Double delight for Earsham over Mutford and Waveney Gunners
Earsham's away day double produced a welcome six points as their good season continues.
Earsham travelled to Mutford for a top of the table clash which produced a very average game of football, with Earsham running out 3-2 winners.
The game started slowly with both sides wasteful in possession on a terrible pitch and there were no real chances of note until Earsham took the lead, as J Goodfellow lobbed the ball over two defenders before Lowe controlled and confidently despatched.
Earsham should have made it two five minutes later as Goodfellow's left-foot strike was saved by the Mutford goalkeeper and Foyster got his feet in a tangle to miss the rebound when it seemed easier to score.
Earsham again started slowly in the second half and Mutford found a way back into the game on the hour as a forward's well timed run saw him round debutant keeper Walker to tap in.
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From nowhere Mutford took the lead as a long punt saw Walker challenged by two Mutford players but the referee inexplicably failed to see either foul and allowed the goal to stand.
This seemed to jog Earsham into action as they equalised, J Goodfellow's header was saved but the ball fell to the grateful Tuffs to rifle home.
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Earsham's character was being severely tested in difficult conditions but they got their reward with five minutes to play as the returning Granger Perez Hunt found space on the left and crossed into a crowded box.
The Mutford keeper, who had been excellent to this point, fumbled and the ball was pounced on by M Goodfellow to smash home and send the travelling Earsham faithful into raptures.
A hard earned three points saw Earsham eight points clear at the top, heading into their trip to Dip Farm to play Waveney Gunners – where they also won, 4-2.
Earsham started brightly and delightful movement cut Gunners apart on numerous occasions, so it was no surprise when J Goodfellow received the ball on the edge of the area, held off his man and fired a left foot drive past the helpless keeper.
Earsham soon made it two, a free-kick from M Goodfellow found brother James who notched his second of the game with a cool finish.
Earsham went to sleep for the last 20 minutes of the half, with Gunners' main threats coming from monstrous long throws and corners. Only a breathtaking save from Walker kept it at 2-0 – only for two goals in the space of 10 minutes from free headers and long throws levelling things at half-time.
The second half saw Earsham back on top again and several chances came and went – but in the last 10 minutes, the game looking all the world like it would end 2-2, Earsham dug deep and showed why they are top of the league.
M Goodfellow rose to bullet a header home from a well directed Nolloth corner, before Gunners pushed men forward only for Earsham to hit number four as a grateful Tuffs made amends for his earlier miss.
Gunners pushed everyone – including their goalkeeper – forward for a last throw of the dice and as the ball broke to Marshall, the home goalkeeper's awful tackle rightly brought a red card and slightly tarnished an otherwise fair game.
A good team performance full of character with everybody playing their part; Earsham travel to Dip Farm again next week to play FC Eastport.