One point will secure promotion for Earsham

Earsham's first team manager Dave Reeder. Picture: Connor Girling

Earsham's first team manager Dave Reeder. Picture: Connor Girling - Credit: Archant

Earsham moved to within one point of promotion from Anglian Combination Division Four – but left it late to beat an unfortunate Downham Town side.

With manager Dave Reeder away on holiday, assistant manager Alfie James took charge.

Honeywood kept goal in front of Lowe, Riches, Doughty and Ramsay with Kent and Perrin on the wings. Goodfellow partnered Seamons in the centre of midfield with Smith and Flint in attack. Nolloth made a welcome return on the bench after a long injury lay-off.

Earsham took the lead after 15 minutes when Perrin received the ball on the left wing. He advanced forward to the edge of the box and, after creating a yard of space, he found the bottom corner from 18 yards with a composed left-footed finish.

Downham drew level after 35 minutes when an untimely slip by Riches let the home striker through on goal, and he was able to beat the on-rushing Honeywood to the ball to finish into the unguarded net.

The second half was dominated by Downham as Earsham failed to impose themselves on the game.

The hosts had numerous opportunities to take the lead, but were denied by a combination of poor finishing, saves from Honeywood and goal-line clearances.

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However, with Downham looking like the only team who would score, Earsham stole an unlikely winner 10 minutes from time. Flint was fouled 25 yards from goal and from the resulting free-kick, his shot could only be parried by the home side’s goalkeeper and Perrin was on hand to tap the ball into the empty net.

Earsham continued to defend, and endured a last-minute onslaught when Downham sent everyone forward for a corner, including their goalkeeper, but were relieved to see the ball cleared and the final whistle sound.

A game in which Earsham struggled to reach the standards of the season so far, but a result that shows their grit and determination to be able to grind out a win when required.

With other results going in Earsham’s favour, only one point is required from their remaining four fixtures to secure second place and promotion to Division Three.

This week Earsham host Dersingham Reserves, kick-off 3pm.