved up to ninth in the table after scoring three goals in five minutes to secure a victory at home to Needham.

Haverhill opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, M Hunt curling a shot from the edge of the area into the far top corner.

This was cancelled out 17 minutes later, M Wake despatching a controversial penalty into the net, sending the goalkeeper the other way in the process. Haverhill went 2-1 up in the 66th minute, substitute N Green forcing his way through the Needham defence (and goalkeeper) before hooking the ball into the net.

N Green scored his second, and Haverhill's third, three minutes later, his shot taking a healthy deflection of Needham captain Folkard to leave the goalkeeper helpless. The final goal was scored in the 71st minute, Cowling laying the ball to Jenkin, who fired the ball inside the near post to seal all three points for Haverhill.

Warboys 0 Leiston Town 2

SOMETIMES the result is more important than the performance. If that is true Leiston can be well pleased with a hard-fought 2-0 victory at basement club Warboys.

The first half developed into a catalogue of missed opportunities for the visitors, starting straight from the kick-off when Fryer could have done better with a snap-shot.

Jennings missed twice and had a glorious header cleared off the line. Then Stuart Dineen hit the bar and had a 30-yard effort go narrowly over.

The second half continued in the same vein with Jennings bringing a smart save from the home keeper.

With 20 minutes to go, Harper came on from the bench. With his first touch he scored, almost on the line after good work by Kirtley.

Things got heated for a while with a flurry of bookings for both sides but, despite a succession of corners, Warboys never really threatened.

In the last minute Kirtley raced the whole of the Warboys half, outpacing his marker before finishing clinically with a fine shot across the keeper.

With other results going their way Leiston kept up the pressure on the leading clubs.

Thetford 1 Whitton 1

WHITTON must have expected three points at Thetford who, until Saturday, were pointless, but after taking the lead Whitton were glad to get a point.

The visitors missed a wonderful chance in the third minute when Layton shot over an open goal. Mark Almond, with only Holden to beat, saw the keeper make a good save. Whitton took the lead in the 39th minute when Daniel Eaton hit a free-kick from 25 yards into the net.

But Thetford equalised when Mark Leach beat Holden from 30 yards.

There were no goals in the second half but Gayfer had his header cleared off the line as did Leach, when Grimwood's clearance saved Whitton.

Hadleigh United 2 Swaffham 0

THIS top of the table Division One clash ended with Hadleigh preserving their 100% record after a magnificent first-half performance in which both goals were scored.

Swaffham hit back strongly in the closing stages of the second period but Hadleigh defended soundly and when the Norfolk side did manage to get through, they found goalkeeper Donovan in top form.

Grant hit the bar for Hadleigh and goalkeeper Higgs blocked shots from Cracknell and Smith before the first goal arrived in the 29th minute. Dennett played the ball through the middle to Cracknell who raced clear to lob over the advancing Higgs.

The home team continued to attack and the second goal came after 41 minutes when Gaston lifted a spectacular effort over the stranded Higgs from way out on the right-hand touchline.

Hadleigh were forced to replace Grant and Cracknell for the second half, but they still managed to keep the upper hand for much of the time and Godbold headed just wide when a third goal looked likely.

With time running out, Donovan made a fine one-handed save when Arnold sliced a clearance towards the corner of his own goal and again when Leggett and Rainford made attempts from close range.

Downham Town 0 Felixstowe & Walton 0

Seasiders manager Paul Adams looked an unhappy man as he left Lynn Road on Saturday having watched his side squander two points as the home side picked up their first points of the season.

Downham should have been out of sight by half-time and perhaps suffering from a cricket score after 90 minutes as the visitors controlled the game from virtually the first to last whistle.

Downham did create two early attacks before Felixstowe & Walton got into their stride and Charters made a 53rd-minute save to deny Bishop but that was the sum total of the danger from a Downham side that looked devoid of confidence.

While the Seasiders played some pretty football and passed the ball around comfortably they failed to make the most of the openings they created from their possession.

There were a host of chances created and squandered with Berry, who had scored a spectacular goal the previous week, guilty of squandering a gilt-edged chance early in the second half when he ran through unchallenged from the halfway line but drove his shot into Motterhams' body in a one-on-one with the keeper.

Felixstowe will certainly have to become more clinical in front of goal if they are to start picking up victories from games such as this that should have been a banker three points.

Somersham 2 Halstead Town 3

HALSTEAD made hard work of beating a sprited Somersham outfit in a rather scrappy game at St Ives Road, but nevertheless returned home with three valuable points.

The visitors bossed the first 10 minutes when several free kicks went their way but nothing got through to test home keeper Peter Gibbs, before a Somersham breakaway provided a golden opportunity, only wasted by Mike Egan after Alan Norman had robbed Grant Strong.

It was rather against the run of play when Somersham took the lead after 27 minutes when Matt Chinnery was penalised for handball and up stepped Carl Osborn to score from the spot, while a couple of minutes later Gary Harvey was ideally placed to clear off the line from Richard Marsden.

Halstead got back on terms on 35 minutes when a neat move involving Jimmy Chatters and Adrian Owers paved the way for Andy Taylor to fire home, and soon after Chatters wasted a fine heading chance following a cross by Strong.

Right on the whistle keeper Lloyd Pentney came to Halstead's rescue when he tipped over over a well-struck free kick by Marsden.

On resumption Halstead lost Robbie Welham with Carl Metson taking over and the youngster was soon involved in the move which brought Halstead's second goal, Tony English's header being pushed on to the bar by Gibbs and Chatters slammed home his fourth goal in as many matches.

Five minutes later the visitors struck again when a clever piece of footwork enabled Owers to fire home to apparently put Halstead well on the way to victory.

However the hosts had other ideas as both Marsden and Darren Nelson often gave the Halstead defence some anxious moments, while at the other end the visitors spurned several useful openings.

Inevitably they were punished when a free kick was needlessly conceded and Glyn Cooke cracked home a fine free kick with 15 minutes left to set up an exciting finale, culminating in Somersham's substitute White, on for the injured Green, being dismissed for a foul on Chatters, who was booked for his trouble, but the points were safe.


Raunds Town 1 AFC Sudbury 3

AFC Sudbury to into today's second qualifying round FA Cup draw on the back of a convincing win over Raunds Town on Saturday.

Striker Andrew Claydon proved the Suffolk side's match-winner being a constant thorn in the side of the Raunds defence so much so that substitute Parker was introduced at half-time in an effort to contain the threat of Claydon's powerful running.

It was Claydon who produced the first shot of the game but Earl saved comfortably before Koriyi went close for Raunds and then Hyde came close to opening the scoring for AFC only to be denied three times in succession when his headers were cleared off the line.

Only Earl's outstretched leg prevented Claydon scoring after an exchange of passes with Bennett. Anderson's shot just cleared Nower's bar before Claydon put AFC Sudbury ahead, shrugging off Veasey in a surging run before shooting low past Earl.

Earl just beat Claydon to Rayner's cross before AFC went further ahead, a bout of close passing ending with Bennett touching the ball on to Betson who finished with a low shot into the far corner of the net.

A low cross from Claydon then caused panic in the Raunds defence and only a desperate scrambling save by Earl kept out the deflection off a defender.

Twice in the second half Earl had to go full length to keep out shots from Claydon and Bennett before the game was made safe when a long ball out of defence saw Claydon dispossess Veasey before running on to side-step Earl and stroke the ball into the empty net.

Nower fingertipped over a deflection off his own defender and then did well to save a stinging shot from Reed before in the last minute Raunds earned a consolation with Reed being allowed to cross from the byline for Anderson to head powerfully past Nower.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter