East Men’s League: Norwich City boost survival hopes with battling win
Norwich City kept their hopes of Premier A survival alive with a 2-1 home victory over fellow strugglers Bishop's Stortford. They now require four points from their remaining matches against St Albans and Chelmsford to secure another season in the top division.
City were keen not to repeat what happened when they visited Stortford earlier in the season – a proverbial 'game of two halves' which City lost.
This one proved to be more even throughout. Skipper Chris Perry put City ahead after ten minutes with a trademark drag flick high inside the right hand post. And the lead was extended after 20 minutes when some good possesion resulted in Chris Wardale creating a shooting chance, his mis-hit shot was knocked in at the far post by the incoming Nick Jones.
After the break both teams temporarily went down to ten as the battle intensified. With ten minutes remaining Stortford reduced the arrears from a short corner variation to set up a tense final few minutes.
Dereham were unable to finish the season with another home victory as they lost 3-2 to a title-chasing Cambridge side – who as a result moved to the top of the Premier A table.
The visitors took the lead from their first short corner and doubled it by creating an overload on the left, which set up a free shot from the back post. Two soon became three with another short corner drag flick to leave the home team rocking.
Dereham pulled one goal back just before the break when centre-back Mark Hunter scored his 13th goal of the season from a short corner.
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In the second half Dereham piled on the pressure and finally made it 3-2 when Ric Timm broke through to go level with Hunter as top scorer.
Norwich City III showed what they can do when able to field their strongest team when they thrashed high-flying UEA 6-1 in Division 3NE. Chris Baker scored the only goal of the first half and went on to complete a hat-trick with the other goals coming from Freddy Hooper (two) and Haren Patel.
Norwich City IV's hopes of promotion from Division 4NE were ended by a 4-1 defeat to Holt Harlequins, Andrew Cooke scoring the only goal.
In Division 5NE City V improved on a 10-0 defeat to UEA III earlier in the season when they lost 2-1 – their only goal coming from a penalty corner by John Huntington.
Dereham IV were knocked off top spot by a 3-1 defeat to title rivals Ipswich-East Suffolk IV, while Harleston VI remain in with a chance after a 4-2 win at Dereham V.
Division 6NE champs Norwich Dragons III were held 1-1 by Lowestoft Railway II, who slip to third behind Holt Harlequins II. Holt beat UEA IV 4-1 to hold a one point advantage with a game to go.