Swaffham Town move back to the top of the table
- Credit: Archant
Swaffham Town will start the New Year on top of Thurlow Nunn League Division One after returning to winning ways at the weekend.
Still smarting from a 3-2 reverse at Downham Town that brought an 11 match winning streak in the league to an end, the Pedlars bounced back by beating AFC Sudbury Reserves 2-1 at the Wardale Williams Stadium.
The win took them above Woodbridge and Whitton, who were both left idle after their scheduled matches fell victim to waterlogged pitches. Both remain just one point behind, with four and two games in hand respectively, but Paul Hunt's side will be happy to have the points in the bag going into 2018, with their next match at Needham Market Reserves on Saturday.
Saturday's game was played in a strong wind which did not help either side, making playing conditions difficult. Swaffham were competing for the first time this season on Sudbury's 3G pitch, with the jury out on its comparison to playing the game on grass.
The visitors had the upper hand in the first half but were unable to convert their opportunities.
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It took until the 55th minute for the deadlock to be broken after Matthew Blackford had stood strong on the right wing and played a cross ball to Alex Vincent.
The Pedlars' skipper let fly from the edge of the box and his effort left the keeper standing with the ball ripping into the top right hand corner of the goal.
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The decisive second goal arrived with six minutes to go. Luke Reed played the sweetest of through balls which was inch perfect for substitute Kieran Bruce to run on to and he cleverly held it up to adjust his stance and strike home from 12 yards. It was a magic moment from the Under-18 player, who was making his second appearance from the bench for the first team.
The home side got one back with two minutes to go, putting some pressure on at the death, but the Pedlars held firm for the victory.
Next opponents Needham Market Reserves are treading water at the wrong end of the table but recent results show they are more than capable of causing an upset.
The Reserves are back in action on Saturday with a home fixture against Hemsby in Division Four of the Anglian Combination (2.30pm).