Nine-man Beccles hold on for win

Tomorrow Beccles Town play their final home game of the season, against Sheringham, 2.30pm ko, College Meadow, a side they have beaten twice already this season.

Tomorrow Beccles Town play their final home game of the season, against Sheringham, 2.30pm ko, College Meadow, a side they have beaten twice already this season.

Beccles travelled to Sprowston Athletic knowing their Premier League future was secure, and seeking a mid-table finish and got a 2-1 win.

They are just three points behind their hosts, so a win would restore parity between the two sides. Beccles had the luxury of an almost full squad to pick from, with the exception of Chris Mayhew now back in his seat of learning after Easter.

Beccles started with Kevin Waterman and Anthony Martin up front. The returning Neil Hurren and Cai King had to be content with a place on the substitutes' bench. Sean Payne, back from suspension, filled in alongside captain Sam Barham in place of Mayhew.

The wind was clearly blowing in the home side's favour and they tried hard to take advantage by launching the ball forward at every opportunity. What moves the hosts crafted were through their left winger, who seemed to have licence to go all over in search of the ball.

Beccles took the lead when Kevin Waterman controlled the ball before pushing the defender out of the way to slot home the opener past a bemused goalkeeper. The referee awarded a goal despite heated protests by the home team.

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Beccles looked dangerous but were finding it hard to stem the tide of Sprowston attacks.

Their task was made all the harder as they were reduced to 10 men by the official as he deemed Lee Pike's challenge to be dangerous and gave him a straight red card leaving Beccles to play over an hour with a man short.

Sprowston had their tails up and won a succession of corners. Beccles were looking to hang on to half-time with their lead intact, however from the last corner of the half George turned sharply in the six-yard box before wrong-footing Cable to nudge home the equaliser.

Any thoughts Beccles had of defending the draw were dispelled almost immediately in the second half.

A long cross to the far post was bundled home by Anthony Martin to restore the Wherrymen's lead.

The same player then had a great chance to put a two-goal cushion in place, but the keeper got down well to smother the attempt.

This was to be Martin's last contribution, as feeling unwell he left the field to be replaced by King.

Beccles had withdrawn Kevin Waterman into midfield alongside Nick Day, and the pair worked doggedly to make up the man disadvantage.

Waterman in particular was winning the ball, getting up and supporting King whenever possible.

The Beccles' defence of McMorran, Barham, Payne and Greengrass were repelling all Sprowston threw at them. The centre backs constantly won the ball in the air and cleared their lines whenever possible.

King then had an outstanding chance to put the game out of reach of the home side.

He was through on goal and caught in two minds over whether to shoot or pass to the inrushing Scott Daniels. In the end he dragged his effort wide.

If the task was hard enough against 10 men, it reached major proportions as the game drew to a close.

The referee sent off centre-half Sean Payne for something he said.

Beccles were not to be denied however, and the nine men saw out time to record a truly remarkable 2-1 victory.