Beccles beat Bungay to claim pre-season cup success
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Beccles Town lifted the John Humby Beccles Hospital Cup in a closely-contested season’s curtain raiser at College Meadow on Sunday.
After a 2-1 win over neighbours Bungay, the 88-year-old trophy was presented to the winners by former Norwich City star Rob Newman, watched by family members of John Humby.
The competition was re-named following his death three years ago, after he had been the main man at the club for 47 years, being dubbed ‘Mr Beccles FC’.
A good crowd on a bright sunny afternoon welcomed the two sides to the transformed College Meadow for this annual season opener where all proceeds are donated to the Friends of Beccles Hospital which benefits all of the local community. At the time of going to press the final total raised was not verified but was thought to be around £800.
Beccles Town, who were without several injured first team regulars started with the following team in 4-4-2 formation: Cable, Roberts S, Shaw, Roberts T, Jones, Udell, Wateman, Brown G, Bale, Hurren and Rose with Gallagher, Grimmer, Pearce and Gill on the bench.
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Early season friendlies for Beccles had been solid but without any real promise for the season to come. With the loss of both top scorers and several injuries Beccles were relying on youth for the start of the season.
The game started cagily, with both sides probing for openings and looking to avoid early mistakes. Beccles finally clicked into gear when on 15 minutes George Brown and Jake Rose combined passes to set Neil Hurren away whose shot was parried way by Jordan Rhys-Smith in the Bungay goal.
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Play was fairly even, with both sides constructing good attacks only to be denied by good defending.
On 28 minutes Beccles took the lead when some great passing interchange between Neil Hurren and Jake Rose set Keiron Bale free and his unstoppable shot gave the hosts a deserved lead.
Bungay, with Aiden Lowe prominent, fought back but were unable to get past a resolute Beccles defence, well led by Tom Roberts and Billy Shaw.
With half-time approaching Beccles increased their lead to 2-0 when Billy Shaw rose to head in from Aaron Jones corner.
After the break Bungay attacked relentlessly hoping to get a goal back but again were repulsed by a well-marshalled Beccles defence until a lapse on 60 minutes saw Aiden Lowe reduce the arrears during a frantic scramble in the Beccles goalmouth. This also saw a minor injury to Beccles club captain Danny Cable who quickly returned between the sticks.
Beccles attempted to refresh their attack by introducing Rob Bishop for Jake Rose and James Gill for Keiron Bale. Play continued end to end with both sides enjoying some good attacks.
Neil Hurren’s free kick from the left was headed away with minutes to go. George Brown was replaced by Jack Gallagher and the game ended with a 2-1 victory to the home side.
Beccles begin their Anglian Combination Premier Division season tomorrow with a trip to Bradenham Wanderers, who were promoted with them at the end of last season.
Bungay open their n Division One programme on Saturday, August 26, with a home game against Wymondham Town (2.30pm).
Earsham first team, who will be playing in Division Three of the Anglian Combination this season, are looking for someone to help as an assistant referee to run the line for them.
If anybody is interested contact Peter Goodfellow, chairman, on 07952 064337 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Earsham opened their league campaign on Tuesday evening with a 1-0 home win over Hempnall. They travel to Costessey Sports this Saturday.