Beccles Town record first win since promotion to Anglian Combination top flight

Neil Hurren's free-kick is on way into the St Andrews' net during Beccles Town's 3-2 win over St And

Neil Hurren's free-kick is on way into the St Andrews' net during Beccles Town's 3-2 win over St Andrews on Saturday. Turn inside for a report. Picture: David Walters - Credit: Archant

Beccles Town withstood a strong fightback from St Andrews to claim their first win since promotion to the top flight of the Anglian Combination.

St Andrews stared brightly and forced a good early save from Beccles keeper Tom Wickham who palmed the ball round the foot of the post.

Beccles’ first chance came from Rob Bishop’s low volley following a run down the right wing and cross by Steven Bee.

On 22 minutes Beccles, who had just one player on the bench, went in front when they were awarded a free-kick a few yards back from the corner of the penalty box which was blasted into the top corner by Neil Hurren. Five minutes later Bishop had his shot saved, having been put through one on one. The following corner gave a chance to David Shade but his right foot volley was just wide. A minute later Bee was on target with a great volley to increase Beccles and on 40 minutes Hurren sent a perfect through ball for Bishop to latch on to and hit an unstoppable shot past the helpless keeper and the half ended with Beccles holding a 3-0 lead.

St Andrews made some changes, particularly in attitude, and soon had the Wherrymen back on the defensive. Their visitors’ pressure paid off on 55 minutes when Sam Whiting broke free and slotted past Wickham.

This further invigorated St Andrews and they continued to press Beccles who were unable to gte back on the front foot. On 65 minutes Wickham made a brilliant save to prevent another goal but three minutes later he was well beaten from close in by Ryan Pye, bringing the score to 3-2.

This woke up Beccles and they started to compete better. Both sides went all out to score the next goal but defences held firm and no further score was registered.

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Jake Rose was replaced by Jolyon Stokes, from the U18 squad, and he served his team well for the final five minutes as Beccles gained their first win of the season.

Beccles: T Wickham, S Roberts, J Lovelock, D Shade, E Udell, G Brown, K Waterman, S Bee, N Hurren, R Bishop, J Rose. Sub: J Stokes.

The Reserves, also with a weakened side, were beaten 6-2 at newcomers Tacolneston (Jason Clarke 2).

Tomorrow Beccles visit Reepham Town while the Reserves entertain Belton on College Meadow (both 2.30pm).