Portman Road final closer for Beccles

Beccles Town 2, Melton St Audrys 0

BECCLES entertained Melton in the Suffolk Senior Cup knowing a victory would ensure a quarter-final place, and put them only two games from a return to Portman Road.

They had to overcome tough opposition in the form of Melton. The game kicked off in dull conditions before a large crowd.

Melton attacked from the off and for the opening 15 minutes penned Beccles back in their own half. Several chances were created and spurned though a mixture of poor finishing and fine defending.

After 15 minutes Beccles pieced together a move of real quality. Greengrass attacked down the right and his cross was met by Alan Remblance whose overhead kick was superbly tipped over the bar by the visiting keeper.

This was only a temporary respite, however, and Beccles were indebted to keeper Danny Cable who dived low to save another shot.

Remblance then produced a stunning drive that flew just over before Melton should have taken the lead. A fine though-ball split the Beccles defence and, as Amofu the Melton No 9 advanced clear on goal, Cable came out to meet him. He delayed his shot long enough for Greengrass to get back and clear the danger.

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After 36 minutes Beccles took the lead with a fine goal. Alan Remblance picked up the ball some 35 yards out, looked up and unleashed a fearsome drive that found the top corner of the net with such ferocity the keeper had no time to move.

The lead came slightly against the run of play.

Second half Remblance and Bensly combined twice in quick succession but no clear cut chance was created.

Beccles spurned a great opportunity when Ray Masters floated in a free-kick. Ant Martin rose at the far post, nodded the ball back and Neil Mcmorran headed over when well placed.

The Beccles defence of Neil Mcmorran, Alex Greengrass, Martin Myhill and Captain Tom Roberts had got a grip of the tricky visiting forwards. They were ably backed up in midfield by debutant Tobias Hall. He had stepped into the shoes of the watching Craig Peters who suffered a broken leg the previous week.

Hall got stronger, winning several vital challenges and impressing on his first start.

Becles were looking for the killer second, and up front Ant Martin was leading the line brilliantly.

On 75 minutes his surging run took him past two defenders and his brilliant rising shot went just over.

Martin was involved again two minutes latter. Ray Masters took a corner on the left, Martin headed on and Neil Mcmorran bundled the ball home at the far post for 2-0.

The Wherrymen were now in complete charge and comfortably saw out the rest of the game.

Beccles’ reward for this hard-fought victory is a home quarter-final tie on January 8 against Achilles who were 5-2 victors over Corton. Beccles have another mouth-watering home fixture tomorrow against near neighbours Kirkley & Pakefield Reserves, 2pm kick-off at College Meadow.

The Reserves will hope to bounce back from yet another heavy defeat when they travel to play Martham, 2pm kick-off.