Crucial for resurgent Acle to beat drop

Acle chairman Mick Munford has admitted he thought his team were "dead and buried" just a few weeks ago.Going into the final week of July, Acle were bottom of the Premier Division, without a win and 62 points from safety.

Acle chairman Mick Munford has admitted he thought his team were "dead and buried" just a few weeks ago.

Going into the final week of July, Acle were bottom of the Premier Division, without a win and 62 points from safety.

Then, a shock victory against then title contenders North Runcton set them on the way to an amazing run of four successive wins, lifting them 10 points clear of the relegation zone going into tomorrow's final game at Vauxhall Mallards.

Munford said: "A lot of us thought that it was an impossible situation and that we were dead and buried. In our heart of hearts we thought we were going down. But it is not over until the fat lady sings and to win four out of four is an absolutely phenomenal achievement."


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Acle were promoted last season after finishing as runners-up in Division One and Munford, whose son Paul captains the first team, said it was crucial for the club to maintain their Premier Division status. "It's hugely important," he said. "We worked very hard last year to come up and we sealed it on the last day so everyone was on a high.

"Everybody looks to consolidate in your first year after going up and we started the season playing well, but we just could not win and the form dropped off a bit after that. Then all of a sudden the win at North Runcton kick-started our season. We started to get the rub of the green and the momentum has been with us."

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Brooke, who were promoted as Division One champions last year, have already been relegated, so Beccles are the only side who can foil Acle's bid for survival. They have a tough assignment at home to third-placed Cromer tomorrow.

There is a similarly tense battle for survival in Division One, where Stow and Saham Toney have it all to play for on the final day.

Like Acle, Saham Toney started slowly, but a mid-season revival saw them gradually claw back the lost ground and they now lie second from bottom, three points behind Stow, who occupy the last safe place.

Both teams have difficult games tomorrow, so bonus points could prove to be crucial and Stow could yet be left to rue the two points they were docked for fielding an ineligible player earlier in the season.

Saham Toney are at home to third-placed Mattishall, while Stow host Lowestoft, who were crowned Division One champions last week.

Bottom club Kirkley & Lowestoft Railway's have been relegated after incurring a five-point deduction for failing to submit a captain's report.

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