Plenty of promise for final after thrilling draw

Honours were even in Saturday's dress rehearsal for the Thurlow Nunn Division One KO Cup final as Great Yarmouth Town and Brightlingsea Regent shared the points in a 1-1 draw at The Wellesley.

Sam Holman equalised for Brightlingsea only three minutes from time, but it was no more than they deserved after a contest which promises a final to remember at Diss Town on May 10.

The Bloaters had led from as early as the fourth minute, when visiting keeper Daniel Beeson made a hash of stopping a shot from Callum Jones, which squirmed through his hands at the foot of a post.

Johnny Jarvis made three fine saves for Yarmouth in the first half, including a point blank stop from Scott Page.

And Beeson redeemed himself for his first half error with a superb save from Mitch Forbes in the second to set up the grand finale, in which he almost won the game with a free-kick from the half-way line.

Brightlingsea's dropped points allowed the top two in the division to pull further away. Leaders Newmarket won 4-0 at Stowmarket to stay five points ahead of closest rivals Cambridge University Press, who won by the same score at Debenham and are now four ahead of third place.

It is now hard to see anyone stopping these two clubs accompanying each other into the top flight next season.

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Swaffham Town are back on song, following up their Easter Monday win over Fakenham with a 3-1 victory at Braintree Reserves.

Alex Vincent put the Pedlars ahead in the 33rd minute and Rory Harper – their hat-trick hero against the Ghosts – made it 2-0 early in the second half before Vincent added his second on 76 minutes.

Braintree's only reply came too late to cause the Pedlars any worries as they consolidated a top seven place.

Things got no better for Fakenham as they followed up with derby defeat at Shoemakers Lane with a 3-0 reverse at home to Halstead.

Downham Town also had a day to forget as they went down 3-1 to fellow strugglers Long Melford.

Whitton United were the biggest winners of the day, romping to a 7-1 victory over March Town United.

But the club with arguably the biggest smiles on their faces was Cornard United, who after 32 successive Division One defeats celebrated their first victory of the season, 1-0 at Ipswich Wanderers.