Local football round-up: Magpies earn good away point plus Eastern Counties, Anglian Combination and Norfolk Senior Cup
- Credit: Archant
Magpies beginning to settle, Yachtsmen on course and Planters sunk – CHRIS LAKEY looks at the weekend football
Dereham Town look to have steadied the ship after making it three games unbeaten with useful point in a goalless draw at Coggeshall.
New bosses Adam Gusterson and Olly Willis lost their tough opener against Heybridge, but since then have drawn two Bostik North games, sandwiching a Norfolk Senior Cup win.
They remain bottom of the table, but the gap to Romford and Mildenhall – who both lost on Saturday – is down to two points.
The Magpies gave a debut to Shaun Wones, who took his place playing in front of an unchanged back four.
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Goalkeeper Elliot Pride was called into action early as Coggeshall's Sam Bantick homed in on goal before Ryan Crisp found Rhys Logan in space outside the box but he dragged a low drive wide.
Wones was close to a debut goal when he climbed well but headed Owen Murphy's free-kick into keeper Daniel Sambridge's arms.
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A fine last-gasp tackle from Dexter Peter prevented David Hinton from scoring for Dereham after Logan and Crisp had combined well in the 29th minute. As Dereham threatened again Danny Beaumont blazed well over from 20 yards.
Coggeshall came close to the opener when Ross Wall chipped Pride, but the ball cannoned back off the bar and the keeper was able to grab the rebound.
Logan had an effort deflected for a corner at the start of the second period and on 77 minutes Hinton fired wide from a great position. Sub Joe Gatting was then gifted the ball but hit a post from a very tight angle after rounding the keeper.
Eastern Counties League
The league programme was disrupted by Norfolk Senior Cup commitments, but that didn't worry Wroxham, who won 3-0 away to Ely City to return to sixth place, above Kirkley & Pakefield, who were without a game. Ryan Fuller was the star of the show for the Yachtsmen, with a hat-trick.
Gorleston will be kicking themselves after they drew 3-3 away to Haverhill Rovers.
The Greens were 2-0 up inside the opening half an hour, through Connor Ingram and Joel Watts, with Peter Lambert making it 3-0 just before half-time. But the hosts gave themselves a chance on 64 minutes before two injury-time goals, the first from the penalty spot, denied Gorleston the win.
In the First Division North, Mulbarton closed the gap to leaders Harleston, who were without a game, to a point after a 3-0 home win over March Town.
Norfolk Senior Cup
Anglian Combination Premier side Mattishall sprung the big quarter-final surprise with a 1-0 home win over Eastern Counties Premier Norwich United, thanks to Lee Moran's 60th minute close range header.
The hosts had announced their intentions in the opening stages but a good header was ruled out with the whistle having already been blown for a foul.
The Planters had the better chances before the break, Ben Jones' 20-yard shot coming back off the upright and Linton Garrod denied by a good low down save from goalkeeper Jay Tiplady. Moran's goal came from a free-kick on the left and he stole in unmarked at the far post to send the home supporters into raptures.
The flow of the game had now shifted in favour of The Blues and they almost doubled their lead nine minutes later with Jordan Ramm's header cleared off the line.
George Watt-Sturrock stretched to send a shot over the bar deep into injury time but the Planters couldn't deny Mattishall a place in the semi-final draw.
There were big away wins in the other two ties, with Thetford Town winning 5-0 at Anglian Combination Premier Wymondham Town.
Valter Rocha gave the visitors the lead at half-time, but Thetford then turned on the power, with Robbie Priddle scoring a hat-trick and Elliott Smith also on the scoresheet.
Eastern Counties Division One North Swaffham were 3-0 winners at UEA, from the Anglian Combination First Division. The Pedlars goals came from Ryan Pearson, Nick Castellan and two from Nick Castellan.
Two of the morning's top four suffered defeats, leaving Caister with some breathing space at the top after a 4-2 home win over Scole United. Caister's goals came from Nick Bailey, George Barnden, Ashley King and Tom McGee, with Joseph Hooton and Kevin Riches replying.
Long Stratton stay second, after a 2-1 defeat at Waveney, whose goals came from Sam Clay and Johnny Jarvis. Ross Bilham scored for Stratton. Norwich Ceyms went down 4-3 at home to Blofield, for whom Orren Oliver and Reece May scored two apiece. Kell Heywood, Matty Adcock and David Taylor scored for Ceyms.
Sheringham are now third after beating Acle 7-1. Shane Cox grabbed a hat-trick with other goals from Ben Boyce, Tim Cary, Sam Widham and Dale Wilton. Bottom side Norwich United U21s got their first win of the season at the 19th attempt, beating Bradenham 3-2 – Ralstan Pusey, Matthias Cheal-Ferris and Alfie Bowles got the goals.
In the First Division, Ian Fancett scored five as second-placed Mundford thumped struggling North Walsham 13-1.
Northern Premier Division One East
Wisbech Town's unbeaten start to 2019 came to a spectacular end with a 4-0 defeat at play-off chasing Pontefract Collieries.
Midfielder Sam Murphy returned to the squad and the starting line-up at the expense of Layton Maddison but otherwise it was the same team which had taken to the field against AFC Mansfield the week before.
The home side were shooting towards the goal which had the massive cooling towers of the Ferrybridge Power Station behind it and most of the first-half action took place with that as a backdrop. Dan Swan brilliantly saved a 15th-minute penalty but it didn't take long for Pontefract to take the lead, Vaughan Redford heading home Michael Dunn's cross after 21 minutes.
Pontefract scored three more times before half-time through Dunn, Eli Hey and Redford again and it was effectively game over with 45 minutes still to play.
If there was to be some consolation for the Fenmen, it was keeping a clean sheet in the second half as the hosts understandably took their foot off the gas somewhat. The closest they came to scoring again was a shot which rebounded off the post late on.
Wisbech remain fourteenth in the table after all the teams below them also lost, but the gap to 13th is now seven points.