Sudbury show real six-appeal

LOCAL SOCCER: AFC Sudbury 6 Hanwell 0: AFC Sudbury manager Keith Martin's shrewd team selection ensured his team takes its place in today's fourth round FA Vase draw after a convincing six-goal victory against South Midland Premier side Hanwell, who in earlier rounds had put out Jewson League sides Ely and Dereham.



AFC Sudbury 6 Hanwell 0

AFC SUDBURY manager Keith Martin's shrewd team selection ensured his team takes its place in today's fourth round FA Vase draw after a convincing six-goal victory against South Midland Premier side Hanwell, who in earlier rounds had put out Jewson League sides Ely and Dereham.

Hanwell, who had lost Holmes in the pre-match warm-up, found themselves behind after just four minutes and were always fighting an uphill battle from then on.

The opening goal came when Claydon came out tops in a challenge for Owen's through ball to go on past keeper Pratt and shoot into the empty net. With Gardiner and Owen in control of the midfield for AFC, Hanwell were forced to defend in numbers but fell further behind after 20 minutes when, although Claydon was flattened, play was allowed to go on with Betson setting up the perfect pass for Rayner to finish with a clinical shot.

Most Read

Home keeper Nower made his first save of the half just before half-time going full-length to turn aside a well-struck shot by Dore-Williams.

The second half belonged to the twin strikers of AFC Sudbury who went on to score all four second-half goals between them.

First Claydon, following up, slammed home after Pratt had blocked Bennett's first shot and then on the hour Betson played the ball along the by-line for Claydon to lay it into the path of Bennett who promptly lashed it past Pratt.

Hanwell's Beck was sent off and then both Claydon and Bennett had shots blocked on the line. Not to be outdone Claydon went on for his hat-trick moving on to Norfolk's inch perfect pass to shoot low past Pratt and Bennett wrapped up the goal feast nipping in between two defenders to power home a high long throw in.

Maldon Town 3 Selsey FC 0

MALDON Town moved into the last 32 of the FA Vase for the first time, by overcoming Sussex County side Selsey with a very impressive display.

League scouts were out in force at the match to watch a Selsey player, but most will have been more impressed by the Maldon squad, including their 18-year-old central defender Paul Goodacre.

Selsey started brightly, but the gloom set in for them after five minutes. Maldon's Robbie Reinelt, back after a six-week lay off due to injury, hit a spectacular left-footed drive after receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty area from Neil Docking.

Despite probing the home defence, Selsey were never really allowed to get back into the game by a resolute Maldon side which shook off some recent poor performances.

Nicky Smith and Simon Gray dominated the midfield to allow Maldon to push forward with Reinelt and Docking causing problems for the visitors. Just before the interval, the home side lost the services of Reinelt with a groin injury. His replacement, Terry Warwick, showed the strength in depth of the Maldon squad to continue the problems that the luckless Reinelt had caused.

Five minutes into the second half, Warwick picked up a loose ball on the right, working his way through to score from close range. The best football of the match, put the issue beyond any doubt; Mark Cranfield moved the ball down the right for Dave Streetley to nip behind the Selsey defence, laying off a perfect by-line cross for Warwick to hit his second goal of the game with a fierce drive into the roof of the net.

Lowestoft 3 Norwich United 0

LOWESTOFT Town moved into the fourth round of the FA Vase for only the second time in their history with a hard-fought victory over a battling Norwich United.

It was the visitors who started the game better with Lowestoft thankful for some sound goalkeeping from Hitcham, particularly one reflex save from Nicholls after a left-sided free-kick caused anxiety in the defence.

It took the Blues about half an hour to get their game going and when they did they found the opposite keeper also in dominant mood. Woodcock saved well from McGee and grabbed a teasing cross from the head of King but was given no chance by Stokeld when he ran on to McGee's pass to send a fierce rising drive into the top corner of the net to give Lowestoft their opening goal. This signalled a spell of Lowestoft pressure that saw a Godbold effort cleared off the line and a Stokeld cross spin off King narrowly outside the post.

Norwich should have equalised shortly before the break as Hunton found himself clear of the home defence but Hitcham produced another stunning save.

Lowestoft looked far more determined after the break and Woodcock produced heroics to save from Godbold and McGee twice.

Lowestoft increased their lead in the 64th minute with King slipping the ball through for McGee to slot past Woodcock.

Woodcock remained the busier keeper again denying King and seeing a Durrant drive flash past the face of the goal. Lowestoft sealed their victory with a third goal in the 76th minute with Head and Godbold combining to create the opening for McGee to slip the ball past Woodcock.

Shipley saw his cross-cum-shot loop over Hitcham but hit the face of the crossbar but the last word went to Woodcock who saved a McGee header with his legs following a quickly taken free-kick.


Mildenhall 1 Clacton Town 1

ON a very dark and chilly afternoon, Clacton fielded a strong team on probably the worst pitch they had seen all season.

The game was a scrappy affair as players were falling all over the surface, as no-one could seem to get a grip with their studs. One thing that was apparent was Clacton were unable to adapt to these conditions as the home side seemed to be a yard quicker. Playing on an upward slope, new signing Gary Hudson immediately showed his strength and dominance at the back as he won everything in the air. The first chance fell to Ian Brown, but he fired his shot wide while well-placed. Mildenhall's Huggins went close from a corner, before Sean Hillier's header was well taken by the home team guardian Banthorpe.

The second half saw the visitors playing downhill, but it was Mildenhall who opened the scoring after some good approach play, resulting in Stuart Ogilvie firing home. From then on it was a battle of the midfield that the Seasiders were losing. With neither team looking like scoring the hosts pulled off what turned out to be their last opportunity on goal, forcing Darren Gould to save at full stretch across his goal.

With just a minute left on the clock, Mildenhall were dealt a killer blow. The ball went up in the air, and a defensive mistake saw the ball sail over Banthorpe and neatly onto Brown's head and into an empty net.

Newmarket 1 Stowmarket 2

STOWMARKET made two changes for the visit to in-form Newmarket with Ratcliffe replacing the unavailable Whatling and Roberts getting his first start after a long injury at the expense of the rested Yeomans.

On a poor surface, it was obvious that Stowmarket would have to adapt their game and this they did against a very confident home side. The visitors took the lead midway into the half after Barnard headed on Mayes' corner and a defender helped it into his own net.

The second half saw the visitors concede a lot of possession but still create numerous chances, mainly through Platt and Jopling.

Jopling finally increased the lead when he slid home Mayes' slide-rule pass. Newmarket responded and reduced the arrears within a couple of minutes and once again Stowmarket showed their determination as they held out to take the points and move third in the table.

Soham 3 Woodbridge 1

WOODBRIDGE made a poor start to this game and conceded a goal in the fourth minute.

A free kick found Bugg, who headed comfortably into the visitors' net. In fairness Woodbridge came back into it and Miller struck an equaliser after 25 minutes. Not long after however, Simpson headed Soham back in front and Calver crashed home a third in the 70th minute to seal the Suffolk side's fate.


Leiston 0 Needham Market 3

THE year can't end quick enough for injury-ravaged Leiston as their patched-up side slumped to a three-goal home defeat to Needham Market.

As in previous matches their inability to turn possession into goals was all too evident after dictating most of the game but not really troubling Holland in the visitors' goal. Needham opened the scoring when referee Scutcher allowed play to flow despite a foul on White on the halfway line and the ball ran kindly to Briggs who outpaced the home defence and beat Fenn.

Leiston probed and pressed but their dominance lacked a clear final product. Needham doubled their lead on the hour mark when Briggs found space on the by-line and crossed low to Hill who sidefooted home.

The third and final goal arrived after the hesitant defence allowed Wake a simple chance to beat Fenn. When Shemmings lashed wide at the end it just about summed up Leiston's disappointing season so far.

Felixstowe & Walton 1 Hadleigh 5

LEAGUE-leaders Hadleigh strengthened their position at the top of the table with what in the end was a comprehensive victory against a Felixstowe & Walton side struggling to find any kind of form.

For half an hour there was little to choose between the sides with Robbie Evans firing against the Hadleigh bar in the second minute and Tony Cracknell running through the home defence unchallenged but failing to get any power in his shot after 18 minutes the closest either side came to scoring.

The game swung in the visitors favour in the 36th minute as the Seasiders failed to clear a corner from the left and Welton volleyed an unstoppable shot past Charters from the edge of the area and five minutes later Cracknell added a second as he was left unmarked at the near post to send a glancing header into the far corner from Merrick's cross.

Seasiders manager Paul Adams had introduced the first of three youth team players as early as the 19th minute when Carl Morton replaced the injured Clarke and he used two more after the break with Mark Cooper and Aiden Sharpe both making second-half appearances.

Another 18-year-old, Evans who had been unlucky to see his earlier shot hit the bar, scored his first senior goal in the 63rd minute after Thurkettle had done the hard work to create the opening to give his side hope of a comeback, but it was short-lived with Peter Grant restoring the two-goal advantage six minutes later, firing through a packed goalmouth.

From that point there was only one likely outcome and Keiron Donovan powered home Merrick's cross in the 76th minute to add a fourth and substitute Chris Smith rounded off the win with his side's fifth five minutes from the end.

Long Melford 3 Godmanchester Rovers 1

THE visitors should have gone ahead on 19 minutes when a ball from Savage found Dominic Carnamati on the edge of the box, his fierce shot was parried by Haygreen and the follow up effort by Steve Thompson was headed off the line by Micky Stratton.

Melford then went ahead, a corner came to Danny Brind, his low cross eluded the Godmanchester defenders and Brian Devereux fired home.

Retaliation was swift and only a Mark Dack foul prevented Howard Kemp from getting in at goal, the Melford defender was booked for his trouble.

Just on the half-time whistle, Melford increased their lead. Some good exchanges passing between Irvine and Brind, saw the ball come to Devereux, keeper Bigger left his line, lost the ball and Devereux netted his second goal.

After the restart Melford then went further ahead. Darren Judd crossed into the box, Chapman tried to clear, Devereux blocked his effort and the ball went into the net. The visitors tried one of the substitutes, but Melford defended well, with the evergreen Mick Stratton outstanding.

After 53 minutes the game exploded, following a clash, player- manager Darren Pratt, who had just come off the bench, was booked and visitor Ali Savage was sent off for violent conduct.

A French flavour crept into the game on 70 minutes. Keeper Sid Haygreen, with Gaelic inspiration, tried dribbling in his own area but was dispossessed by Howard Kemp who banged the ball into the net for Godmanchester.

This produced greater effort from the 10 men, and Stratton took a Squires' shot full in the stomach, to prevent another certain goal. Just before the end, Melford almost scored when Stalker fired just over the bar.

Dowham Market 0 Whitton United 1

THERE was an air of general disappointment in the Whitton camp as they left Downham after sealing a 1-0 win. However, the three points could eventually prove decisive in their challenge for this year's honours.

Never really gelling as a team on a bitterly cold day they were constantly frustrated by a Downham team tigerish in the tackle and stubbornly playing off side tactics that they eventually won through in the end. A smart header by Tourney-Godfrey from 16 yards beat the home keeper low to his right, from a superb Francis cross.

Ten men Downham pressed hard at the end for a share of the points but their defence stood firm.


Halstead 1 King's Lynn Res 2

HALSTEAD look to be heading out of the Division One Cup after suffering a narrow defeat at Rosemary Lane. On this display they appear to be facing a mountain in the second leg at King's Lynn tomorrow.

Before the game there was a minute's silence in memory of Frank Burst, a long-time chairman of the Supporters Club, who died earlier in the week, aged 94.

The home side were without midfielder Adrian Owers who picked up a chest injury against Leiston in midweek. His experience in midfield was sadly missed. His place was taken by Paul Williams who has better defensive qualities.

The home side made all the early running with Matt Hearn and Jimmy Chatters prominent, but the Lynn defence stood firm, despite a firm drive by the former, inches wide of the far post. At the other end, Buhleman drew a good save from Lloyd Pentney tipping over the bar heralding three successive corners.

In the 22nd minute Halstead took the lead. Grant Strong robbed an opponent to put Chatters away. He in turn found the unmarked Hearn to fire home.

King's Lynn hit back strongly. Shaun Belton tested Pentney and Tom Doughty clipped the crossbar with a free-kick. Robbie Harris and Manuel Ortega looked particularly menacing. The home side remained unscathed until the interval.

On resumption, the visitors equalised in two minutes with Luke Brendling forcing his way through to hit the target. They piled on the pressure as Halstead appeared to wilt against attacks down either flank. It was no surprise when King's Lynn took the lead, although Brendling's first-time shot on the turn had an element of good fortune about as it found its way inside the far post.

Jewson League Cup third round draw

Somersham Town v Wroxham, Norwich United v Lowestoft Town, Whitton United v Newmarket Town, Clacton Town v Maldon Town. Matches to be played on Tuesday/Wednesday, February 18/19, 2003.

Chell Trophy, semi-final draw

Godmanchester Rovers or Whitton United v Bury Town, Mildenhall Town v Wroxham.

Matches to be played on Tuesday/Wednesday, February 25/26, 2003.


Essex U-18 1 Suffolk U-18 0

THIS narrow win means table-topping Essex have nine points from three matches in the East Anglian Counties Championship.

But they had to work hard to defeat a good Suffolk side at Maldon.

Essex scored the vital goal in the first half before Suffolk hit back strongly in the second period without being able to force an equaliser.

Suffolk goalkeeper Jones (Bury Town) did well to turn a shot from Dennis (Ilford) over the bar before Essex scored after 26 minutes. Coulson (Ford United) broke through and had time and space to pick his spot just inside the post.

Essex goalkeeper Marrable (East Thurrock) was kept busy as the game progressed. Just before the end the goalkeeper made a superb save from Thorogood (Bury Town) to prevent Suffolk snatching a point.