Diss and Thetford win Norfolk derby tussles
A Ridgeons Norfolk derby on Saturday afternoon went to form as high-flying Diss returned home with a 4-1 win at lowly Swaffham.
Peter Hooks took his chance for a rare start due to an injury to Jordan Rocastle to snatch a hat-trick as Diss made it an impressive ten goals in their last two away games to keep up their promotion push.
Sam Bryant moved forward to create the first goal, playing the ball in to Hooks who scored from an acute angle.
It was 2-0 when Luke Catchpole crossed for Dan Wynne to head the ball in.
Hooks was proving to be a real handful and chased a through-ball and made the angle difficult for keeper Dean Mayes to clear.
The ball struck Hooks and he was able to put the loose ball in the net for his second.
The Pedlars continued to push for an elusive goal, Richard Cornwall's header was saved at the foot of a post but then their determination was rewarded in the 87th minute.
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A Jack Redhead free-kick was only half-cleared and was headed into the net by Scott Voutt.
And there was still time for Hooks to complete his hat-trick in the first minute of added time.
He raced on to a through-ball, with the home defence calling in vain for offside, before he shot through the legs of the advancing Mayes.
A good crowd turned out to watch an entertaining game, despite the foggy and damp weather conditions.
They were treated to a fine display by both sides, the visitors gaining the luck of the run of the ball, as is so often the case when teams are at the extremes of the league.
The other Norfolk derby saw hosts Fakenham and Thetford battle it out for Ridgeons points with the latter just shading it 3-2 with two goals by M Howard and one from D Richards while M Gilchrist and an own goal went on the Ghosts' scoresheet.
Downham Town pocketed three points from their trip to Cornard, netting three times through Jason Knights, Craig Clarke and Ashley Smith.
Gorleston scored twice at home but it was not enough as visitors March Town United netted three goals to grab all the points.
Halstead hosted Saffron Walden and were 3-1 winners while it was a high five for Godmanchester Rovers who went nap at Long Melford without reply.
Second-placed Stowmarket were 3-1 winners over visiting Ipswich Wanders.
They remain just one point behind leaders Cambridge University Press, who were 3-1 winners at Team Bury, but have the advantage of a game in hand.