Bishop stars with treble for Beccles

Beccles Town's hat-trick hero Rob Bishop stretched for a header Picture: David Walters

Beccles Town's hat-trick hero Rob Bishop stretched for a header Picture: David Walters - Credit: Archant

With an impressive string of wins behind them Beccles Town welcomed Blofield United to College Meadow for a Premier Division league game – and beat them 5-1.

Blofield United, a team well respected for their Sterry Cup achievements of the past, were languishing at the foot of the division and trying desperately to regain some of their quality of previous years, so another three points were always there for Beccles to take.

Early exchanges were tentative, but both sides looked prepared to have a go, Blofield created a good attack on six minutes from a diverted ball but the shot was well over. Beccles were moving the ball well and started to assume control with Udell, Riches and Grimmer dominant and from Udell's through pass on 17 minutes, Bishop made a good cross that evaded everyone, but the scrambled clearance fell to Bailey who hit a snap shot just wide.

Blofield managed to string together a series of passes which set up opportunities on the Beccles goal but Shaw and Boyd presented a powerful defence and all attacks were snuffed out.

On 26 minutes, Beccles opened the scoring when one of those loping runs by Bailey was followed by a great square ball giving Bishop a clear chance which he sidefooted home to make it 1-0 to Beccles.

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With 35 minutes gone Grimmer made a surging run down the right and his cross found Udell who neatly side-stepped a Blofield defender but his shot flew just over the bar.

Blofield were starting to play better football and for five minutes dominated the game with some quality passing and off the ball running as Beccles defended well. A good interception gave Blofield a clear run down the right and a short pass found Gauntlett a couple of yards out and he hit the corner of the goal, just past a diving Cable, to level the score at 1-1. The first half had only five minutes to run and both sides tried to find another opportunity to score, but any openings were quickly snuffed out by strong defences.

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The second half opened well for Beccles and within seconds of the start a neatly chipped ball by Udell found Bailey in the clear down the centre and he controlled the ball, evaded a lunging tackle and slotted past a helpless Blofield keeper giving Beccles a 2-1 lead.

Two minutes later a ping pong session in the Blofield penalty area, ended with another shot from Bailey which flew just wide. On 52 minutes Bishop beat his defender to the ball and cut in to hit a powerful shot, unfortunately direct at the Blofield keeper. Two minutes later Blofield forced a corner and from the deep cross the ball came back across and the goal and another scramble enabled a fair header from a Blofield defender which Cable dived to clear.

With 60 minutes gone a golden period benefited Beccles with two goals, the first from Bishop who latched on to a great corner from Bailey and hammered in his second and Beccles' third, and straight from the kick-off the ball went back to Cable who hit a superb long ball into the path of Bailey who controlled well and chipped the out-rushing Blofield keeper for his second and Beccles' fourth.

This double seemed to knock the stuffing out of Blofield and despite some encouraging midfield play, the Beccles defence always looked in control and any half chances were easily dealt with. Beccles started to switch players around with Hunt coming on for Grimmer and John Remblance on for Riches.

On 80 minutes Bailey enjoyed another curving run and shot but the visitors' keeper managed to get a boot to the ball to make the clearance. On 85 minutes a deep corner from Udell found Bishop in the open and his neat chip glanced off the top of the bar. On 87 minutes Beccles were awarded a penalty and with two players on a hat-trick, who would take it? In normal circumstances Bailey is the designated penalty taker but on this occasion he handed the ball to Bishop who kept his calm, despite a re-take, and slotted home well for his hat-trick and Beccles' fifth.

Bishop then went off to resounding applause with Alan Remblance coming on for the last five minutes. There were some more well made moves from both sides but with no further direct chances the game petered out at 5-1 to The Wherrymen and another well deserved three points raising them up to sixth in the Premier Division. This was a good win, a reward for some quality football and great to see five goals hitting the net, however, once again, the number of chances for goals scored is too high a ratio, and may come back to bite us in closer games.

The Reserves travelled to Hellesdon and suffered a 1-0 defeat in a very close game.

This weekend the first team visit Saturn Close, Lowestoft for round two of the Mummery Cup, kick-off at 1.30pm to cover extra time and penalties if required.

The Reserves travel to Narborough, Norfolk from Division 5N, for round three of the CS Morley Cup, kick-off also at 1.30pm.

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