Sudbury seal championship in style

JEWSON SOCCER: All the news and views from the Jewson League Premier Division as AFC Sudbury secure the title.

JEWSON LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

AFC Sudbury 5 Harwich 1

AFC Sudbury clinched the Jewson Premier League title on Saturday with a comfortable victory over Harwich producing the three points necessary to bring the Suffolk side their second successive league title.

They had to wait 35 minutes for the all-important opening goal, the defensive tactics of Harwich frustrating their early dominance, restricting them to a snap volley from Gardiner that finished just wide and saves from keeper Tanner from Owen and a Betson free-kick.

It was Betson who gave AFC the breakthrough, forcing home Rayner's low cross and once in front the Harwich defence were given a torrid run around. Shortly before half-time Gardiner sent a rising 40-yard shot flashing past Tanner to put the home crowd in early celebratory mood.

The second half continued the same one-way traffic pattern with Claydon scoring inside two minutes.

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Chances came and went before Bishop powered home a cross from Owen and then Harwich were gifted a consolation goal, Nower mis-kicking an attempted clearance leaving Heath with an empty net.

But Bennett restored the four-goal advantage with a close-range fifth goal effort.

Stowmarket Town 0 Soham Town Rangers 4

FOUR second-half goals saw the visitors end Stowmarket's hopes of a top-five finish.

In the opening half of few chances it was Stowmarket who could have opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Kevin Barker slipped the ball into the path of Stuart Jopling but Stowmarket's leading scorer was unable to take the opportunity and deadlock remained at the interval after Stowmarket's defence, with Mark Barnard once again a pivotal figure, made sure there was no scoring in the first 45 minutes.

In the opening minutes of the second half the home side should have gone in front but Adrian Whatling was unable to find a finish and from there on in the match was dominated by the visitors.

A penalty put Soham on their way when Stowmarket keeper Simon Nunn was adjudged to have brought down Docking in the area and referee Pryme had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Docking sent Nunn the wrong way and it was not long before the same player scored an empathic finish into Nunn's top right-hand corner to double the visitors' lead.

Stowmarket threw on all three substitutes at once but this did nothing to improve the home side's fortune and in the 74th minute Kingston hammered home a third for the visitors off the crossbar.

Soham then rubbed further salt into Stowmarket's wounds when Docking provided another clinical finish to complete his hat-trick and Stowmarket were left to reflect on a run of only one point in their final three matches.

But nevertheless it has been a hugely satisfactory season for Mel Aldis's side as they finished in sixth position following Gorleston's last-day victory over Woodbridge.

Gorleston 1 Woodbridge Town 0

FOR the third consecutive game Woodbridge failed to find the net although they had a number of good opportunities to establish a commanding lead by the interval.

Instead, it was Gorleston who struck just before the break with the only goal of the game, to ensure that the Woodpeckers finished their campaign in eighth place, one position lower and with one point fewer than last season.

The visitors made all the early running and gained three corners in the opening five minutes. Shortly afterwards a neat pass from Andy Coote put Lee O'Neill through on goal but his shot took a crucial deflection before scraping the outside of the post.

Another good opportunity fell O'Neill's way in the 19th minute when he blocked a defender's clearance and although the ball ran kindly for him he blazed his shot high over the bar from close range. It was then the turn of his strike partner Coote to threaten twice, opting for power on the first occasion and accuracy on the second. Both efforts were well saved by Sean Cooper.

Gorleston had enjoyed a fair share of the ball without causing the visiting defence any problems until the 42nd minute when Gary Ingram burst through the middle, rode a tackle on the edge of the penalty area and calmly steered his shot into the net.

After a brief flurry at the start of the second half, during which Ben Miller shot wildly off target when well placed, Woodbridge were almost non-existent as an attacking force.

There was hardly an abundance of action at the other end either with Steve Bishop coming closest to extending the home side's lead with a shot that missed the target by a fraction. Dean Garnham saved well from Scott Lindsay at the end of a game which occasionally threatened to boil over with a number of robust challenges and off the ball incidents.

Woodbridge welcome Cornard to Notcutts Park tonight for a Harwich Charity Cup semi-final match, kick-off 7.30pm.

Wroxham 6 Felixstowe & Walton 1

RELEGATED Felixstowe were no match for the Jewson Premier runners-up who coasted to a comfortable victory before receiving their rewards from the Jewson League officials.

Having already conceded the title to AFC Sudbury, Wroxham produced relaxed, fluent football that brought four first-half goals.

The first in the 17th minute was a spectacular overhead bicycle kick from Jason Fletcher, Darren Gill made it two three minutes later with a 30-yard stunner and Matty Neale virtually sealed the victory with a third on the 25th minute.

The visitors pulled a goal back assisted by the referee who ignored an offside flag, and that allowed Robbie Fuller to run unopposed and score past Parsons.

At once Wroxham came back with a fourth from Fletcher three minutes before the break, but Simon Daniels wasted a quality chance to reduce the arrears by spooning over the bar from only eight yards out.

At the other end, Charters pulled off two great saves to thwart Gill and Fox but he was deceived completely by a wicked deflection on a Fox shot that crept inside his right-hand post. Five minutes from time, Damion Hilton completed the rout.

Ipswich Wanderers 1 Dereham Town 5

WANDERERS completed their league season with a heavy defeat.

Dereham earlier in the season had beaten them in the Jewson League Cup semi-final.

The game marked the last game of Martin Head as club secretary and the home side made a positive start with David Head heading just over on two minutes.

Shortly afterwards Dereham were awarded a penalty for a foul by Smy on Lucas. Barrett stepped up and calmly stroked the ball home.

Wanderers responded and from a Baker free-kick Hetherington saw his far post header turned round the post by West.

Dereham almost added a second when Barrett struck and effort just wide and Lucas fired the ball just over the bar after a need built up by Henman and Christie.

Wanderers started the second half looking for an equaliser and Howell fired just wide after a cross by Harewood. Dereham doubled their lead on 53 minutes when a cross from Christie was bundled home by Henman.

Christie made it 3-0 on 60 minutes when he scored after a fine solo run.

Wanderers looked to come back into the game and Baker and Smy came close before Smy pulled a goal back ten minutes from time.

Moments later Dereham re-established their three goal margin when a cross by Bond was struck home by Henman. Maguire completed the scoring when he struck the ball beyond Evans.

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