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St Andrews 1 Beccles Town 3: Bishop's hat-trick earns Wherrymen a dramatic win

PUBLISHED: 09:13 05 April 2019

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Robert Bishop scored a hat-trick, including two in dying minutes, as Beccles Town claimed a hard-fought win against lowly St Andrews at Thorpe Rec.

After an even opening 10 minutes Beccles started to get better control and Bishop cut in from the left to unleash a powerful shot which the home keeper fumbled and the ball had to be scrambled away for a corner.

On 21 minutes the visitors took the lead when Harmer’s good cross was blocked for a corner and from Udell’s kick Bishop managed to prod the ball home during a goalmouth scramble.

More bouncy exchanges on the firm surface followed until the 35th minute when a clever passing move between Booker, Udell and Harmer set Bailey clear and his chip looked bound for the net but was headed away.

The last minutes of the half saw a couple of good chances fall to St Andrews but they were unable to get a shot away.

The second half started well for Beccles with some quality football, with Brown winning the ball in midfield and setting Bailey away which ended with a cross shot that missed everyone. Beccles then had a poor spell, with the ball constantly being given away, which enabled St Andrews to create several chances, none of which were converted.

On 75 minutes a throw was headed on by Bailey into the path of Bishop and his shot was deflected for a corner. Minutes later Bishop was set clear and his cross found substitute Bee whose shot sailed over the bar.

On 85 minutes a clever inter-change between Godbold and Bailey saw a good chance blocked and then St Andrews won a free-kick out on the left which was scramble into the net to make it 1-1.

On 90 minutes Beccles retook the lead when Bishop managed to get on the end of a through ball to score his second.

With only seconds on the clock Godbold won a good ball in midfield and set Bishop away and he beat the home keeper to complete his hat-trick.

It was a good three points despite a lacklustre performance, caused in the main by the hard bumpy pitch, which kept Beccles in ninth place with three home games to go.

Beccles Town (4-3-3): Wickham, Booker, Newman, Shaw, Squires, Hunt, Udell, Harmer, Bishop, Brown, Bailey. Subs: Bee, Godbold, Lovelock.

Once again the Reserves had no game but retained fourth place in Division Four with only three games to play, all away ending with a trip to Gayton on May 4.

Tomorrow Beccles entertain Bradenham Wanderers (2.30pm) while the Reserves again have no game.

Bungay Town’s home Anglian Combination Division One game against North Walsham, which should have been played on Saturday, was called off because the visitors could not raise a team.

The Black Dogs are likely to be awarded the points rather than the game be replayed which means they miss out on a chance to improve their goal difference, which could be crucial at the end of the season.

Tomorrow Bungay entertain Kirkley and Pakefield Reserves, 2.30pm.

The Reserves were beaten 3-1 at St Andrews reserves in Division Four (Callum Rudkin). Tomorrow they travel to Gayton Reserves.

There’s a big game at Caxton Meadow tomorrow, with Beccles Caxton playing host to title favourites Heacham, who have only dropped two points all season in Division Three.

Caxton lead the way three points are a sure to be promoted by their rivals from west Norfolk have three games in hand.

Both sides hit the goal trail last Saturday, Caxton winning 7-0 at Hempnall and Heacham seeing off visitors South Walsham 7-1.

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