City lifted by first success of campaign
EAST MEN'S LEAGUE: Norwich City finally landed their first win of the season to move off the bottom of the Premier A Division.
City hosted fellow strugglers Havering and seized the upper hand early on. The home side forced a string of penalty corners and had the ball in the net, only for the goal to be disallowed as the shot was deemed to have been slapped and not flicked.
Havering applied some pressure at the start of the second half but Norwich withstood a succession of penalty corners. The visitors' frustration grew and they had a player sin-binned before City scored the decisive goal. Jeremy Elliott beat two players down the left before a square pass allowed Rob Meyer to score from close range.
Havering had another player yellow carded and although the visitors pushed hard for an equaliser, City hung on to take their first points of the campaign.
That sent them above Dereham, who were thrashed 6-1 at Ipswich.
The home side took the lead with a deflected shot and doubled their advantage soon afterwards from a short corner.
Dereham had chances to get back into the game, but it remained 2-0 at half-time and Ipswich went further ahead 10 minutes into the second period.
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Richard Stainthorpe pulled one back for Dereham with a goal against his former club, but as the visitors looked for more goals, Ipswich found gaps in their defence to add three more in the last 10 minutes.
In Division 2N, Dereham II took the derby honours with a 5-2 win against Norwich City II.
Dereham drew first blood when good work from James Lavers created a chance for John Allison to open the scoring.
Chris Key's thunderbolt strike gave City a deserved equaliser and a slick move saw Matt Brine put them ahead.
Dereham equalised from a James Nash short corner, but then had two players sent to the sin bin.
With five minutes remaining, a last throw of the dice saw Dereham introduce injured duo Graeme Campbell and Tim Allen from the bench and their impact proved decisive.
Campbell scored with his first touch, powering in a shot from a tight angle, before Allen's 60-yard run from defence ended with a near post finish to make it 4-2.
With the final play of the game, Campbell crossed for Ian Gibb to put the icing on the cake with the fifth goal.
Harleston Magpies stayed top of the table with a 3-1 win at home to Norwich Dragons.
Gavin Cole gave Dragons the lead, but Alex Browne levelled matters going into half-time.
Magpies took the lead after the break when Phil Cobbald smashed a penalty corner past the Dragons keeper and Matt Brand netted their third.
In Division 3NE, Norwich City III slipped to a 4-3 defeat at Lowestoft Railway.
The hosts started strongly and swept into a 4-0 lead by half-time, with City going close to a reply when they hit the crossbar.
A drastic improvement in the second period led to Haren Patel pulling a goal back before Chris Baker converted Ali Wardale's pass to make it 4-2.
Lowestoft lost two players to yellow cards and although Freddy Hooper reduced the deficit further, there was not time for City to force an equaliser.
In Division 4NE, Norwich Dragons II returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Felixstowe II.
Dragons had lost their previous two games, but Danny Cheeseman scored twice to put them in charge.
Felixstowe got one back from a short corner but Mal Hant secured the points for Dragons in the second half.