East Men’s League: Timm gets winner for Dereham
Harleston Magpies opened their campaign with an impressive 2-1 win over Bedford in the East Men's League Premier A Division.
The Magpies got their noses in front when Ben Gowing's cross deflected into the path of Toby Price, who after beating one player slotted home. The visitors' defence had to hold firm at the start of the second half and they doubled their lead against the run of play when Sam Moore teed up Price to grab his second of the afternoon. Harleston's task was made harder when Stuart Leate was given his marching orders and Leigh Sitch followed late on, allowing Bedford to pull one back but Magpies held on.
Dereham opened their campaign with a 1-0 derby win at Norwich City.
They dominated the early stages but failed to create any clear-cut opportunities, thanks to some superb work from the City back line. The Reds struggled to break down the defence, but eventually managed to win a succession of penalty corners before the breakthrough arrived in the 20th minute. Mike Timm got a crucial touch in front of the keeper following a perfect penalty corner pass from Mark Hunter.
With Dereham down to ten men Norwich stepped up their game and appeared to level when Dave Skinner found the net. However, the strike was ruled out for dangerous play.
Mark Timm went agonisingly close to doubling the advantage for Dereham while City's Jeremy Elliot forced a good save from Reds' custodian Tom Vaughan.
Wisbech gained a thrilling 4-3 win at home to Ramgarhia as goals from Sam Blunt, Brad Apted, Daniel Martell and Ed Batt secured victory.
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In Premier B Harleston Magpies II gained all three points thanks to a 2-1 win over Peterborough II. Magpies had the better of the opening stages but found themselves behind thanks to a sweet strike. Blake levelled matters when he weaved his way through the Peterborough defence before calmly slotting home.
Magpies piled on the pressure in the second half and Francis was the hero as he found space at the back post to poke the ball home.
In Division Two Norwich Dragons cruised to an impressive 4-1 win at home to Wisbech Town II. Matt Knights opened the scoring and Rupert Snelling made it 2-0, following up on shot which was saved.
Knights scored his second with a deft touch and although Wisbech stepped up their press in the second half Mark Flatman found himself free in the circle and he launched an unstoppable shot to make it 4-0. Dragons were reduced to 10 men towards the middle of the half and Wisbech scored on the break.
Norwich City V had an afternoon to forget in Division 4NE as they were comprehensively beaten 6-1 by Pelicans II. Sam Tomlinson's strike proved nothing more than a consolation on a difficult day for City.
Norwich Dragons III started their season with a 3-1 reverse at Watton.
Dragons took the lead when good pressing from Jon Goodson and Alec Bidet-Steele in midfield forced Watton back towards their own D and some neat one touch play from Adrian Kemp and Matt Jenkins set up Ollie King to clip the ball around the advancing keeper. However, Watton's class shone through though as they ran out convincing winners.
Dereham IV were thumped 7-0 against Ipswich-East Suffolk IV.