Task too great for Black Dogs

Bungay Town 1, Bradenham Wanderers 3

ONCE again early goals were the Black Dogs’ downfall on Saturday as they went 2-0 behind in the first half-hour to give themselves an uphill task.

A penalty at the start of the second half gave them hope, but they were unable to take their chances and gifted the visitors a third goal – and the Anglian Combination Division One points –which lifted Wanderers above them in the lower reaches of the table.

The Craig Hunting-Steve Batt combination again did well enough at the back, but the shape was not there in midfield. Nick Whiting, son of the legendary Tiger Whiting, had a good debut in goal and could not be faulted.

Dan Andrews sent a long-range effort over the bar for Bungay early on, but luck was not with them when the visitors took a ninth-minute lead.

Mark Shipley’s intended clearance cannoned off a forward nicely into the path of Tom Spalding eight yards out, and he took the chance coolly.

Hunting had a header from a corner cleared off the line as Bungay attacked, before Whiting made a good blocking save to thwart Wanderers. And when a second block left him out of position, Shaun Whiteman was there to head a shot off the line.

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Tom Cole, who had a busy game in midfield, had a fine chance in the 25th minute from a knock-down by Matt Holmes but mis-hit his shot wide.

Bradenham were 2-0 ahead five minutes later as a static defence allowed Spalding to nip in and poke the ball past Whiting from four yards.

Holmes mis-hit another Bungay chance wide before the Bradenham keeper dashed from his area to beat Andrews to a Kevin Riches through ball.

In the 44th minute, Spalding was close to a hat-trick with a shot which hit the bar with Whiting beaten.

The good start Bungay needed to the second half came in the first minute as Andrews’ surge into the area ended as he was felled by a defender. Billy Davies blasted home the spot-kick.

The keeper then took a well-struck shot from Andrews, before the Black Dogs gifted the visitors a vital third goal. Cole’s short back-pass was latched onto by Ricky Forder, who rolled it past Whiting.

Cole set up a chance for Andrews, but he was crowded out by two defenders. Then a good Bungay move saw Cole set up a situation which ended with two shots blocked.

Mark Shipley tested the keeper, and Holmes was wide with another effort before the visitors should have had a fourth as a forward rolled a shot wide with only Whiting to beat.

Later the Bungay keeper made a fine save to prevent Spalding notching his third, then turned a goal-bound shot onto a post.

Bungay’s play became disjointed as their efforts got desperate, but in the final minute Bradenham survived a big scramble on the goal-line as successive shorts were beaten out, before substitute Russell Tuffs fired wide from a half-chance.

Team: N Whiting, M Shipley, C Hunting, S Batt, S Whiteman, J Youngman, K Riches, T Cole, B Davies, D Andrews (C Jones), M Holmes (R Tuffs).

Tomorrow, Bungay entertain Caister 2.30pm.