Bungay held ahead of big derby clash with Beccles

Bungay Town mascots Oliver and Lex with the referee and captains.

Bungay Town mascots Oliver and Lex with the referee and captains. - Credit: Archant

Bungay Town 1 Bradenham Wanderers 1

Saturday’s was an entertaining game with both sides having spells on top and ending all square at the Maltings Meadow. The result kept both sides in with a chance of promotion from the Anglian Combination Divisions One.

The Black Dogs took an early lead but it was cancelled out before the interval by a harsh penalty decision, and though the visitors had more possession in the second half, the home defence, well marshalled by captain Craig Hunting, dealt well with the pressure.

With an unchanged side, Bungay started well and were ahead inside eight minutes as Hunting’s free-kick for a foul on Dom Mirner saw Shaun Whiteman guide his header into the top corner of the net.

Soon after a good move gave Mirner the chance to set up John Riches but he sided-footed his shot just wide.

Alex Perrin put Luke Spear away down the left but he was crowded out as he cut in. Bradenham’s response was a long-range effort well taken by Rob Howes. Two other efforts by the visitors were narrowly off target.

A good cross from Sam Olley was palmed away by the keeper and John Riches’ shot was deflected over the bar. From the corner another shot was blocked before Mirner’s attempt was deflected against the bar with the keeper beaten.

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But the visitors came more into the game and Whiteman cleared his lines when a player cut in from the left, and another shot was deflected for a corner.

John Riches and Perrin saw shots beaten out in the next Bungay attack, before Howes made a great blocking save when Bradenham created their best chance. But the equaliser came in the 35 minute when Kevin Riches was harshly judged to have handled by the byline. Even the visitors were surprised at the decision, but Nick Hook gave Howes no chance with the spot-kick.

Bradenham started the second half well and put a long-range effort wide, saw Whiteman snuff out danger with a last-ditch tackle and then test Howes with a shot on the turn. Hunting also made a vital tackle while on the ground to avert more danger.

Bungay went close again when Whiteman saw a great header land on top of the bar in the 69th minute, and Olley volleyed into the side netting. Harley Pluck, on for Perrin, put a header just wide from Spear’s cross in the 75th minute, and seven minutes from time Olley glanced a header wide from another Spear cross, but a draw was a fair result.

Team: Howes, Causton, Hunting, Whiteman, Spear, Olley, J Riches, K Riches, McFadden (Doughty), Mirner, Perrin (Pluck).

Tomorrow Bungay entertain rivals Beccles Town in an eagerly-awaited derby at 2.30pm with added promotion spice to the tussle.