Ridgeons League first-day thriller

Ridgeons League champions Lowestoft Town rewarded their fans twice over when they began the defence of their title with a 2-2 draw at home to Halstead.

Ridgeons League champions Lowestoft Town rewarded their fans twice over when they began the defence of their title with a 2-2 draw at home to Halstead.

As a thankyou for the support they received last season the Blues let fans in for free. And the 536 people who took advantage were royally entertained, even if they didn't get the result they would have wanted.

Twice the Blues took the lead in the first half with a brilliant solo effort from Bradley Hough and a goal by Ross King sandwiching a reply from Nicky Love.

Town created enough chances to have made the game safe, but Nathan Sharpe equalised on the hour and it took a last-ditch tackle from Woodrow to deny Love a late Halstead winner.

Wroxham were well worth their 1-0 victory away to what manager Damien Hilton described as “the best Ipswich Wanderers team I have seen for several years.”

Lee Gilman grabbed the only goal just before the interval after a blast from former Canaries academy player Lee Howlett had rebounded off the home keeper seven minutes before the interval.

Most Read

“We earned our victory by winning the midfield battle,” said Hilton. “Our captain Justin Fox was an inspiration and Lee Gilman turned out despite feeling quite ill and was unable to come out for the second half.

“Even so we created two more scoring opportunities while the only chances Wanderers had were the result of our mistakes.”

A much-changed Diss team, including only five players who were with the club at the end of last season, crashed 4-2 at home to Felixstowe and Walton United.

Manager Robert Fleck admitted his new-look side did not do themselves justice and that he was disappointed with the performance.

Newly promoted Felixstowe went ahead in the 26th minute with a close range Gavin Crane header. Diss responded with two goal inside 40 seconds shortly before the interval - from debutant Benny Murray and Dale Vince - only for Danny Phillips to claim a second half hat-trick for the visitors.

Kirkley won 2-0 at Histon Reserves, despite losing their player-coach and substitute Matt Barbrook for the majority of the game due to traffic problems.

Justyn Chenery and Paul Highfield scored the goals - but Kirkley's delight at starting with three points was tempered by what looked like a serious knee injury to centre-half Michael Thorpe.

Leiston won 3-2 in a rollercoaster of a match at Wisbech. Harrold scored the first and last goal of the game for the Fenmen, but Leiston did enough between to win with goals from new signing Barber, Lee McGlone and Danny George.

Dereham never recovered from a dreadful start as they lost 3-0 at Needham Market. They fielded three debutants in Carl Neale, Jordan Blyth and Adam Gusterson but were beaten by first half goals from Ben Deacon and Glen Snell and a late third from Tom Smith.

Norwich United were held 2-2 at home by CRC - the team once known as Cambridge City Reserves.

Great Yarmouth opened their Division One campaign with a 1-0 win at Long Melford, courtesy of a goal by Didwell on the stroke of half-time.

Swaffham won 3-1 at home to Godmanchester but there were defeats for Norfolk's other three Division one clubs.

Thetford lost 2-1 at Debenham LC, Downham 2-0 to Hadleigh and Fakenham 1-0 at home to Walsham-le-Willows.