Dereham take another big step towards promotion
MEN'S EAST LEAGUE: Dereham took another step closer to promotion to the Premier A division at Greenfields on Saturday when they beat Long Sutton 3-1.
They now need only six points from their remaining four fixtures to guarantee finishing top, and will be looking half that requirement at home to Ramgarhia this weekend.
The hosts started strongly and created some good early chances, but found the Long Sutton keeper in outstanding form. A great double save from Tom Vaughan then denied the visitors before Will Edwards combined with Michael Timm to score a superb opener for Dereham.
The same combination delivered the second goal as Edwards drifted into the D and was brought down, leaving the umpire with little choice but to award a flick which Timm buried into the bottom corner.
Timm missed a flick before the break but Dereham stretched their lead soon through Richard Stainthorpe's unstoppable reverse stick shot. Sutton were able to pull a goal back towards the end through a short corner.
Nearest rivals Norwich City remain seven points adrift after after making hard work of a 3-1 victory at lowly Cambridge Nomads.
City started brightly and took the lead within five minutes when Mark Circuit's shot deflected off the woodwork for Charlie Horn to convert. The second goal came from a short corner a few minutes before the break. Chris Perry's shot was half blocked and fell to Pete Morgan, whose goalbound shot was deflected in by Bob Hammond.
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After the break City continued to enjoy the lion's share of the posession and eventually scored a third when a passing move involving Jim Pallister and Jake Vincent found James Ashton, who smashed his reverse stick shot into the far corner. With a couple of minutes remaining some poor defending allowed Nomads to gain a late consolation.
Harleston Magpies II won an 11-goal thriller against visitors Pelicans, eventually edging home 6-5.
In Division One Dereham II's relegation was confirmed with a 7-0 defeat at Old Southendian while Norwich City II maintained their title challenge in Division 2N with an exciting 4-3 victory over Ely City.
The hosts started well, with Matt Brine scoring twice to put them 2-0 ahead, only for Ely to turn the match on its head by going 3-2 ahead.
Norwich were rocked but regained their composure to make it all square at half-time. A short corner saw Tom Hindle pounce on the loose ball at the right hand post to rifle the ball over the prone keeper after Brine's initial strike was saved.
The winning goal came after an indisciplined Ely side had been reduced to nine men. Tom Hindle lashed the ball into the D and man of the match Richard Green expertly deflected home with eight minutes left. Ely had two further players removed before the end and finished with seven on the pitch.
Norwich Dragons moved up to fourth place courtesy of a 5-2 victory over Market Deeping.
Dragons scored from their first penalty corner, Snelling expertly dispatching his drag flick. They continued to press and scored a second through Miles' sharply taken shot. Soon after Snelling scored his second with another well taken penalty corner and it was 4-0 at the break after Jones drifted into the top of the circle and blasted home.
Deeping pulled one back before Snelling completed his hat-trick by converting a stroke – and again reduced the arrears near the end.
The nine men of Norwich Dragons II turned in an excellent performance to win 4-3 at Ipswich IV in Division 4NE after being 3-1 down at the break. Hywell Williams led the way with two goals while Richard Powley and Robbie Whiting were also on target.
In the same section Norwich City III lost 6-3 to Holt Harlequins (Chris Baker, Nick Coleman, Gabriel Marchant).
Norwich City IV moved to the top of 5NE on goal difference when they beat closest rivals Sudbury III 4-2. Their goals came from James Cross (2), Tim Crane, with his touch, and Mike Marrison.