Beccles win vital six-pointer
BECCLES Town went into their Premier Division relegation six-pointer against visitors Mattishall knowing a win would go a long way to ensuring safety. Mattishall, on the other hand, knew that with games running out, a defeat would leave them staring relegation in the face.
BECCLES Town went into their Premier Division relegation six-pointer against visitors Mattishall knowing a win would go a long way to ensuring safety.
Mattishall, on the other hand, knew that with games running out, a defeat would leave them staring relegation in the face.
Beccles also knew that a victory would see their improved form achieve an impressive five wins in the last six games, their only defeat in that time being at runaway leaders Wroxham Reserves.
The victory, though certainly not pretty, was extremely hard fought.
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Beccles make the return trip to Mattishall tomorrow without club captain Sam Barham, but should be boosted by the return of Nick Day and Cai King.
Beccles were again forced into changes, the unavailable Nick Day, so instrumental in last week's game against Acle, replaced by Craig Peters. Chris Mayhew had again travelled back from Portsmouth and had to be content with a place on the bench.
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A biting wind blowing down the pitch made good football difficult. Beccles attacked Mattishall at will. Neil Hurren, fresh from his double against Acle, was working hard and closing down the opponents' defenders, giving them little time on the ball.
The large College Meadow pitch offered opportunities to get the ball wide, but Beccles largely failed to exploit it.
The Wherrymen took the lead when Hurren picked up the ball in the right wing channel and advanced on the penalty area before delivering a first-time cross that fell invitingly to the in-rushing Andy Woods. He crashed the ball home at the far post for what on the balance of play was a deserved opener.
Barham and Payne at the back for Beccles held firm and restricted Mattishall to mostly long shots, easily dealt with by Danny Cable.
However, Mattishall seemed to sense a lack of fluency in the home play and began to assert themselves, albeit mostly in terms of possession with very little penetration. Beccles, however, saw the half out to lead 1-0 at half time.
Early in the second half Beccles introduced Chris Mayhew in place of Greengrass on the left and for a time put together some decent moves down that flank. Scot Daniels linked with Mayhew and from that move a dangerous cross went begging.
Despite all Hurren's hard work he failed to carve out a clear-cut opportunity and it looked increasingly likely that Beccles would not add to their lead, so a clean sheet at the other end was of the utmost importance. This they achieved through some good defending, Lee Pike dropping back to supplement the defence and Beccles rarely looked in danger.
The Reserves, after the previous week's equally hard fought 1-0 win over Mattishall, host Thetford Rovers, 2.30pm kick-off.