Planters back on winning trail
Brantham Athletic 3, Norwich United 4
The Planters recorded their first league victory since September 11, away at Brantham Athletic, winning by the odd goal in seven.
After leading since the fifth minute the Planters breathed a sigh of relief as Simon Mann's injury time chip went inches over Ben Nower's bar.
Andrew Claydon gave the Planters an early lead, his outstretched boot poking home Lee Hunter's cross from the right. In the 12th minute the Planters stretched their lead, a good move through midfield opened up the Brantham defence and Ross King's curling shot came back off the foot of the far upright, George Wilson was the first to react and netted from close range.
The Planters defending the slope and the strong wind held their lead with few scares until the break, but with the hosts playing against the conditions after the break, they employed a hit and hope approach which caused the Planters defence problems.
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Brantham reduced the arrears nine minutes after the break, Simon Mann's cross from the left hand byline turned home in the middle by Oliver Mann.
Claydon brought down a Hunter cross and his shot brought a good save from Ryan Bedingfield. The Planters restored their two goal advantage in the 73rd minute an excellent piece of work from Andy Key who deep and wide on the left sidestepped a challenge before hitting a 50 yard crossfield ball to Hunter, who with his first touch knocked the ball past Bedingfield then followed up to hit home.
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Within a minute it was 3-2 when Brantham's substitute Lee Wilcox's shot from the edge of the area nestled in the bottom corner.
A frenetic five minutes finished with the Planters extending the lead in the 77th minute. Hunter's free-kick from the right placed past Bedingfield by King's glancing header.
Substitute Adam Thompson took advantage of a lucky bounce and netted five minutes from time to set up a tense finale, and Simon Mann had a final chance with the last kick of the game but lifted his chance over Nower and the crossbar, and the Planters broke their run of six games without a league win.
Brantham Athletic: Bedingfield, Smith-Edwards, Drouet, Sibbons, A French, Spencer, C French (Thompson 70), S Mann, O Mann, D Grimwood (Wilcox 17), L Grimwood. Unused sub: Abrahams.
Norwich United: Nower, T Jeal, Key, Coe, Shipley, G Simpson, Hunter, G Wilson, Claydon (Blyth 80), R King, Furlong. Unused subs: Layton, Taylor, Seabright.
Referee: A Crysell. Assistants: S Connor, A Pope.