Men’s East League – Dereham concede late leveller

Defender Mitch Smith scored twice for Norwich Dragons. Picture: SUBMITTED

Defender Mitch Smith scored twice for Norwich Dragons. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Despite playing much better than they did in last week's scrappy win Dereham had to settle for a 3-3 draw at home to Cambridge City II in the Premier A.

Cambridge took an early lead as Dereham were caught napping at the back. The hosts immediately upped their game, however, soon levelling through a sweet strike from the top of the D by Will Edwards.

Capitalising on the hard work of Michael Timm and Will Dewing on the wing, Rich Stainthorpe was on hand to slot in Dereham's second.

Chance after chance was created but Dereham were unable to register again and against the run of play Cambridge levelled late in the first half after a swift break.

In the early stages of the second half Dereham once again seized the initiative, CJ Edwards scoring with a brilliant solo effort to give the hosts the lead for the first time. Cambridge didn't threaten Dereham's goal much after that, but they were awarded a penalty flick late on and parity was restored. There were chances at both ends after that but neither team was able to take advantage.

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Norwich City travelled to Cambridge University II on a cold and blustery day and had to be content with a 2-2 draw, after being 2-0 up going into the closing stages.

The students started strongly but lacked a killer touch and Rees Leonard wasn't really troubled in the first half.

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As the game progressed, City began to get a foothold and started to exploit the high press of the home side, creating a number of scoring opportunities of their own.

Dan Cheesman scored the first, flicking the ball into an empty net after being quick to react to a loose ball in the circle, and Sam Tomlinson doubled the lead somewhat fortuitously. His cross was deflected towards goal by the keeper only for a recovering defender to reach the ball just before it crossed the line, but his attempted clearance found the leg of another defender and rolled back in.

While both teams continued to create chances after the break neither team added a goal until 15 minutes from time when Cambridge put their superior fitness to good use to move the ball down the right-hand side of the pitch, onto the base line and across the face of goal for a forward to deflect in. Their second goal was almost a mirror image and with only five minutes to go Norwich couldn't find a way to get back ahead.

Harleston Magpies II's poor season continued when they were beaten 3-1 at home by fellow strugglers Long Sutton while it was also a disappointing day for Pelicans in Division One North. They made the long journey to promotion-chasing East London and returned home empty-handed after a 5-1 defeat

Norwich City II turned in a fine display to beat Ipswich II 3-0 and climb to second in Division 2NE.

City scored after only five minutes with Richard Silvester making sure a Tom Cox shot would find the net. Midway through the first half, Cox stole the ball and quickly released Pete Morgan who rounded the keeper and stroked the ball home.

City could not quite maintain the high standards of the first half in the second, but continued to control the game and create further chances.

After Tom Hindle fired over from a penalty corner, City scored a fine team goal, with Will Marshall providing the finishing touch.

Norwich Dragons came out top in a bottom-of-the-table encounter, beating visitors St Ives 4-3.

The home side were twice behind in the first half before getting their noses in front. They then conceded again but had the final say when Mitch Smith scored the second of his two goals. Also on target in a morale-boosting win were George Walker and Mark Flatman.

Norwich City III came from behind to secure an important 2-1 win against Division 3NE promotion rivals Ipswich and East Suffolk II. Chris Perry scored both the goals.

Norwich Exiles beat Thetford 1-0 in Divison 5NE.

They scored early on through Jon Mobbs and goalkeeper James Scott then made a number of excellent saves as the team held firm to hold on to all the points.

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