Hockey: Norwich City close in on promotion positions
Norwich City moved to within three points of the promotion positions in Premier B after winning a seven-goal thriller.
City won 4-3 at Bourne Deeping while Wapping II were suffering a surprise defeat against City of Peterborough II and with a game in hand now have the second placed Londoners firmly in their sights.
Tom Cooke converted one of City’s penalty corners towards the end of the first half to ensure the visitors went into the break with their noses in front.
Bourne soon got back on level terms, only for City to make it 2-1 when Dave Skinner produced a diving finish to round off a sweeping counter-attack.
Shortly after the lead was extended when a good passing move culminated in a beautiful final ball from Gabriel Marchant that found an unmarked Luke Corden to deflect home.
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Bourne clawed one back but Norwich showed good character and a Stuart Wardale deflection from a Cooke short corner restored their two goal advantage. Again the hosts reduced the arrears but it proved a mere consolation.
It was an excellent way to resume the league campaign after the Christmas break and City will be hoping to move into the top two this coming weekend when they have two home matches, against Wisbech on Saturday and leaders Cambridge City II on Sunday.
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Dereham also marked their return to action after the festive break with a battling away win after seeing off Wisbech 2-1.
From the first whistle the reshuffled Dereham team were on the attack, with Falko Rosbergen seeing an early effort cleared off the line. With continued pressure and a succession of penalty corners awarded, Rosbergen soon found the back of the net to ensure his side went into the break ahead.
Fine saves from Matt Collinge kept Dereham in front but eventually increased pressure saw Wisbech score from open play.
Dereham responded with a finely worked goal from vice captain Will Edwards and then held firm to the final whistle to record a fourth win of the season and consolidate eighth position in the table.
Cambridge City II are now eight points clear at the top after seeing off visitors Ipswich and East Suffolk 2-1.