Woodbridge give Sudbury title boost

JEWSON SOCCER: Results and reports from the latest round of matches in the Jewson League Premier Division.

JEWSON LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Woodbridge Town 0 Wroxham 0

WOODBRIDGE did title-chasing AFC Sudbury a huge favour by holding Wroxham to a draw at Notcutts Park, a result which leaves the West Suffolk side a point clear of the Yachtsmen, and with a game in hand.

The visitors were hindered by having a number of key players missing, notably strikers Russell Stock and Darren Terrington, and although they had the better of the second half in terms of possession, it was Woodbridge who enjoyed a lively opening period and created several clear openings.


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The Woodpeckers, who have lost just two of their last 20 league matches, went close to taking the lead in the 17th minute when Lee O'Neill broke away down the right and delivered a superb cross which Andy Coote was a fraction away from connecting with.

The Woodbridge front-men combined again just past the half-hour, this time with Coote playing a well-weighted pass to O'Neill.

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Mark Phillips sprinted from his line to block the initial shot and when the ball rebounded to Coote his follow-up effort flew just past the post. Wroxham threatened for the first time shortly afterwards when Darren Gill was well off target with a long-range drive but five minutes after the break the visitors had what appeared to be strong claims for a penalty turned down.

Matt Neale beat three defenders before he tumbled in the penalty area following a challenge from Jamie Scales.

To the relief of home supporters the referee merely awarded a corner. Coote created another opening for O'Neill, whose shot was saved by Phillips at full stretch and on the hour a superb headed clearance from virtually on the line by Ian Williams kept the home side's goal intact.

Wroxham went on to enjoy a lengthy spell of pressure without being able to find a way through a home defence which was once again in top form and who were by now well on their way to a fourth clean sheet in their last five games.

In the closing stages both sides had an opportunity to win the game with Phillips denying O'Neill and Garnham making a fine recovery to block a close-range shot from Justin Fox. Although the game ended goalless it had been a good afternoon's entertainment for the sun-drenched crowd.

Bury Town 2 Ipswich Wanderers 0

BURY concluded their Jewson home programme with a comfortable victory over Ipswich Wanderers.

Manager Wilkins took the opportunity to blood keeper Kevin Bugg at this level and behind a rock solid defence – in which Eady and Thompson were outstanding – the youngster had few problems in recording a clean sheet on his debut.

Another teenager, Harrison, put Bury ahead after 16 minutes, using his head to pop the ball from close range past former Bury keeper Evans.

On a hard sun-drenched surface, the rest of the game had a distinct end-of-season look about it with the visitors reduced in the main to long-range efforts, mostly from Howell, and Bury trying to use Harrison's pace through the middle.

The issue looked settled after the 68th minute when Goldfinch brought down Harrison in the box and Stringfellow maintained his impressive record from the penalty spot, sending Evans the wrong way.

Wanderers came with a late burst but Bugg bravely blocked out Howell and in the closing moments Smith headed way off target.

Lowestoft Town 6 Swaffham Town 1

LOWESTOFT Town bounced back to something like their normal form with a 6-1 thrashing of Swaffham which almost certainly dooms the Norfolk side to relegation.

The Blues put the visitors under pressure from the outset and had missed several chances before they took a 14th-minute lead with Roach's header going in off the underside of the bar from Stokeld's cross.

Five minutes later Roach returned the compliment by winning the ball on the halfway line and sending Stokeld through to round the keeper and score. Pierpoint then limped off injured to give a debut to 16-year-old Poppy, and the youngster acquitted himself well in a central midfield role.

Lowestoft should have increased their lead before the interval but Thompson became the latest of a long line of spot-kick failures as he saw his penalty saved by Smith in the visitors' goal.

Lowestoft increased their lead in the 58th minute, scoring at the second attempt after Smith had saved his first header. Substitute Howes had been on the field less than 10 minutes when he volleyed home the Blues' fourth goal in the 70th minute.

Sloppy defensive play allowed Grimes to reduce the arrears in the 76th minute before the Godbold brothers took centre stage. Firstly Jamie scored Lowestoft's fifth in the 83rd minute before younger sibling Craig hammered home the sixth in the final minute.

Fakenham Town 3 Stowmarket Town 0

FAKENHAM turned the Premier Division form book upside down as they sent high-flying Stowmarket to defeat at Clipbush Park.

It was the Ghosts who opened the scoring after 13 minutes, somewhat against the run of play. The Stowmarket defence was caught out, and a cross from the left by Barker was hooked into Stowmarket's goal by Haynes.

The visitors, who had been unable to capitalise on a positive start, fell further behind in the 34th minute when Haynes grabbed his second.

This time Gleave played a ball to the striker on the edge of the area and he turned smartly before sending a shot into the bottom corner of the Stowmarket net.

Stowmarket were unable to reduce their arrears in the remaining minutes of the first half but at the start of the second period had two chances to get on the scoresheet when Fakenham keeper Lewis fumbled a high ball.

Jopling gained control but saw his shot blocked and then following a Ratcliffe corner Barnard saw his header well gathered by Lewis.

All hopes of a Stowmarket fight-back were ended in the 62nd minute when Fakenham scored a well-worked third goal finished off by Robinson.

Stowmarket sent on substitutes Bryant and Warner and this brightened up the visitors in the closing stages but when Jopling sent a late header wide of the post it summed up the visitors' day and left them still requiring another victory to guarantee themselves a top-five finish.

Felixstowe & Walton 0 Mildenhall Town 3

THE HIGHLIGHT of this match was a presentation of a silver salver to referee Mick Thorpe before the kick-off to mark his last Jewson League game before taking up full time officiating in the Nationwide League next season.

It is doubtful if he will have an easier game to referee in the future, with barely a foul committed in the whole 90 minutes.

For an hour there was little to choose between the sides with Mildenhall leading from a 20th-minute goal, but when Chatters added a second for his side in the 62nd minute the home side never looked likely to get back into the match.

As has happened so often this season, Felixstowe & Walton started well enough, although the match was a stalemate in the midfield with neither keeper having to make any kind of save in the opening 15 minutes.

However, some poor marking from a corner allowed Gawthorpe to flick on Chatters' corner at the near post in the 20th minute for Long to turn past Charters.

It was a typical end-of-season game on a dry bumpy pitch with little to raise the hopes of the crowd in the way of entertainment as both sides seemed to cancel each other out.

This was until the 62nd minute when, with Felixstowe & Walton attacking, they lost possession cheaply and a long clearance was chased down by Chatters, who calmly lobbed the ball over the advancing Charters from the angle of the Felixstowe area.

From that point the result was never in doubt as the home side faded while Mildenhall looked content to play out the remaining half hour at a stroll.

In the second minute of time added on Nunn added a third for his side with a speculative long-range effort that beat Charters low to his right and went in off the inside of a post.

Soham Town Rangers 0 Harwich and Parkeston 2

TWO first-half goals ensured Harwich and Parkeston a place in the Jewson Premier Division next season.

The disappointment of the previous Tuesday evening's defeat at home to Ipswich Wanderers was soon forgotten as the Shrimpers controlled proceedings throughout a one-sided first half.

Harwich got off to a perfect start when, after only seven minutes, Kevin Mann latched onto a well delivered free kick to fire his team in front.

Soham's best effort came from a Peter Hind header that glanced just wide, but they found a resolute Harwich defence in determined mood.

The visitors then increased their lead with a 26th-minute goal from John Grayson. A dangerous-looking cross eluded the Soham defence and Grayson was on hand to net.

Despite making a brighter start to the second half Soham were still unable to create an opening, and were almost caught out when Harwich broke forward only for Mark Mayes to see his shot turned over by the Soham keeper.

The final whistle signalled the end of a match that, despite their lowly league position, the visitors had never looked like losing.

They will travel to meet relegation candidates Swaffham Town tomorrow in the knowledge that Premiership football will be assured at the Royal Oak next season.

Clacton Town 1 Gt Yarmouth 1

YET another story of total dominance that would not turn into goals for Clacton Town.

As early as the third minute, Steve Howe saw his shot from a poor keeper's clearance just skim the bar, as the Seasiders took control of this game.

Some neat passing football throughout the team gave reason to think that this could be a comfortable win, and this was backed up by a superb piece of build-up play between Jimmy Clewley, Glyn Roberts and Shane Bailey.

Starting back at the halfway line, Roberts collected the ball, slotted it through to Clewley, who gave a return pass to Roberts. He constructed a superb one-two with Bailey, who struck unmarked from eight yards into the top corner.

Bailey, who was having a great game, continued with his team mates to carve out numerous opportunities, that resulted in shots from Clewley, Paul Hillier and brother Sean, demanding some great saves from the visiting keeper.

The visitors' only attempt on goal came on the 40th minute from a corner, which was adequately dealt with by the home defence.

The second half started as the first had finished, with total domination from the Seasiders, but resolute defending by Yarmouth and inspired goalkeeping by Banham kept their visitors in the game.

Then, in the 60th minute, a terrible mistake by Steff Falla saw his poor pass go straight to Danny Brown, who scored the equaliser.

Clacton continued to probe for the winner, but the visitors defended their point to the end.

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