Slow start denies Freemasons final spot
Division 4B leaders Freemasons were left to bemoan a slow start to their Sunday Junior Cup semi-final against Yarmouth League side Belton FC and were beaten 2-0. However with this being their first season in the league, a County Cup semi-final and a probable league title in the bag, they are entitled to feel pleased with their efforts this year.
In league matters, a bitterly cold morning saw the remaining games in the second round of the Copy I.T. League Cup take place, and all ended in away wins. Acle Rangers were 3-2 winners at Aylsham Sunday; Marlborough FC won 4-2 at Spixworth, whilst Norman Wanderers put the disappointment of last week's County cup defeat behind them as they won 5-1 (Danny Wynne 3, Tom Amis, Warren Preston) at Premier Division side Sprowston Rovers.
With both Acle Rangers and Marlborough in cup action, AFC Wanderers took the chance to move back to the top of the Premier as they won 3-0 (Luke Tuttle, Aaron Kaye, Craig Vincent) at Norwich Busmen. Wayne Nelson scored twice and Ben Williamson also added as Bayer FC beat Hellesdon Athletic 3-1, whilst County Cup finalists Dog House moved further away from the bottom of the table with a 2-1 win at Fiveways.
The top two in 1A both recorded victories. Gary Walsh (3), Nathan Joy, Lucas Kent, Jordan Scotter and Jordan Palmer all scored for leaders William Wanderers as they won 6-3 at Hockering, whilst Sprowston Sunday won a competitive game 2-1 (Tom Dade, Josh Halliday) at Castlegate FC. Aslacton had a good 2-0 win at Horsford United and Dussindale Rovers scored three without reply at Vale Longo. North Walsham Town gained a much needed win as they beat Eaton FC 4-1. They were level on points and goal difference at the start of play, but a powerful performance from Prince of Denmark against PL Rangers means that is no longer the case. There was a hat trick apiece for Chris Holmes and Sonny Atherton and further goals by Ben Morgan and Jamie Moore as the home side ran out 8-2 winners. St Faiths are now second as they came from behind to beat Earlham United 2-1 (Danny Tickle, Ryan McFadden) but Acle Rangers Res missed the chance to make up ground as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Moles Rest. Rose Tavern earned themselves a very important three points as they won 2-1 at Sprowston Wanderers.
The big game in 2A saw Riverside Rovers overcome Mad Moose 3-2. Jon O'Shea put Moose ahead early in the game and Bram Goodwin Wright also scored for them but goals from Scott Sutherland-Gray, Ben Atkins and Jamie Riley gave the home side the three points. Dancing Farmers were 3-2 (Nick Aston 2, Aiden Boast) winners over New Buckenham for whom Gareth Hobley grabbed a brace, whilst The Cottage beat Constable Crusaders by the odd goal of five. Stoke scored four times as they won at Acle Wanderers and Green Man and Deopham took a point each as they drew 2-2.
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In 2B, Bell Inn stayed four points clear at the top as they won 6-3 (Dale Simpson, Richard Donovan, Reece Ashman, Jack Tarrant, Josh Farrow and a sublime Robbie Errington free kick) at DEF FC. In an entertaining game between the second and third placed teams Poringland Wanderers and Briston Wanderers the visitors took an early lead through the impressive Chris Fuller and they had further chances to increase that lead before Declan Parke cut in from the right to blast home from 25 yards and level the scores. Klavis Svekis restored Briston's lead before the break but at the start of the second period, half time substitute Chris Reynolds, waltzed straight through the Briston defence to score from the kick off. Reynolds then put the home side in front with a deflected free kick, and after Briston again missed chances Jonny Causton added a fourth for Poringland. A good game but Briston will rue those chances missed. Ribs Rovers scored nine as they beat Hillside OB and Salhouse Rovers were 8-3 winners over Sloughbottom Revolution. Will Callow (3), Neil Woolner (2), Jamie Weavers, and the returning Kel Haywood (2), were the Salhouse scorers, whilst Ben Wigger, Dan Parker and James Bates replied. Louis Jefferson and Scott Starling were on target for Unicorns Reserves as they won 2-0 at SDC United. Referee Mark Smythe was praised for his performance in the game.
In 3A, leaders Brooke were 4-2 winners at Temples Property, whilst Bungay Town scored ten without reply at home to Temple Bar. Norman Wanderers A suffered a surprise defeat as they were thumped 8-2 at home to bottom side Newsman Celtic and the game between Eaton Young Boys and Phoenix Felthorpe ended all square at 2-2.
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In 3B, leaders Angel Gardens had a 3-1 home win over Hethersett Athletic and are two points clear of William Wanderers who scored 26 times as they won at Costessey Sports. Daniel Childerhouse (10), Liam Brown (4), James Denmark (3), Lee Peters (2), Olly Johnson (2), Robert Blowers (2), Danny Nixon, Joe Jenkins and an og were the scorers against a home side with only nine men plus their manager, and who deserve credit for fulfilling the fixture. Schoolhouse are third after beating Chapelfield Rovers 7-1 and Taverham United scored six (Danny Sweatman, Simon Claxton, Adam Turrell, Karl Fulcher, Ali Watling og) without reply when winning at Earlham Colney.
In 4A, Costessey West End, who already have the title in the bag were 5-2 winners at CNSOBU Sunday for whom Adam Simpson and Liam Chester scored. It's been a great start to life in the league for West End and it should be interesting to see how they progress. Sporting Longdale Reserves had a great 4-1 (Brad Warr 2, Josh Castillo Hall, Jamie Platten) win at second placed Dilham Cross Keys and Brooke Res won 3-1 at The Stores Reserves.
In 4B, Hethersett Reserves had a good 2-0 win at in-form Locksley Athletic, whilst goals by Charlie Gunner and Joe Gaston helped Shipdham Rangers to a 2-0 victory at AFC Oak. Mettingham FC won 5-0 at Bunwell Sunday and Red Lion scored six of the ten goals in their game with Spixworth Reserves.