Leaders Harleston win again - but destination of title is still in Swaffham’s hands
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019
Harleston Town maintained their eight-point advantage at the top of Division One of the Thurlow Nunn League with a hard-fought win over neighbours Diss Town - but the race to finish top isn't over yet.
An in-form Swaffham Town side are still breathing down their necks in third position with three games in hand - and it is they who have the destination of the title in their own hands.
The Pedlars beat King's Lynn Town Reserves 2-0 at The Walks on Friday evening to keep the pressure on and if they keep on winning they will be champions even if Harleston take maximum points from their final two fixtures.
The only goal of the game at Harleston came in the 40th minute when Nicky Howell headed on for Lawrence Cheese to shoot low under Kingsley Barnes. James Baughurst hit the post late on as Diss pressed for an equaliser.
Swaffham were also pushed all the way by a Linnets side who played three quarters of the game with 10 men after a red card.
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The deadlock was finally broken in the 80th minute when Sam Carter's corner was headed home by Ryan Pearson, with an own goal five minutes later completing the scoring.
The Pedlars will be looking to close the gap on the leaders to five points when they host Felixstowe & Walton Reserves on Tuesday.
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Mulbarton Wanderers remain second after winning 5-1 at Felixstowe (Tom Amis, Jack Guyton, Toby Oliver, Danny Self, Ben Thompson) but are still seven points behind Harleston with just one game in hand.
Fourth placed Fakenham Town remain unbeaten in 2019 after winning 3-1 at Haverill Borough with Connor Charlesworth scoring twice and Tom Blake also on target.
Thurlow Nunn Premier
It was an excellent couple of days for relegation threatened Great Yarmouth Town as they won on Friday evening and then saw their rivals lose the following afternoon.
The Bloaters edged past Thetford Town 1-0, with the game being settled in the 83rd minute by a superbly-struck free-kick from substitute Chris Holmes.
The hosts were grateful for a string of superb saves from keeper Charlie Beckwith as they moved of the bottom three - and that's where they stayed as Long Melford went down 2-0 at Walsham le Willows and Ely City lost 4-1 at Woodbridge.
Wroxham came from two down to beat visitors Hadleigh 3-2, with Sonny Carey netting a second-half winner after Karol Wengrzik and Nathan Stewart had pegged back the first half deficit.
They remain seventh in the table, one point behind Kirkley & Pakefield who were indebted to a first-half penalty from Cameron Russell as they beat Haverhill Rovers 1-0 at Walmer Road.
These are worrying times for Gorleston, who were hammered 7-0 at Newmarket for a sixth successive defeat. Sam Gomarsall led the way for the Jockeys with a hat-trick, while Ben Robinson netted twice and Jack Whiting - with a 30 yard stunner - and Lewis Whitefiled were also on the scoresheet.
Bostik One North
Dereham Town were beaten 4-0 at leaders Bowers & Pitsea, who secured the league title as a result.
Now safe from any relegation worries, the Magpies went close on 20 minutes when Matt Castellan headed over when well placed but the home side took the lead with their next attack when David Knight fired home from close range - and never looked back after that.
They added a second just before half-time when Knight nodded in Quentin Monville's centre and Lewis Clark headed home from a corner to make it 3-0 early in the second half.
Dereham continued to soak up the pressure, with Charlie Dickerson being handed his debut, and Bowers eventually got their fourth on 87 minutes as Knight completed his hat-trick by heading home Brad Warner's cross.
The goal scoring feat of the day came in the Combination's top flight, with James Bemrose scoring a double-hat-trick in an amazing 6-4 win for third placed Long Stratton at Mattishall.
The prolific Xavier Huckle scored twice for the hosts while Tom Hill and Josh Macann also netted.
Leaders Sheringham recorded a hard-fought 2-1 win at lowly St Andrews to retain a two-point advantage over Caister, who had a rather easier time of it, winning 4-1 at Blofield.
Tim Carey and Dale Wilton were on target for the Shannocks, with Fionn Goodwin-Wright netting the Saints' consolation, while Ashley King (2) and Charlie McAra were in the goals for Caister.
Sheringham have three games to play to Caister's two – so are very much in the driving seat as the season reaches its climax.
UEA are closing on the Division One title after winning 7-0 at relegated North Walsham while nearest challengers Mundford were being beaten 3-1 at home by Stalham.