Lowestoft win Ridgeons League title

LOWESTOFT Town have won the Ridgeons League Premier Division title. A crowd of 844 saw the Blues beat Needham Market at Crown Meadow today in their final fixture to clinch their first championship since season 1977-78, when they topped the then Eastern Counties League.

LOWESTOFT Town have won the Ridgeons League Premier Division title. A crowd of 844 saw the Blues beat Needham Market at Crown Meadow today in their final fixture to clinch their first championship since season 1977-78, when they topped the then Eastern Counties League.

“We've believed in ourselves all season and we were in no mood to throw the title away today,” said joint manager Mick Chapman.

“We have some quality players at the Meadow. They've done the club proud and I'm proud of them.”

The triumph was particularly sweet for Town right-back Ian Smith, whose inclusion in the starting line-up means he is now the club's second highest appearance maker in the Blues' long history.


You may also want to watch:


Bury Town, who beat Woodbridge 7-2, are runners-up, while AFC Sudbury, champions for the past five seasons, finish third after losing 2-1 to relegated Norwich Utd at Plantation Park.

A crowd of 844 saw Needham win a fourth-minute corner, which Kevin Hughes clipped on to the bar.

Most Read

Jamie Stokeld hit a deep corner kick which was headed into the top of the side netting by Ian Smith on 15 minutes, Potter then fed Stokeld with 21 minutes on the clock and the speedy winger sent a searching left-footer into the hands of Munson.

Two corners in quick succession by Stokeld saw the tall Chris Howlett clear away the pressure put on him by McGee and Stock.

A mix-up with keeper Munson on 33 minutes saw the ball reach Russell Stock, but he was unable to get it through a ruck of players as Town started to play some controlled football.

Some dazzling footwork by Stokeld ended with a low drive, saved low down to his left by keeper Munson on 38 minutes. Carl Poppy was brought down on the edge of the box and Stokeld blasted the free-kick into the waiting arms of Munson with five minutes to go to the break.

Half-time: Lowestoft Town 0, Needham Market 0

The crowd and teams were left waiting on the pitch for their referee to appear at the start of the second half, with a change of official taking place. Mr Bird took over the whistle and Adi Sannerude, who was in the crowd, took a flag.

Almost immediately after the re-start Lowestoft won a penalty when Jamie Godbold was brought down by Kevin Ingles and Richard WOODROW shot Town into the lead with a splendidly placed kick past Munson.

Needham were relying on quick breakaways, but Crane and Sanders were on top form, snapping out the raids, which were led particularly by Matt Clements.

The Blues went 2-0 ahead in the 63rd minute. Munson, under pressure from McGee, could only send the ball some 40 yards to former King's Lynn player WOODROW, who lobbed it back and into the net for his second goal.

Needham pulled a goal back on 78 minutes when Clements hit the ball towards the net and Smith rather unluckily hooked it into his own net.

Ali McKenna replaced Russell Stock as ecstatic scenes of enjoyment by players and Town fans greeted the final whistle, with the league trophy being presented to the Blues captain, Greg Crane, at the end.

Lowestoft Town: A Reynolds, I Smith, C Poppy, R Woodrow, M Saunders, G Crane, J Godbold, C Poppy, R Stock, G McGee, J Stokeld. Subs: D Cockerill, R King, A McKenna, C Lewis, B Hough.

Needham Market: N Munson, R Crouch, T Boyland, C Howlett, K Hughes, A Jones, M Clements, K Ingles, S Head, S Betts, S Mann. Subs: T Musgrove, S Banthorpe, B Luxford, W Brown,

Referee: Andy Tyne (Watton).

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus