Wroxham edge closer to Ridgeons League title as Thetford are promoted
Wroxham inched closer towards the Ridgeons League crown yesterday – while Thetford Town ended their exile from the top flight with the victory that guarantees them promotion.
The Yachtsmen were convincing 3-0 winners at local rivals Dereham Town to move seven points clear of Ely City, with a game in hand – victory at home to Haverhill on Saturday would clinch the title for David Batch's team.
Andy Eastaugh notched a first-half double before Gary Gilmore sealed the points for the Yachtsmen in the second period.
Dereham struggled to get going in the early exchanges, and Wroxham striker Paul Cook was unlucky to see his eighth-minute header come back off the post from Ross Durrant's corner. But just three minutes later good hold up play by Cook presented Eastaugh with his first goal.
Eastaugh claimed his and Wroxham's second after 33 minutes with a free header from Shaun Howes' pin-point corner.
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Ex-Yachtsmen striker Jordan Rocastle had Dereham's only shot on target six minutes before the half-time interval, but Scott Howie made a comfortable save.
With 21 minutes remaining, winger Gilmore drilled low past Horton to finally kill off a sorry looking Dereham outfit.
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'I felt that if we kept it as a football match and not a local derby we would win and the players did that brilliantly,' said Batch.
Whether promotion-seeking Wroxham are still in the top flight or not next season remains to be seen, but Thetford will definitely be there, having beaten Team Bury 1-0 yesterday, thanks to Matt Dixon's 30th league goal of the season, in the 70th minute.
'For 45 minutes I didn't think it was going to happen, but we weathered the storm, we worked hard and we came out in the second half a completely different side and deservedly we got that one goal,' said manager Mark Scott. 'Maybe we should have had a few more, but at the end of the day we would take a 1-0 just to get that promotion.
'It's fantastic. It is nice to make a bit of history – I came here with a three-year plan and it is all well and good talking about it, but you have got to do it.'
Wisbech lent Wroxham a helping hand by beating Ely City 2-1, with goals from Jon Fairweather and Neil Spafford.
The east coast derby ended in a 5-1 win for Gorleston over Great Yarmouth Town with Forbes, Williams, McKenna, Garrod and Mills (pen) on target for the Greens and Vincent replying for Yarmouth. Kirkley & Pakefield shared the spoils with Norwich United in a 1-1 draw while Diss drew 2-2 at Walsham-le-Willows.
In the First Division, Downham were thumped 8-0 at home by March, while Fakenham beat Swaffham 5-0.