New boss Anselin sees Norwich United end horrendous run
Norwich United finally ended their pointless run with a 2-2 draw in an entertaining and hard-fought battle with Gorleston.
New manager, ex-Norwich City player Cedric Anselin, will have been pleased with his team’s opening, with Haydn Davis shooting narrowly wide and Liam Jackson and Luke Middleton both denied by visiting keeper George Parkin in the opening minutes.
It was the Greens who led at the break, however, David Shade rising high to head home a 21st-minute free-kick.
The Planters were level 12 minutes from time when Davis’ 25-yard free-kick flew into the top corner, only for Gorleston to regain the lead four minutes later, Peter Lambert firing home from close range.
The drama wasn’t over though and substitute Craig Bussens, returning after injury, earned the Planters a well deserved point firing home in a crowded box in the 86th minute.
Kirkley & Pakefield moved up to sixth spot after a 3-2 home win over struggling Hadleigh United.
The early stages of the match were played in bright sunshine on a near perfect pitch, but the first half was anything but bright with neither side creating many clear-cut chances and long-range free-kicks the nearest either side came to a goal.
The Royals upped the tempo in the second half and went ahead on 59 minutes after a left footed shot from Ross King from the edge of the area.
But straight from the restart Hadleigh went down the other end and Cassell equalised.
The goals were coming thick and fast and in the 63rd minute Brett Crisp put Hadleigh in front finishing well. Crisp netted a few minutes later but was ruled offside.
Kaiden Goldspink had a glorious chance for Kirkley after being put through, beating both the advancing keeper and defender only to see his shot hit the side netting.
It was all square in the 80th minute when Jack Herbert hit a sweet shot from the edge of the area to make it 2-2.
The game was end to end, but Goldspink fired in the winner on 87 minutes.
The result of the day was at Haverhill Rovers, where struggling Great Yarmouth Town took all three points after a 2-1 win. Debutant Harry Draper gave the Bloaters a half-time lead before Joel Glover added a second. Yarmouth also missed two penalties.
The Bloaters remain bottom of the table but are now level on points with Framlingham Town, with two games in hand.
Wroxham went down 3-2 at Newmarket Town. The Yachtsmen found themselves 3-0 down before goals from debutant Joe Clark and Chris Skipper gave them hope.
Two soft goals saw Thetford fall to a 2-0 defeat to new leaders Godmanchester Rovers on Friday night, leaving The Brecklanderers looking worryingly over their shoulders towards the relegation places as the season reaches its halfway mark.
In the festive spirit Thetford presented the visitors to a gift in just the second minute. Chris Hyem was left unmarked from a corner and his downward header crept past Will Viner into the goal, all too easy.
Three sharp saves from Viner repelled an early second-half spell of Godmanchester pressure but the visitors added a second in the 68th minute from another set-piece. Austen Diaper’s downward header was turned in by Matthew Allan from close range.
The defeat leaves Thetford in 16th place, four points ahead of Hadleigh United in the relegation zone.
In the First Division North, second-placed Mulbarton Wanderers closed the gap to Harleston to four points after a 4-0 home win over Debenham LC. Harleston were without a game.
Swaffham Town – third, 14 points off the top – were 4-1 home winners over Lakenheath.
Swaffham’s opener came after 35 minutes Alex Vincent floating a cross from a free kick, Ryan Pearson challenging the keeper, who punched into his own net.
The visitors levelled 10 minutes into the second half, but Joe Jackson put the hosts ahead again, before a third on the stroke of normal time, from Alex Vincent. Deep into added time, Jackson was brought in the area and Pearson converting the spot-kick.
In other matches, Fakenham Town beat visiting March Town 3-1 and Wisbech St Mary went down 5-3 at AFC Sudbury Reserves.