Promotion the aim for prolific Stuart

STUART Jopling goes into tomorrow's game at Tiptree two goals behind Debenham Leisure Centre team-mate Ian Gedny in the Ridgeons League, First Division scoring stakes.

By Elvin King

STUART Jopling goes into tomorrow's game at Tiptree two goals behind Debenham Leisure Centre team-mate Ian Gedny in the Ridgeons League, First Division scoring stakes.

But he says there is no race between the team mates to top the charts at the end of the season.

Jopling and Gedny have supplied more than two thirds of the 77 goals Debenham have netted in the league this season.

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Gedny has 29 and Jopling 27, with Gavin Norman from Swaffham in third place on 25. There then comes a big drop with three players on 14.

“I suppose the older you get the less personal issues affect your game,” said Jopling, 32, who has scored goals for a number of Ridgeons clubs including Stowmarket Town, Needham Market, Diss Town and Lowestoft Town.

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“It doesn't concern me if Ian stays in front. The main thing is that we gain promotion to the Premier Division.

“I still get a big buzz from finding the back of the net and hopefully this will continue for a few more years yet.”

Gedny scored two and Jopling notched the third - 'an overhead kick that ranks as one of my best' - as Debenham beat leaders Swaffham at the weekend.

And they go into tomorrow's match in sixth place, five points away from the top three.

“On paper we have the best run-in of the teams above us,” added Jopling. “But we seem to pull the stops out when we play the better teams - as we did to double Swaffham.

“With Mel Aldis and Trevor Wardlaw at the helm it is always fun with Debenham, and if they want me back next season I can see no reason why not.”

Debenham have drawn ten of their 29 league games, and Jopling admits that a few more goals from team mates would not go amiss.

“We are all working on this, although both Ian and I are keen to keep our output on track,” said Jopling.

Taking cup games into account, Gedny leads Jopling 36-30 and one thing is for sure - opposing defenders are in for a tough time when they face the Debenham strike force.

Debenham have gone nine games unbeaten, but this is small-fry compared with Wroxham, who look as though they are going to run away with the Premier Division title.

They have won their last seven league matches and been unbeaten in the Premier Division for 20 games.

Wroxham, who have now opened a gap above second-placed Mildenhall, visit Felixstowe and Walton United at Dellwood Avenue.

Leiston are still eyeing a second-place finish that could see them gain promotion next season. Jason Dozzell's side have a difficult game against a Woodbridge side who have done exceptionally well under Micky Stockwell this campaign.

Leiston defender Gerard Nash will miss the Club Colours Suffolk Premier Cup final against Ipswich Town at Portman Road on April 17 because he is set to serve a three-match ban after being sent off last Saturday.

And with Donald George cup-tied, Leiston will be short of central defenders against the Town second string.

Needham Market are at home to Harwich, with Ipswich Wanderers making the trip to Histon Reserves.

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