Beccles Town are beaten 3-1 at title-chasing Long Stratton


- Credit: Archant

Beccles Town travelled to Manor Road for a Premier Division encounter with Long Stratton, one of the front runners for the Sterry Cup, and suffered a 3-1 defeat.

With a number of key players missing, Beccles were soon on the back foot and to add to the pressure Boyd received a kick in the face and had to go off.

With just 10 minutes on the clock Long Stratton opened the scoring when Bemrose was set free down the centre and although Cable rushed out to challenge he was unable to completely block the effort, which rolled into the net.

Beccles went on the attack and a deep cross was fumbled by the home keeper and a chance fell to Bailey whose shot was blocked and cleared. But on 20 minutes another long ball from Long Stratton bounced awkwardly to evade Cable, and Hunt and Shaw rushed back to clear, but Hunt could only head into his own net, making it 2-0 to the home side.

Beccles responded and on 34 minutes Bailey evaded the offside trap and managed to get off a good shot which the home keeper diverted for a corner.

The second half got under way with another long ball chase which ended with a shot over the bar. Ten minutes into the second half Long Stratton scored their third goal with yet another long ball chase, the final finish this time from Nicholls.

Midway through the second half another Beccles corner was well placed by Udell for Shaw to climb above everyone and head powerfully into the net for 3-1. This gave Beccles belief and substitute Bee got straight into the game with a good pass through to Bailey who overstepped the ball and was unable to get any power into his shot. With Beccles getting more into the game there were signs of panic in the home defence but the visitors were unable to take advantage. On 82 minutes a Beccles free-kick was blocked and the rebound fell to Udell who evaded a tackle, turned and got his shot on target but a home defender got in the way.

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Beccles (4-3-3): Cable, Newman, Boyd, Shaw, Squires, Hunt, Udell, Brown, Bishop, Bailey, Brighton. Subs: Bee, Booker, Harmer.

Tomorrow the first team entertain Norwich CEYMS and the Reserves, who had no game on last weekend, travel to Attleborough Town Reserves for what may be a defining match for the Division Four title (both 2.30pm).