Great Scott seals points in Bungay v Beccles derby clash

Celebration time for Beccles players after Scott Barnard's late winner against Bungay. PHOTO: Nick B

Celebration time for Beccles players after Scott Barnard's late winner against Bungay. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Bungay Town 1 Beccles Town 2

A last-minute goal from Scott Barnard won this keenly-contested Waveney Valley showdown for Beccles at the Maltings Meadow on Saturday.

The eagerly-awaited derby, the 125th meeting between the traditional rivals, had plenty at stake, with both in the running for promotion from the Anglian Combination Division One, and it was rough justice on Bungay who squandered a number of chances, particularly in the first half.

They probably deserved a draw, but it was Beccles who enhanced their promotion chances in front of the biggest Maltings Meadow crowd of the season.

The Black Dogs took the game to Beccles from the start. As early as the second minute a well-worked corner saw Dom Mirner cross for Alex Perrin to side-foot over the bar, and soon after the same combination saw Perrin head wide.

In the eighth minute another good move saw Luke Spear cross for John Riches’ header to beat keeper Dan Cable only for Jon Lovelock to clear off the line. Harley Pluck put Perrin clear but his early shot from the edge of the area was off target, and Kevin Riches then set up Pluck, who also failed to work the keeper.

For Beccles, David Shade put two long-range free-kicks over the top, but Bungay continued to have the better of things and K Riches had a shot deflected for a corner and from the flag kick put his header over the top. A header over the top from John Remblance was the nearest Beccles came.

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Bungay should have been ahead at the interval, but as so often happens, Beccles took the lead two minutes into the second half with a bit of good fortune. A low cross into the area saw Mirner stretch his leg to the ball only to see it roll wide of Rob Howes for an own goal.

Soon after Remblance missed a great opportunity for a second for Beccles as, with Howes out of position, he lifted his shot narrowly over the open goal from the edge of the area.

But the Black Dogs drew level in the 55th minute as Mirner harassed Eagle into dropping the ball wide on the left of the penalty area, and when he crossed Pluck was there to head into the unguarded net against his former club.

Cable clutched a header from Craig Hunting from a free-kick, but Beccles were much more in the game in the second half, and Shade headed narrowly wide from Remblance’s cross in the 65th minute. At the other end Spear and Perrin both had efforts blocked as Beccles defended desperately. Liam Harvey-Cooper then put a good chance narrowly wide for the visitors.

Mirner had two chances as Bungay went for the winner but neither troubled the keeper. With eight minutes left Thomas Griffiths replaced Spear and his first touch was to turn a shot agonisingly wide of the post with Cable beaten, before K Riches’ far-post header was equally close but off target.

Beccles won it with a sucker punch in the 90th minute as a move down the right stretched the home defence and Barnard hooked the ball over Howes.

Bungay: Howes, Causton, Hunting, Whiteman, McFadden, Spear (McFarlane), J Riches, K Riches, Mirner, Pluck, Perrin (Griffiths).

Beccles: Cable, Mutimer, Roberts, JLovelock, Shade, Udell, Remblance, Heaney, Barnard, Harvey-Cooper, Clark. Subs: Galer, Philp, Wright.

Tomorrow Bungay visit North Walsham at 2.30pm.