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Blow for Beccles' title hopes

PUBLISHED: 17:10 11 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:25 01 August 2010

HAVING beaten Spixworth at home on Saturday, Beccles Town's Sterry Cup hopes received a midweek setback when they lost by the only goal at leaders North Walsham, a second-half free-kick.

HAVING beaten Spixworth at home on Saturday, Beccles Town's Sterry Cup hopes received a midweek setback when they lost by the only goal at leaders North Walsham, a second-half free-kick.

Beccles have 35 points from 18 games to the Angels' 47 from 21 matches with fifth-placed Blofield (33 from 17) a big threat.

Tomorrow, Beccles visit struggling defending champions Sheringham, ko 2.30pm.

Beccles Town 2, Spixworth 1

Spixworth, despite their lowly position, had one of the best defensive records in the league.

Beccles themselves were anxious to record a victory with last week's cup tie rained off and the previous week's disappointing result at Hempnall still on their minds.

Beccles also had problems in midfield with Craig Peters and Kevin Waterman injured, and Matthew Fiske unavailable paired former striker Ant Martin with the returning Ricky Wilson and boldly set out to play two wingers.

This initiative didn't seem to be paying off as for the majority of the first half both teams cancelled each other out, the lively Beccles attack, well shackled by the visitors.

Beccles' defence were well on top and it took almost 40 minutes for any worthwhile action, all centred around Alex Holmes.

He beat two players and cutting inside from 20 yards unleashing a curling shot which thudded against the bar before rebounding to safety.

With the visitors' keeper lying injured halfway up the pitch, Holmes' first-time shot from 40 yards cleared the goal with no player in it.

The second half began with Beccles upping the tempo. The midfield got hold of the ball and began to find the dangerous runs of Remblance and Clarke. But just as the home faithful awaited the opening strike, after poor marking from a set-piece Lee Askew found himself totally unmarked on the six yard box. Cable made an unbelievable block but the ball rebounded out to a Spixworth wide man whose lay-back set up Askew to score with a curling shot.

With Spixworth defending in numbers it was important that Beccles strike back quickly. Alan Remblance, picked up the ball some 40 yards out, took a couple of paces and unleashed a shot which gave the keeper no chance.

Spixworth were clearly rattled and Jason Clarke intercepted a weak back-pass before the keeper redeemed himself by making a fine diving save at his feet.

Beccles went in search of a winner to keep up their Sterry Cup challenge. Andy Woods was withdrawn and Danny Compton joined the fray, reward for his consistent reserve team performances. It proved an inspired substitution by manager Mick Broxne as, with his first touch, Compton rose to a corner to nod the winner.

The visitors threw caution to the wind with the end approaching but the Beccles rearguard stood firm.

Beccles Reserves are at home to Newton Floatman, 2.30pm at College Meadow.

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