Flower leaves it late as Royals grab victory
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Kirkley & Pakefield left it late to claim a welcome three points with a single goal win over Framlingham Town.
The winner came three minutes into added time when a Miguel Lopez corner was put away by centre back Lewis Flower.
The Royals – coming off the back of a mid-week FA Cup defeat – were back to full strength with the return of Jack Herbert and Lopez with Ross King also taking his place in the starting line-up.
After a cautious opening spell from both sides, the first real danger came after 24 minutes when Liam Harvey-Cooper's shot hit a post for the hosts.
Jordan Haverson went on a mazy run, beating three players and the Framlingham keeper before putting his shot just wide, but on 35 minutes Framlingham were denied a goal when keeper Adam Rix brilliantly saved from point blank range.
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Two minutes after the interval Kyle Haylock's good run was ended by a foul on the edge of the area, but Lopez's free-kick was too high.
Haylock continued to be a menace on the right with two good efforts while Harvey-Cooper had a shot stopped and Herbert a header saved.
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Haylock was sliced down 25 yards from goal, and this time Lopez's free-kick hit the top of the bar. It was then Herbert's turn, with a head that hit a post, before more good work by Haylock saw Will's shot deflected just wide.
On 90 minutes Rix made another brilliant save to keep the Royals in it, before Flower struck.
Wroxham were another team who left it late, with Mac Gee scoring the only goal of the game at Trafford Park to end Walsham-le-Willows' 100pc record.
The three points moved the Yachtsmen up to ninth in the table.
Norwich United are seventh, after they drew 1-1 at Stowmarket Town, who missed out on the chance to go joint top of the table.
Once again, it was a late goal which came to the rescue.
The hosts looked on their way to victory thanks to Ace Howell's goal late in the first half, but four minutes into second half added time, Sam Applegate's shot crashed off the crossbar and referee Paul Burnham deemed the ball to have crossed the line.
Joint manager Garth Good said on twitter: 'Really proud of the effort of the boys yesterday. Showed good character and worked hard to get back into the game which was topped off by a great goal.'
Gorleston were beaten 1-0 at Ely City and sit 14th in the table.
Promoted pair Mulbarton Wanderers and Harleston Town are doing battle again – at the top of the Thurlow Nunn First Division.
Much of last season's chase for Anglian Combinaton League supremacy involved the two clubs, and they appear to have taken that form to a higher level.
Mulbarton are top of the table, despite being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Norwich CDBS on Friday evening.
Harleston are just a point behind after a cracking 4-1 win away to relegated Fakenham Town on Saturday. Scott Roberts scored a hat-trick for Harleston, with Callun Brain scoring for the Ghosts.
It's crunch time tomorrow night – the top two clash at Mulbarton.
Elsewhere in the First Division North, Wisbech St Mary are third after a 5-2 home win over Haverhill Borough, while Swaffham are a point behind after they ground out a 1-0 win at second-from-bottom Cornard United.
The winning goal coming in the 41st minute, Danny Tindall lobbing the keeper from 18 yards. Swaffham keeper Tommy Rix made a fine save in the closing minutes.
Diss made it 11 goals and nine points from their first three home games of the season with a 5-0 demolition of bottom side Felixstowe and Walton United Reserves.
The Tangerines went ahead on 15 minutes when a cross eluded the home forwards and went in off defender Macaulay Howell for an own goal.
Will Goulding scored with two well-taken shots over goalkeeper Joe Potter in the 56th and 64th minutes.
Substitute Stacey Payne also scored a brace. His first came in the 82nd minute when he intercepted a back pass before steering his low shot into the corner, despite being pulled back. The second game deep into added time as he raced forward from near to halfway and rounded Potter before shooting home.
King's Lynn Town Reserves went down 3-1 at Ipswich Wanderers.
Thetford suffered a heavy 5-0 home defeat to Godmanchester Rovers on Friday evening that saw them fail to progress to the FA Cup qualifying stage. The draw for the first qualifying round is tomorrow.