Norfolk duo’s sorry start
EAST MEN'S LEAGUE: Norwich City and Dereham remain the only clubs in Premier A without a point to their name after both suffered their third successive defeat on Saturday.
City lost 4-1 at home to Bedford, with the visitors going ahead after 10 minutes from a short corner. Mark Circuit blocked the initial strike but a Bedford player reacted quickly to convert from the rebound.
Midway through the first half Bedford scored twice within five minutes. The first came when City failed to clear the ball and the second when a Bedford player dribbled through the home defence to score.
City grabbed a lifeline five minutes into the second half when, from a short corner, Jez Elliott converted with a straight strike.
Their hope was soon snuffed out, however, as Bedford converted their fourth goal from a short corner.
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City continued to press and won several short corners, but were unable to find a way back into the game.
Dereham rued a string of missed chances as they lost 2-1 at Havering.
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The hosts took an early lead when a penalty corner was drilled low into the net, but then had a player sin-binned for hitting the ball away on 25 minutes. The player continued to complain as he left the field and was fortunate to escape a red card.
Dereham dominated the second half and forced a succession of short corners before Andy Lawrence eventually drew the teams level.
The last play of the game saw Havering take a short corner and although the first shot was saved, the same player who Dereham felt should have been dismissed popped up to ram home the winner.
In Division 2N, Norwich City II were hammered 9-2 at Bury St Edmunds.
Poor marking allowed Bury to chalk up an unassailable 6-0 lead in the first half. City improved after the break with Matt Brine and Mark Sibson – making his return from injury – getting on the scoresheet, but Bury added three more to complete the rout.
Dereham II kept a third clean successive sheet as they beat Cambridge University III 4-0.
Pete Hazell thundered two shots from short corners into the net to put Dereham 2-0 ahead and when a third was illegally stopped on the line, John Allison scored from the penalty flick.
With five minutes remaining, Graeme Campbell's reverse stick shot rebounded into the path of Martin Sexton, who scored his first of the season.
In Division 3NE, Norwich City III gained their first win of the season, beating bottom side Thetford 3-2.
City took the lead when John Grange's quick free hit fell nicely for James Savage to score, but Thetford levelled to make it 1-1 at the break.
Haren Patel's scuffed shot restored City's lead and James Milsted added a third before Thetford pulled one back in the last minute.
City's fourth team recorded their third successive win in 4NE, beating Bury II 2-1 with goals from Al Patterson and Andrew Cooke.
Holt Harlequins won 3-2 at Ipswich & East Suffolk II, with goals from Ed Plumb, Simon Page and captain Dirk Sayer.
In Division 5NE, Norwich City IV's miserable start continued with a 3-2 defeat at Bury St Edmunds III.
Joe Konieczny and Marcus Satchell were the City goalscorers.
Norwich Dragons III held onto top spot in 6NE with a 5-2 win against Ipswich Cranes II.
Mike Banham scored twice in the first half, the second coming from a penalty flick, and Chris Wilkinson was also on target as Dragons built a 3-1 lead.
Andy Key and Adrian Kemp were on target in the second half to complete the win.