Empresa Norfolk League: Dereham look unstoppable after seeing off nearest rivals Broadland

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- Credit: Archant

Dereham II moved nine points clear at the top of the Premier Division after winning 2-0 at closest rivals Broadland, who were unbeaten before the weekend.

Broadland's star player, goalkeeper Lauren Halliwell, was called into action a number of times in the first half as the scoreline remained blank at the break.

With both sets of midfield players striving to get on top, and both sets of defenders giving it their all, it was Dereham who swung the game their way when the ball was pushed home by Immi Crookes after a scramble in the area.

Broadland stuck to their game plan but in spite of a great deal of attacking play, and numerous penalty corners, failed to get any meaningful goal attempts on target. They might however had an equaliser when a shot, blocked at the edge of the circle, ballooned into the air and struck the Dereham bar. With Broadland committed to finding an equaliser Dereham broke away and with less than a minute on the clocksettled the matter with a hopeful punt at goal which may or may not have been played by an attacking player inside the circle, but was claimed by Gemma Pointer.

Norwich City III came through a seven-goal thriller with all three points after edging their way past Loddon 4-3. Loddon's Kate Hartland opened the scoring and Sophie Harrard equalised before Alex Wynn and captain Katie Gedge made it 3-1 to Loddon at the break.


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Emily Greenway, coming back from injury, slotted the ball into the back of the net to reduce the arrears and soo after the third goal came as a fine pass from Caroline Illing found player-of-the-match Milly Brown whose pass to Emily Greenway allowed her to strike the ball into the top left hand corner.

City were now on a roll and got what proved to be the winner when Jenni Voller netted from a scramble.

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At the foot of the table Thetford gave their hopes of avoiding the drop a boost when they beat fellow strugglers Carrow 3-2 while Diss were hammered 10-0 by Harleston Magpies III.

Division One leaders Evergreens saw their game at Watton II abandoned while Harleston Magpies V's match with Lowestoft Railway II was called off, and that gave Reepham the opportunity to make up some ground.

They won 3-1 at Norwich Dragons IV, with captain Katie Lake giving them the lead, only for Amelia Dawson to equalise before the break.

In the second half central midfielder Kelly Page worked her way into the D and calmly put the ball past the advancing goalkeeper for a great solo goal for Reepham. The visitors made the points safe when Alice Buxton fired in a fine cross into the path of Lake to knock home her second.

Broadland and Norfolk Norfolk II shared the spoils in a goalless draw. Broadland's Martina Rothe, their star player, again playing out of position in the centre of the defence, had an exceptional game.

Norwich City IV missed a chance to go top of Division Two when they were beaten 3-2 at Beccles (Holly Robinson, Emma Richardson).

• Harleston Magpies Girls U16s qualified for the Indoor National Finals in January by beating Ipswich and Chelmsford.

Ipswich had already beaten Chelmsford 7-1 before they played Magpies, who came out on top 5-4. The goals were scored by Abby Gooderham (3), Anna Tighe and Tor Findlay. In the second match against Chelmsford Magpies ran out comfortable winners 8-3 (Findlay 3, Gooderham 3, Tighe and Izzy Knowles). Magpies squad: Tor Findlay (capt), Abby Gooderham (vice capt), Holly Riches, Katie Crawford, Phoebe Preece, Lauren Rowe, Anna Harrod, Anna Tighe and Izzy Knowles.

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